Chorley’s children’s hospice will be lit up in pink and blue this week, to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week (9 – 15 October 2023).
As darkness falls, the coloured lights will illuminate the hospice building, in Chancery Road, joining organisations around the world in remembering and commemorating much-loved and missed babies.
The suggestion came from bereaved parents Kirsty and Jonathon Prescott, whose daughter Iris Joy laid at rest at Derian House in 2021.
“Losing a child is the worst kind of devastation you could ever imagine,” said mum Kirsty, 35.
“Until you’re in this situation, you have no idea. We didn’t even know Derian House existed. Iris rested in a cuddle cot in the Sunflower Room and we were able to spend more time with her. We brought blankets and teddies for her.
“Even though Iris was on earth for a short time, she has impacted our lives in the most incredible way and we wouldn’t change it for the world. We want to honour her memory and continue to honour her memory – she is still our daughter and always will be. We are proud to be her parents.”
Baby Loss Awareness Week, now in its 21st year, is an opportunity for everyone in the baby loss community and beyond to come together. The week also provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of pregnancy and baby loss and the importance that bereavement support plays in the ongoing bereavement journey.
Derian House continues to support Kirsty and Jonathon since Iris passed away.
“When your child passes away you feel your family’s presence around you, but as time goes by, people’s lives do continue,” said Kirsty.
“As we approach Iris’s second heavenly birthday, we have found that people don’t say her name as much. They forget that Iris will forever be our daughter – she is still with us everywhere we go and in everything we do.
“The reality is that Iris is not alone. We want to honour our daughter’s memory, but I think it’s also important to include all the other angels beside her. There are so many more families like us and they should know they are not alone.”
As part of Baby Loss Awareness Week, a global event named Wave of Light invites families across the world to light a candle at 7pm on 15 October, to remember all babies that have died too soon.
“We will be lighting a candle for Iris and for all the other families out there just like ours,” continued Kirsty.
“We will always try our very best to make our daughter proud of us, by helping others through her memory. We still do what we can to support Derian House too and take part in events – last year we even jumped out of a plane to support the hospice. And at Christmas, we sponsored a tree in Iris’s memory that family members could decorate to celebrate her life.”
Catherine Randall, Chief Nurse at Derian House, said: “We want everyone to know that you don’t have to navigate pregnancy or baby loss alone. Whether it is emotional support, or memory making, at Derian House, we do what we can to make sure that families feel they have everything they need, no matter their individual journey.
“Baby Loss Awareness Week allows us all the opportunity to provide recognition, compassion, love, and kindness for all those who have lost their babies. They are loved. They are remembered. They were here.”
Derian House cares for more than 400 babies, children, young people and their families from across the North West and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Find out more: https://www.derianhouse.co.uk