Special service held at Grimsby hospital to help parents cope with loss
BEREAVED parents who have lost a baby through miscarriage or shortly after birth shed tears with each other at a special service.
Dozens of candles were lit inside the chapel at Grimsby's Diana, Princess Of Wales Hospital as families remembered their little loved ones.
The annual baby memorial service was led for the first time by the Reverend Anne McCormick, who became the new hospital chaplain earlier this year.
Opening with the hymn Lord Of All Hopefulness, there was plenty of time for reflection and prayers before families stepped outside to watch doves being released into the sky.
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Two-year-old Eva Ashcroft was asked to perform the honour of opening the dove's cage.
Her mum, Catherine, 34, and dad Ian, 33, attended the service for the first time to remember their son, Joseph Patrick Ashcroft.
Catherine, of Grimsby, thanked all midwifery staff at the hospital and the chaplain for supporting her and others through grief.
She said: "I lost my son during the early stages of my pregnancy last month, so our emotion were still very raw.
"However, we felt comforted and welcomed at the memorial service.
"It is a lovely thing to do each year as it gives families the chance to reflect and remember.
"We appreciated that Eva was chosen to release the doves as it made the whole experience extra special."
Once released, families were led to the baby memorial garden which sits within the grounds of the Family Services Unit.
They each had a card which they wrote their child's name onto and hung it in the garden on a memorial tree.
Catherine said: "It was the little sentiments like this which made the service feel very personal even though it was shared with other families.
"I can not thank staff at this hospital enough for the support they have given me and my family through this hard time."
For mum-of-three Tracey Lince, attending the annual service is a way to remember her daughter Eleanor Mary Lince.
The 42-year-old, from Ulceby, had a premature stillbirth five years ago but enjoys having the time to reflect at this event.
She said: "I try and remain composed through out the service as I know there are parents who have lost a child only weeks before.
"However, it is very hard to do so as you feel and share each others emotions.
"I have two boys and another daughter now but Eleanor will never be forgotten, this services helps me to keep a memory of her with me always."