Saying Goodbye Service: remembering the 700 babies lost daily in the UK

When parents go through the devastating loss of a baby, whether during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy, they often feel isolated and unable to process the overwhelming grief and trauma that miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal and early years loss brings.

What most do not realise is that they are not alone and sadly around 700 other parents will go through the same loss each day in the UK.

The Mariposa Trust provides support globally to tens of thousands of people each week who have experienced or been affected by baby loss, some recently and some decades ago.

This includes the organisation of ‘Saying Goodbye’ services of remembrance, held at cathedrals, minsters and abbey’s across the UK and internationally which allow parents to remember each child they have lost in a supportive and beautiful service.

Saying Goodbye services are uplifting and moving and filled with music, poems, acts of remembrance.

Zoe Clark-Coates who founded and runs the charity with husband Andy explains:

“The experience of baby loss affects people deeply, often impacting key areas of their life, including health, relationships and work. People often feel isolated, and due to the taboo nature of loss, their pain and grief is seldom dicussed or properly acknowledged.

“The Saying Goodbye services give people the opportunity to publicly remember and commemorate their losses, which is often the first time they have been able to do so.”

On Saturday 9th September 2017, a Saying Goodbye service will be taking place at 3.30pm at Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire.

The service is for anyone who has lost a baby in pregnancy, at birth or in the early years, whether the loss was today or 80 years ago. People can be of any faith or no faith and babies, children and other family members are also welcome.

One parent who recently attended a Saying Goodbye service explains:

“The Saying Goodbye service gave me the time and space to formally recognise all of my babies and the experience of being with people who just knew how it felt was a real strength. The loss of a baby by miscarriage is never formally recognised by ceremony – no funeral service is held, no date is noted, no names are recorded.

“As I stood with other parents and proudly rang the bell for my 14 babies, I felt unbearable sadness but also a great privilege in being able to properly celebrate their existence. For the first time ever I felt my tears of grief, loss and love were allowed, shared and understood.”
The Mariposa Trust provides support that reaches over 50,000 people each week globally via 6 support divisions that provide a range of support options from online support and using social media to befrienders and therapy.

Full information on the work of the Saying Goodbye division, including the services, support and resources available, can be found at, whilst further information on the charity can be found at

Statistics for baby loss show that around 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss, with around 250,000 miscarriages, and round 8,000 stillbirths, neonatal and early years losses each year in the UK.

Globally figures stand at an estimated 30,000,000 miscarriages and around 8,000,000 stillbirths, neonatal and early years losses.

The Saying Goodbye service on Saturday the 9th of September will be 3.30 – 4.30pm at Malmesbury Abbey, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 9BA. There is no need to pre-book as it is not a ticketed event.