On Saturday, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m., the Little Spirits Garden will host its annual Remembrance Gathering —an opportunity for families to remember the babies lost. (Photo submitted)

Little Spirits Garden holding annual Ceremony of Remembrance

Saanich burial park Oct. 14 ceremony recognizes those who have lost a baby

For parents and families who suffer the tragic loss of a pregnancy or a baby through early death, Little Spirits Garden at Royal Oak Burial Park offers them a special place to remember and gather.

On Saturday, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m., the Little Spirits Garden will host its annual Remembrance Gathering —an opportunity for families to remember the babies lost in a non-denominational, supportive environment through readings, songs, stories from parents, messages of inspiration and candle lighting.

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It was created to provide support for those who are struck with pregnancy loss or infant death, which includes but is not limited to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or the death of a newborn.

“It is extremely distressing for a father and a mother to lose a child and they can struggle for years to understand or simply deal with the deep pain of the loss. Well-intentioned family and friends simply do not have the words of comfort and as a result, many are left to suffer alone or in silence,” said Crystabelle Fobler, executive director of Royal Oak Burial Park.

“I came across a quote that resonated with me: “When a child loses his parents, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses his or her partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them”. These words speak volumes to me and I’m very proud to be part of a community that came together and created a beautiful space where families can gather to remember and grieve their precious babies.”

The Little Spirits Garden is located at one of the highest points in the park and is sheltered for privacy by a stand of native arbutus and fir trees. Within this protected garden memorial ceremonies can be conducted in the pavilion, there is a designated area for scattering cremated remains and numerous permanent and temporary memorial options are offered at no cost, or on a donation basis.

The Little Spirits Garden is available to every family, no matter where they live, what their financial means are, or where or when they may have experienced their loss.

The Ceremony of Remembrance begins at 10 a.m. in the Garden Chapel at Royal Oak Burial Park, 4673 Falaise Drive. Following the ceremony volunteers and burial park staff will be on hand to assist parents and visitors to tour and place memorials at the Little Spirits Garden.

This event is open to the public. Attended by families who have had a loss and their extended support networks, it is also an opportunity for the broader community to acknowledge and support those who have suffered a pregnancy loss or the death of a baby.

You can learn more about Pregnancy and Infant Loss and the Little Spirit Garden at www.facebook.com/LittleSpiritsGarden or visit www.royaloakburialpark.ca/news-and-events.