Remembrance gathering for baby loss families

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Baby loss families will come together at a poignant ceremony at Dunollie next month.

The remembrance service at the Tree of Tranquility site in the grounds of Dunollie Museum Castle is at 1pm on July 9 and is being organised by Scottish charity SiMBA.

The charity that supports the needs of anyone who has lost a baby during pregnancy or close to the time of birth organises a series of these events across Scotland and England so families can be with others who understand, and honour their babies in a gentle and meaningful way.

At the butterfly-themed service, there will be a remembrance poem and music for reflection followed by time to talk, share stories and support each other.

Any families interested in taking part can get more information at simbacharity.org 

Inverarary Co-op is donating biscuits on the day and musician Lindy Walker will be playing the harp.

The non-religious service lasts about 30 minutes and is being supported this year by the Scottish government.

The Oban Tree of Tranquility was installed in June 2019 by the charity that worked closely with the team at Dunollie Museum Castle and Grounds to choose a sheltered, quiet area to make this a special place for everyone to visit.

A natural seating area and a pathway created by Oban High School pupils was also made to give easier access to the tree that bears individual leaves representing forever loved and missed babies.

The charity’s Highland ambassador Susan Simpson, her husband Andrew and her daughters Charis and Niamh unveiled the Oban tree in memory of their siblings Eilidh Beth and Alex – at that time the tree already had 23 special leaves to go on it.

Susan said: ‘Andrew, Charis, Blake and myself are delighted to be supporting SiMBA with this service. It’s such a beautiful way to bring bereaved families together, affording them the opportunity to say their baby’s name and honour their memory. Since the very first butterfly release I hosted in Inverness in 2013 I have witnessed the comfort that it brings to families – coming together like this they realise that they are not alone, that there are others who understand that pain, that it is ok for them to still miss their child and to say their name. The death of a child is a lifelong grief and though we learn to live with that grief, it is so important for families to have services like this to attend.’