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Parents grieve for the loss of children

PUBLISHED: 15:07 29 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 March 2010

TEARS flowed freely as grieving parents released white balloons in memory of their babies.

Accompanied by friends and grandparents, the parents clutched white carnations to their chests as the balloons drifted away on a brisk April breeze.

TEARS flowed freely as grieving parents released white balloons in memory of their babies.

Accompanied by friends and grandparents, the parents clutched white carnations to their chests as the balloons drifted away on a brisk April breeze.

The ceremony came at the conclusion of a special service organised at Ipswich Hospital for those who have lost babies.

It was a sombre and often moving occasion led by chaplain Siw Carlsson in the small and intimate hospital chapel.

Rev Carlsson and Jillian Lawrence organised the service in a bid to revive the once-annual commemoration for bereaved parents.

And the pews were packed with families and friends eager to take advantage of the solace offered in the calm and quiet of the chapel.

As the service opened, the congregation was greeted by Tears in Heaven, written by Eric Clapton in memory of his young son Connor who died after falling from an apartment window.

The most moving part of the ceremony came when Wendy Coulson read the poem God Needed an Angel in Heaven.

She completed the reading wracked by sobs and her voice cracking with emotion. She was not alone in being brought to tears by the emotive words.

But there was little bitterness in the air. Rev Carlsson reassured parents tears were an important part of the grieving process.

And as the mourners readied themselves to move outside for the conclusion of the ceremony there were plenty of smiles and chuckles as an over-eager balloon drifted to the chapel roof.

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