Nobody likes saying goodbye. Especially when you know you'll never see that person again.
What's more difficult is saying goodbye to someone you've never met.
Losing a baby happens to many couples and single parents across the country and results in a number of different emotions...a sense of loss, guilt, confusion, blame, helplessness, and on occasion a complete inability of being able to cope with it.
So many couples across the country are affected by baby loss. Yet many will feel very much like we did, that we shouldn't mourn the loss of our baby. That it's our issue and we should just get over it. We hadn't met them, so what was to mourn? Yet deep inside, there is a longing to say goodbye. To say sorry I couldn't keep you safe any longer. Sorry I didn't get to meet you.
Many of these parents don't have anywhere to go...no memorial place, no gravestone, no remembrance tree planted. Yet they desperately want to say goodbye, and feel they can't.
Zoe & Andy Clark-Coates are founders of Saying Goodbye. They run remembrance services across the UK for mothers, fathers, children and their families to say goodbye to babies lost during pregnancy or in infancy. These services are free to attend and give the opportunity to meet others who understand, who won't judge and will be supportive.
More information can be found on the Saying Goodbye website.
I hope that Zoe & Andy's services can provide parents and their families that final chance to say farewells and give the opportunity to celebrate precious little lives.