Special service for grieving parents by vicar who lost baby
A VICAR who suffered the loss of her baby is planning a church service for bereaved parents.
The Butterfly Service at St Mary's Church, Beverley, next weekend will remember babies who died before, during, or soon after birth.
Its aim is to help people who have been affected by the loss of a child before or near birth whether through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or still-birth.
St Mary's vicar Becky Lumley and her husband, Tom, lost a daughter, Tabitha Rose, who died in her mother's womb at five months.
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Rev Lumley said: "Many families have lost a much longed for child and the hopes and expectations they brought, through still-birth, miscarriage or neonatal death.
"Our own experience of losing a baby girl, who died in the womb at five months, brought home something of the sense of grief and loss many experience in such a situation.
"It has made me realise how terrifying the experience is.
"Being induced and giving birth is, I imagine, frightening enough when you know your baby is fine.
"It is just awful when you know the baby has died. Likewise, knowing you are about to lose a much longed for child at an earlier stage can be deeply traumatic."
A wide range of people and experiences are likely to be represented at the service, which is the first of its kind in Beverley.
Different generations of parents have different experiences of how they were helped with their loss.
Rev Lumley said: "As part of my work I have come in contact with many other parents who lost children, and who still remember or grieve.
"I have met ladies in their 80s who still carry the burden of a miscarriage or still birth, I have met others whose experience is much more recent.
"Of course today people are now much more willing to talk about the experience. Even celebrities such as Kelly Brook, Amanda Holden and Lily Allen have expressed their grief openly, and yet we still find it very difficult to deal with.
"Some families receive lots of support and help. Others, sadly, do not.
"Some are able to hold their baby and say goodbye at a funeral, as we did.
"But others never really got the chance, especially if the loss took place many years ago.
"We would like to give the opportunity to remember and to offer these children, and the hopes and expectations they brought, to God. This service provides that opportunity."
The Butterfly Service is being held from 4pm on Sunday, July 15, at St Mary’s Church in North Bar Within, Beverley.
The congregation will be invited to listen to some poems and music.
Then there will be the opportunity to add butterflies to the garden of remembrance, light candles and say some prayers.
The intention is for the service to be a simple and quiet one.
But children will be welcome.