- By Helen
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Last Friday evening I was invited to attend an annual service at St Mary’s church, North Sydney for the loss of babies and young children through premature birth, stillbirth, or terminal illness. Organised by social worker Deb de Wilde, my invitation to the service came from ceramicist, Deb Taylor, who was asked to make a ceramic star for each family who attended the service, to honour the loss of their child via remembrance, consolation and hope.
Cafe of the Gate of Salvation, an inner city based choir, sang us through the service with consoling, heralding voices, accompanying the many photos of each loved child featured on a large screen hung above the church’s alter. At first this was confronting as I felt the sharp reminder that such an image can have when we have lost someone, as well as the very personal information the images revealed of parents, siblings, their grief and happiness for the short lived lives.
Fr Graeme Malone welcomed us and blessed the service and guest speaker, Gavin Blue who lost his daughter whilst she was birthing, gave a moving address to the assembled on how he honoured his daughter by becoming president of the Heartfelt organisation. Heartfelt is a charity that provide free photographic memories to families that have lost loved ones through terminal illness, premature birth or stillbirth.
Mater Hospital staff and midwives who support and attend this annual event along with the forty plus families there, demonstrate the amazing work associated with the cycle of birth and death.
Visit www.heartfelt.org.au for more information about photographs for your family and www.theporcelainurncompany.com.au if you’re interested in a beautifully handmade porcelain urn.