I’ve been aware for a little while of a new organisation called ‘Saying Goodbye’, which has been set up to run a series of remembrance services around the UK for people who have lost children during pregnancy. This is an excellent idea, long needed, and everything I can see makes me believe it will be very well implemented.
Culturally, we tend not to acknowledge early miscarriage in any way, but, even if we have not experienced it ourselves, anyone who has been a pastor knows that the pain and grief is real and serious – and can be made worse by the isolation, the inability to talk to anyone about it. Offering families a chance to grieve, and to acknowledge their loss in a supportive context where others understand, is a great service.
Saying Goodbye have organised seven services this autumn, in Exeter (15/9), Edinburgh (22/9), York (29/9), Birmingham (28/10), Cardiff (3/11), London (24/11), and Bristol (8/12). Further dates and locations are planned into 2013.
Zoe and Andy Clarke-Coates, who are behind Saying Goodbye, are experienced and professional events managers. I’ve seen some of their work first hand, and I am sure that, in cooperation with the cathedrals who are hosting the services, they will do this with sensitivity and meaning. They are being supported by the Miscarriage Association, Bliss, and the Association of Early Pregnancy Units, amongst others.
Saying Goodbye have a website describing their services and intentions here. You can find them on Twitter at @SayingGoodbyeUK and on Facebook. It’s a cause worth supporting, and publicising – there are so many who might benefit from what is being offered.