Baby Loss Awareness Week (October 9-15) is an annual UK-wide opportunity for bereaved parents, families and friends, to commemorate babies’ lives and to raise awareness about baby loss.
The week closes with a nationwide Wave of Light when buildings and landmarks light up in pink and blue and families light candles in memory of their babies.
This year, the Huddersfield-based Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice is hosting a special remembrance event at The Piece Hall in Halifax on Friday October 15 at 7pm when 1,000 lanterns will be lit in memory of babies who have sadly died.
Families who have experienced the tragedy of baby loss are invited to take part in the free event in whatever way they feel comfortable.
They can visit at any time during the week to tie a ribbon in their baby’s memory. Or people can come and write their baby’s name on a lantern on October 15 and then watch it being lit as part of a beautiful and poignant display at 7pm the same evening.
Lis Meates, director of service development and delivery at Forget Me Not, said: “Thousands of families across the UK experience the tragic death of a baby every year. Many of them have to go through this devastating experience alone, without any support
“At Forget Me Not, we’re here for local families from the 20-week pregnancy scan onwards, supporting families confronted with the news their baby may not survive birth or whose baby dies unexpectedly.
“Our event at The Piece Hall is a chance for anyone who has gone through this terrible experience to share a moment of reflection with other bereaved families and to commemorate their baby by tying a ribbon or writing their name on a lantern.
“We also want the event to raise awareness about the support that is available, so that families in the future know who they can turn to, should this sadly happen to them.”
Emma, whose family Forget Me Not supported at the hospice after her daughter Molly died just 24 hours after birth, said: “Forget Me Not’s support was like a lifeline. You don’t expect that – to be thrown some extra time that you never thought you’d have. It was the most precious thing – having that time and space to do normal things, with support if you needed it. A heart-breaking moment became a moment of peace and happiness.”
If people want to discuss their experiences, staff from Forget Me Not will be at Piece Hall all day on October 15 from 10am to 9pm.
Families who can’t make the event, or would prefer to mark the occasion at home, are invited to light their own candle and leave a dedication to their little one online at Forget Me Not’s dedication page – www.forgetmenotchild.co.uk/babylossawareness.
Other local landmarks supporting Forget Me Not in the Wave of Light by lighting up in blue and pink include:
- Xscape Castleford
- The Piece Hall
- First Direct Arena
- Wainhouse Tower
- Bradford Town Hall
- The University of Huddersfield
- Kirklees Active Leisure (whose fitness classes will also be in pink and blue!)