A new Garden of Reflection at Lagan Valley Island, was officially opened recently for residents who have been affected by the loss of a child.
The dedication, led by former Mayor, Councillor Uel Mackin, was held for the families who presented the name of their child to be remembered in the garden.
“This new Garden of Reflection will provide a quiet space for relatives of those babies and children who are sadly no longer with us,” said Mr Mackin. “Located in the Princess Diana Garden at Lagan Valley Island, this space is freely accessible for residents and relatives who wish to sit and reflect in a tranquil setting, along the banks of the Lagan.
“Celebrating and remembering the life of a child taken too soon is an important part of the grieving process and it is vitally important that bereaved families get the care and support they need. We understand that not everyone will have a place to go to where they can remember those who are so dear to them, so it is hoped that our new Garden of Reflection will go some way to fill this void. We want our residents to know they are not alone and there are many ways in which the community can help.”
The names of the babies and children that have passed away have been engraved and placed on one of the oak benches to create a lasting tribute. Names will be added each year with an annual ceremony also taking place.
Mr Mackin concluded: “Thank you to everyone who embraced our vision for the Garden of Reflection and I hope that it will offer some comfort and support, in addition to the great work that charities such as SANDs carry out.”
If you have been affected by the loss of a child you can view details of available support at www.hscbereavementnetwork.hscni.net/bereavement-care/bereavement-support-organisations/