Butterfly release to remember babies gone too soon

SiMBA is organising another butterfly release to remember lost babies

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Families will be releasing butterflies into the wild next month to remember the babies they lost.

The poignant act has become an annual event in Oban and this year the release will be on Saturday June 14 in the grounds of Dunollie Museum and Castle.

Specially-bred butterflies, that will go on to replenish the dwindling numbers  in the wild, will be released at 6pm after a short service which guests of all ages are welcome to attend.

Following the butterfly release there will be time for reflection and refreshments, with music from a sequence choir.

Families need to order their butterflies five working days before the event. To do so go to app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/SIMBA/butterflyrelease2019.html

A donation of £15 per butterfly is suggested to help the organising charity SiMBA cover the costs of the event.

Anyone who would like to order more than two butterflies or needs more information should call 0131 353 0055 or email gillian.wells@simbacharity.org.uk.

The butterfly release will also coincide with the unveiling of a full-size sculpted Tree of Tranquility in a newly created space in Dunollie’s gardens. Youngsters from Oban High School have also helped the castle’s team to get the garden ready.

The Oban Tree will be the eighth SiMBA Tree to be installed, joining Orkney, Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Galashiels, Tayside and Airedale. Each leaf on the copper tree represents a baby who has died, the leaves carry personal messages from their families, not just the newly bereaved but also those who sadly lost their babies years ago.

Susan Simpson who lives in Benderloch and is the SiMBA Highland Ambassador and support group co-ordinator said: ‘From personal experience our family understands how much of a solace and comfort the Tree in Oban will be. Like so many families we have no grave to visit for our daughters Alex, miscarried at 13 weeks in July 2007, and Eilidh Beth stillborn at 34 weeks in September 2010.

‘Though we have leaves on the Inverness Tree for our heavenly girls we only get to visit a couple of times a year. Our daughters Niamh, 10, and Charis, 14, are so looking forward to being able to visit a special place near home that honours the memory of their sisters.’

Mrs Simpson added: ‘It has been my passion and determination since moving back to Oban to see bereaved families here gifted the opportunity to see their baby honoured in this way and words cannot describe how excited I am to see all the hard work of SiMBA, Dunollie and everyone who has had a part in this project, come to fruition.’

SiMBA’s Oban support group runs on the first Thursday of every month in the The Rockfield Centre from 7pm to 9pm. It is open to parents, grandparents, family or friends who have gone through the death of a baby at any stage of pregnancy or close to the time of birth.