Jodie Mc Donald, who lost a pre-term baby, thinks the new site at the Nerimbera Memorial Gardens will help grieving parents whose babies have died.
Jodie Mc Donald, who lost a pre-term baby, thinks the new site at the Nerimbera Memorial Gardens will help grieving parents whose babies have died. Allan Reinikka

Remembering our little ones

LITTLE Sydnee Grace may not have ever had her chance in the world, but Jodie McDonald will never forget her.

Sydnee Grace died at only 34 weeks after suffering an umbilical cord accident in the womb.

Mrs McDonald said the grief and sense of loss was enormous, despite not carrying the baby to full term.

“You have so many plans for your child's life and then it's a high sense of loss,” she said.

So when Mrs McDonald found out a special space had been developed at the Nerimbera Memorial Gardens, to honour babies lost at such a young age, she was pleased.

On Friday a blessing service was held at the site.

The space is designed to honour babies lost before 20 weeks of pregnancy as families are not often given the choice of a burial at this young age.

Even though Mrs McDonald was able to give Sydnee Grace a proper burial she knows how important a site like this one would be for grieving parents and their healing.

“We come to visit Sydnee's grave often, it feels like a sharing time for our family,” she said.

“It doesn't work for everyone but it works for us.”

Mrs McDonald, 42, lost Sydnee Grace in 2004 and has since been blessed with two-year-old Alice. She also has a seven-year-old son.

Rockhampton Hospital's Social Work Department recognised the need for such a space in the city for families to grieve in peace and dignity, whether they lost a baby two weeks ago or 20 years ago.

Social Work district director Meda Black said social workers had negotiated with Rockhampton Regional Council to establish the service.

Rockhampton Hospital chaplains are also supporting the space and will provide public services at the garden this Friday at 10.30.

All families and parents are encouraged to attend this service.

“It is really about providing a place where parents and families can go to grieve or acknowledge the loss of a loved one,” Mrs Black said.

“This is a place of sanctity and solemnity to offer the opportunity for parents to spend some quiet moments grieving or remembering their lost children.”

Mrs McDonald said she wanted to thank everyone who made the memorial garden possible.



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