October 15 was International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Since 2012, Castlebrook Memorial Park has hosted a memorial service for families in Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) who have experienced the loss of a baby.
The annual event has been supported by Bears of Hope, White Lady Funerals, Red Nose and WSLHD.
Social workers from Blacktown and Westmead hospitals were present at the service to offer support for families attending the service.
The loss of a baby during pregnancy can feel like an invisible grief for many families.
Families who have experienced an early pregnancy loss (under 20 weeks) can choose to have their babies cremated by Castlebrook Memorial Park and the ashes placed in the Angel Garden.
This can assist with helping their loss feel more real and tangible.
The annual memorial service allows families, who have recently/in the past experienced pregnancy or infant loss, to come together to remember their children and share their experiences of grief and love.
Castlebrook Family Services supervisor Gregory Wilson said: “I was reminded again this year of the great courage a family has to simply allow themselves an opportunity to reflect what is undoubtedly the single most painful event imaginable for families and those trying to be a family.
“We were all reminded that grief is an expression of great love and we witnessed that for ourselves last night.”
Bears of Hope board member Emma-Kate Comito, who spoke about her own experience of pregnancy loss, said: “thank you so much for such a beautiful service – it felt very personal & I was proud to be able to be a part of the service, both as Imogene’s mum & a board member of Bears of Hope.”