Saying Goodbye in Winchester 3

This week is awash with emotions, and to be honest I haven’t been coping as well as I could be, and I know this is all sewn into my grief with Harry Lloyd. When upsetting things happen it is far to easy to say “see, bad things keep happening to us” However I consider myself to be so incredibly lucky that I work as part of the amazing Saying Goodbye Team. I have said on several occasions how the support provided by Saying Goodbye is second to none, and how this support is helping me and the whole of Team Lloyd work through our grief, and see it as a journey path that we have to walk.

I am so pleased that in some small way I can give back and in turn help other parents that have to also work this lonely path of grief through my work as National Fundraiser Manager. With Saying Goodbye, this path of grief is not lonely, we stand with you every step of the way. And that alone makes this charity amazing!

Anyway – my point today is, being a Hampshire Lass, is I am very excited that the next Saying Goodbye service is this Saturday May 11th and it’s coming to Hampshire – Winchester to be exact! I wanted to share some more information about the service, because you might be a bit like me and nervous about attending one. However I cannot wait to attend a service, to honour Harry Lloyd and to be able to stand with others and remember their babies too.

So here is some official information about any Saying Goodbye service, please share this information with anyone who you think might want to attend a Saying Goodbye Service. Even if their loss was 80 years ago, or even yesterday. And for those of you who know Hampshire or know of people who live here – please share this information as you never know who might just want to know about it!

Here are some questions & answers about the Saying Goodbye services and at the end I have shared a letter that was sent to the founders after a service. I wanted to share it as I think it shows how needed these services are.

Saying Goodbye services are for anyone who has lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy (however early), at birth or in early years.

1) Do I need tickets?

A – No, first come, first seated.

2) Can I bring my family?

A – Yes of course, one of the reasons we use cathedrals is the fact that they are large spaces, so people can bring their family and friends with them.

3) Can I bring children with me?

A – Yes, many babies and children come along with their parents – As the whole family can be touched by the loss of a baby, some find its as important for their children to attend as themselves.

4) I am currently pregnant, will this upset other service guests?

A – We have many people come along to the services who are pregnant, and we have never seen someone upset by it, in fact we feel it offers others hope.

5) What can I expect?

A – On the website we explain more about the service – but in essence the service consists of music, a short address, prayers, poetry, readings, a personal story, and acts of remembrance.

6) Will attending the service upset me?

A – Some people of course shed a few tears for their baby / babies, others don’t – What we can say is that the majority of people who attend our services leave feeling lighter, and often smiling. They say its like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders, now their baby has been formally acknowledged.

7) Does it matter how long ago our loss was?

A – No, all are welcome, whether the loss was 80 years ago or yesterday.

8) Am I welcome to attend, as I have had failed IVF attempts?

A – Of course.

9) As your cause is called Saying Goodbye does this mean we need to say goodbye to our babies, as I am not ready?

A – The services and the organisation, offers people the chance to say goodbye – that maybe saying goodbye to a baby (as often people don’t have the opportunity to do this), but it can also be saying goodbye to some of the grief a person has been carrying. What we want to do is offer people the time and the place to do this, and offer ongoing and lasting support to all who have lost.

10) Can I attend more than one service?

A – Yes, feel free to attend as many as you like.

Dear Saying Goodbye

Saturday the 8th December was a date I had been waiting for, for so many months. 

That date signified a special event, when I would stand and honour my baby in the beauty of Bristol Cathedral surrounded by bereaved parents, and their extended family, at the Saying Goodbye Service.

Arriving at the cathedral, I was left speechless by its beauty and calm. I instantly knew that something very special was about to take place. 

Walking through the doors I remembered the first time I had contacted Saying Goodbye – The wonderful organisation that led me to the cathedral, the organisation that has helped me to survive the devastation of losing my baby – the organisation that has helped me find me again!

I haven’t told many people about my loss – yet on Saturday, when I stood among others who understood, I felt at peace, supported and truly accepted. Words did not need to be exchanged between myself and others, you could just feel kindness, and love in the building, an almost invisible hand holding was evidently present.

Every poem read, song sung, hymn led by the amazing choir, and most importantly every act to honour our babies felt so special. Every element of the service was a personal message for me and my child. 

When I lit a candle and rung the now legendary bell, (which has become a unique hallmark of a Saying Goodbye Service) in honour of my lost baby, I felt over-come with emotion and an overwhelming gratitude to Saying Goodbye swept over me. 

A lot of tears were shed during the service, but with each tear, my heart felt that bit lighter. I was finally doing what I had longed to do for months, honour my child and openly grieve.

That day will be one I will never forget; it truly was a turning point in not only my grief process, but also in my life.

Saying Goodbye you have not only provided crucial support to me and given me permission to grieve – You have helped me survive the darkest moments of my life, and now on top of all of that, you have also given me the opportunity to publically celebrate my baby and acknowledge he did exist, he does matter, and he was and is important, in a wonderful service.

Over the past 24 weeks I have watched you starting to break down the taboo of baby loss, what seemed like a virtually impossible task, is actually being achieved because of all your hard work – all parents owe you an abundance of gratitude for this. 

Thank you is too small a word, but I need to say it, thank you for being a light in my darkest hour, thanks for being a beacon of hope when I had none – and thank you for honouring my precious baby boy. 

Thank you for reading the whole way through this post, the work that Saying Goodbye are doing daily means so much to me, so I appreciate you taking the time to read all this information! In the weeks following Harry Lloyd dying we felt lost and isolated. Saying Goodbye changed that.

About louise

One member of Team Lloyd, Sharing our expat tales and adventures, loves photography and capturing "that moment" Currently can be found in the sunshine, Southern California.

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3 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye in Winchester

  • Mother Goutte

    I think it’s going to be a fantastic experience for you, Louise, but I can understand your feeling a bit nervous!
    I felt very lonely too when my first boy, Jean, died. But when we lost René, 6 years later, our whole village grieved for us and it was so much easier to say good bye feeling this. That’s when we truly said good bye to Jean too…
    It’s a shame that we’re going to be away this week end (a family wedding in France, difficult to escape!) but I will be thinking about you. xxxx

    • louise Post author

      Thank you! Your words are always so wise! Thank you for sharing your experiences with Jean and Rene, it gives me hope! I hope you have a lovely weekend in France – enjoy the wedding XXX

  • Kate

    They sound like such an amazing charity and they are also blessed to have you working there for them too. I hope that you, and everyone else who attends the service are able to come away with their hearts a bit more healed x