Saying Goodbye service in Plymouth

Families from Plymouth, South West Devon and Cornwall who have suffered the pain of baby loss at any stage of pregnancy, birth or in infancyare invited to join a special service on Saturday 30th April 2016 at 7pm at Plymouth Minster.  

The International ‘Saying Goodbye’services helpfamilies pay tribute to their lost babies and provide an opportunity for people to say goodbye.

The Saying Goodbye services, are the first set of national commemorative services to take place in Cathedrals and Minsters across the UK.

This is one of over 20 international services this year and the first time the service has come to Plymouth.

The service in Plymouth will feature contemporary music, as well as poetry and readings, mixed with acts of remembrance and time for reflection.

The service is free to attend and open to anyone of any faith or no faith.It is hoped that people from across Cornwall and South West Devonwill take the time to come to what has always been a beautiful and deeply moving service.

The Saying Goodbye services were established by Devon couple Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates, who have lost five children through miscarriage.

Zoe explains "Approximately one in four pregnanciesend in miscarriage, which means that nearly 680 babies are lost each day leaving parents, grandparents, siblings and family friends in the depths of grief.

"We decided to take our experienceof loss and create an organisation that could help others who have previously, or are currently going through the grief of losing a baby.

"The aim of thecharity we set upcalled The Mariposa Trust,is to help support those who have suffered the pain of losing a child at any stage.”

Andy commented: "Having lost five babies, we experienced firsthand how loss can affect people. We wanted to create services that would give a wonderful goodbye to babies that have been lost, and allow the parents to grieve in a supportive environment.

"When you have parents saying 'this is the first time in 50-years that I am being able to grieve and say goodbye', you understand that whether it happened yesterday or half a century ago, the pain is still there, and people need help and support.

"We wanted to allow people from the region to have access to a Saying Goodbye serviceand the support that we offer.”Zoe added: "A loss before 24 weeks gestation is not recorded with a certificate, which leaves the parents with no official recognition of the baby's life.

"As miscarriage often takes place at home without medical intervention, people can be left with no avenue for grief, and as no memorial service usually takes place, the opportunity to officially recognise the unborn life, can just pass by.

"With stillbirth and early infant loss, services are usually conducted quickly whilst parents are in the depth of despair, and not at a time when people can truly take onboard and process the grief.

"Saying Goodbye aims to give people the opportunity to remember their lost baby in a fitting way, whilst also uniting with others who have faced similar sadness."

Professor Robert Winston, one of Saying Goodbye's many Ambassadors, said: “Miscarriage is often something that’s not acknowledged or talked about in the UK, and people certainly do not appreciate how utterly distressing it is for women, and indeed their extended families.

"It’s a loss of a precious life, and whether the loss happens in early or late pregnancy it’s traumatic, and a natural grief process must be allowed to happen.

"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.”

For more information please visit the Saying Goodbye website -www.sayinggoodbye.orgor follow on Twitter @SayinggoodbyeUK