Sunday, 27 May 2012

How did you say goodbye?

I am sure you will have seen me post before about miscarriage.  I feel strongly that it ought to no longer be a taboo subject; the more woman that share their experiences the more people will realise how (unfortunately) common it is. Only then will people realise that is is OK to grieve and to be beside yourself and to not know how to handle it.

The Miscarriage Association state that 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage and 1 in 100 will experience recurrent miscarriages.  That is an awful lot of us having to go through this.

I count myself as blessed as I have only experienced one miscarriage and it was after I had my three children. Whilst I am not saying that makes it easier for everyone it did for me. I am lucky to have a strong faith to draw on and a fabulous family to turn to when the difficult times come. My belief is that the baby (Samuel Noah) I miscarried in May 2010 is now with Jesus, God had different plans for him than I did.

If I am honest I don't know if I grieved the loss of my baby, I did not do loads of crying, nor take a long spell off work but I think I used my favourite avenue, this blog to work through the pain and to realise that Gods plan is perfect, if unknown to me.

I find tears pouring down my cheeks as I read others stories of their repeated miscarriages and heartache as they wonder if they will ever successfully carry a pregnancy to term. Every person deals with things in their own way and I know some people just push miscarriages under the cover (so to speak) and bury their pain but from personal experience I find that things do come back to haunt you. It is really important to  acknowledge that something terrible has happened and to take time to come to terms with it. Of course this is true for both parents, we must not forget the men in this.  They may not have the hormones raging but they have lost their future hopes and dreams with that child that they had invested as well.

Recently I found out about a not for profit organisation called Saying Goodbye and I exchanged a few emails with one of the founders Zoe Clark-Coates. Zoe herself has experienced five miscarriages and is now blessed with two beautiful daughters.  Her miscarriages hit her extremely hard and she believes that things happen for a reason (yes she is a Christian too) and that out of her terrible times came the idea of Saying Goodbye.

To help parents be able to grieve and let go of their beloved babies who never made it here on earth they have set up a number of large remembrance services at cathedrals across the country. The have chosen to use these large historic buildings because they feel that all babies deserve to be honoured in wonderful, awe inspiring places. Additionally they wish for all people to feel at ease attending the services, and as the venues chosen are used for many secular events as well as Christian services, they hope that people of every faith or no faith will feel comfortable coming along.

All the venues are centrally located, easy to find, and offer plenty of space, so not only people who have lost a baby themselves can attend, but also their supportive friends and extended family, who may also feel a need to say goodbye to their niece, nephew or grandchild

The list of confirmed services for 2012 are -
  • Exeter Cathedral , Exeter - Saturday 15th September at 3pm
  • Edinburgh Cathedral, Edinburgh – Saturday 22nd September at 3pm
  • York Minster, York – Saturday 29th September at 1.30pm
  • Birmingham Cathedral, Birmingham – Sunday 28th October at 3.30pm
  • Cardiff Cathedral, Wales - Saturday 3rd November at 3pm
  • St Martin’s in the Field, London –  Saturday 17th November at 11am
  • St Paul's Cathedral, London – Saturday 24th November at 5pm
  • Bristol Cathedral, Bristol -  Saturday 8th December  at 3.30pm 
and there are plans for at least another 12 services in 2013.  Ohh and I think I forgot to mention, there is no charge to attend the services, as with all church services if you would like to make a donation then you are most welcome to but money is not a barrier for anyone to attend.

It is not only me who thinks these services seem like a fabulous idea, the Miscarriage Association have partnered with Saying Goodbye and the NHS association of early pregnancy units have supplied information to hospitals across the UK, so I pray that never again are mothers who have lost their babies treated as just someone with an aliment, they will be offered support and a way to grieve.

I'll leave you with a quote from Professor Lord Robert Winston who is ambassador for Saying Goodbye.
"I am delighted to be an ambassador for a marvellous new organisation called 'Saying Goodbye'. Following losing five babies themselves, Zoe and Andrew Clark-Coates, the directors of CCEM, decided to launch the first national set of commemorative services, which will allow families to come together to mourn their babies. I hope that these services will be a turning point in the nation, and through this new organisation miscarriage will become more widely understood, and families will know that their pain and loss has been heard and recognised.”
This is not a sponsored post, I have not been re numerated to post this, I just think it sounds like a lovely idea and I adore it where people use the resources they have to bless others.
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