Bereaved parents in Northumberland 'open up conversation' around baby loss through sand art

A couple from Northumberland who lost their baby son halfway through pregnancy have held an event on Alnmouth beach to help "open up a conversation" about baby loss.

Rebecca and Neil Charlton lost baby Jasper during the Covid 19 lockdown. Rebecca told ITV News Tyne Tees that it had a profound impact on them as parents.

She said: "When holding your baby in your arms and then having to walk away from the hospital, was the most horrendous moment. We had a funeral for him and then again walking away from him there was just something that no parent should ever, ever have to do."

Names of babies drawn in the sand Credit: ITV News

Husband Neil said bringing bereaved parents together to create a large sand art piece was a good way to open up the conversation about baby loss and raise awareness of the issue.

He said: "Where we can actually promote that dialogue and have people share their stories, celebrate their children that are alive or that they’ve lost and the impact that they’ve had, it’s absolutely fantastic."

Supported by sand artist Claire Eason, the group of parents were able to draw an image of a mother in the sand, using rakes.

Ms Eason said: "This figure has empty arms to represent a baby death. There are ripples of love and grief that flow from the heart, through the arms, they encircle the figure and then they come back to the figure and that represents the never ending nature of love and grief."

Event supported by baby loss charity, 4Louis Credit: ITV News

The event was held in conjunction with the Sunderland based charity, 4Louis. The charity, set up by a woman who lost her own child, supports anyone affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and the death of a baby or child.

Amber Langley, from the charity, said: "I personally lost my son almost two years ago. People would maybe cross the street.

"They would avoid you in the supermarket, because they genuinely didn’t know what to say.

"All we’d say is still approach your friend, your family member and give them a cuddle and just say ‘we don’t know what to say, but we’re here for you’."

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