Returning for its 18th year this October, Baby Loss Awareness Week runs annually to raise awareness around pregnancy and infant death in the UK. When this week begins, we usually see an outpouring of solidarity, love and care for the angel babies who were never able to go home and the families who are experiencing this unexplainable grief. It can come as a much-needed comfort and this year; it will be running from 9th -15th October. Given the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the week shines a light on the isolation that many people experience after pregnancy and baby loss – from women, partners, family members and friends – and to continue these incredibly important conversations. And we at Coles Funeral Directors are proud to offer our support.If you’re experiencing this loss, let us start by saying please know that you’re not alone. Research from Tommy’s highlights that 1 in 4 pregnancies in the UK end in loss during pregnancy or birth. These are devastating figures and for anyone who’s been impacted by this loss, you’ll know how the lasting effects that this can have. Plus, if you’re dealing with grief during COVID-19, it can be even more difficult to process. Social distancing has had an incredibly negative impact on support services available so understandably, feelings of isolation have become more widespread and mental wellbeing has suffered further. That’s why understanding, and compassion is vital – always.
Throughout the week, charities and communities across the UK will be coming together to share their support, information and coping techniques. Starting with an introduction to the week on Friday 9th October with a focus on mental wellbeing. There will also be sessions tailored to wider family members, employers and wider support networks to help provide guidance around supporting employees dealing with loss as well as a focus on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and issues surrounding access to care or information; as well as specific support for LGBTQ+ community members.
The week will culminate with a Wave of Light, the lighting of candles to remember those beautiful lives that we lost too soon. And if you wish to, you can share your experience on social media with the hashtag #BLAW2020 to connect with others who find themselves in a similar position.
We’ll be joining the Wave of Light and will also be showing our support by lighting up our Birchgrove funeral home in the evenings in pink and blue colours. We’ll also have a memory tree in reception for messages to be left by anyone affected by baby or infant loss. Please feel free to leave a message for yourself, a loved one, or your angel and please note that our team will not interrupt you throughout this experience. Take your time.
If you’re looking for some additional support, please know that our Bereavement Hub services which include our free 1-2-1 counselling sessions are available to you. We can even conduct these sessions over the phone if you’re facing local lockdown measures or if you don’t feel comfortable visiting our funeral home.
Alternatively, we can direct you to our charity partners, Morgan’s Wings, which is based in Cardiff. As a community group, it offers online support to those who’ve been affected by miscarriage, helping them to cope with the initial and long-term effects of miscarriage, wherever they are in the world.
For more information about Baby Loss Awareness Week, please visit: https://babyloss-awareness.org/