Allow families to leave one tribute at the Shrewsbury baby graves

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The baby graves are located at the back of Shrewsbury Cemetry. There are around fifteen babies buried in each grave, with a headstone naming each baby. Until now, they have been maintained by the local Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) committee. This charity assists with funeral costs and organises the headstones.

Following the recent "tidying" of the baby graves by the Sands committee, the council has decided to keep the baby graves clear of all non-plant tributes. This incudes cards, ornaments, toys etc, which are placed beneath a tree at the back of the graves. It is claimed that this rule is being enforced for maintenance and safety reasons.

The rule does not apply to any other grave in the cemetry, including the individual baby/child graves located next to the baby graves.

I am petitioning Shropshire Council to allow the families of the babies in the Sands plots to leave one small tribute (labelled underneath if it is not clear which baby the tribute is for) with their babies, in addition to the floral/plant tributes. At most this will mean fifteen tributes on each grave, but will probably be fewer as not all families leave tributes.

My eldest son was stillborn in 2010. He passed away in early labour a week after his due date. I had a text book pregnancy with no concerns. He was fine the day before I went into labour. By the time I went to hospital with regular contractions the midwife was unable to locate a heartbeat. A scan confirmed the worst and seventeen hours later he was born. A perfect little boy weighing 7lbs 12oz. No definite reason was found as to why this happened. We took our bags of newborn baby clothes home and shut the door on our nursery. On the day he was buried I had to be stopped from returning to the grave that night, to be near my baby. 

Everyone deals with bereavement differently. For me, it is very important to have a little tribute at the actual grave. I cannot hold my firstborn baby or spend all my time at his grave, but I can transfer some of those feelings onto a little tribute. Being unable to leave anything to watch over my baby when I'm not there is simply heartbreaking.


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