IF YOU walk or drive past Michael G. Ryan funeral directors in Newport this week, you will see a display of parents, babies and young children lit up in pink and blue.

The display is an emotional reminder of the devastation caused by the loss of a baby - whether during pregnancy, stillborn or in infancy.

It has been organised by Ffion’s Gift - a charity set up to raise awareness of Edwards Syndrome.

South Wales Argus:

The display in the window of Michael G Ryan funeral directors in Newport

South Wales Argus:

The display in the window of Michael G Ryan funeral directors in Newport

The charity was set up in 2015 by Sarah Davies after losing her daughter Ffion.

South Wales Argus:

Sarah Davies

Five years on and Mrs Davies has been channelling her grief into raising awareness of the condition, and conveying the message that it’s okay to talk about a lost child.

The display features 156 names of children who have died, both recently and in the past, placed in hearts - all handmade with love by Mrs Davies.

She said: “It means so much to us all to have a place where we can see our child’s names.

"A lot of the babies, like Ffion, have no birth or death certificate so the only recollection of their existence is with us, the parents.

"Creating the memorial allows bereaved parents the chance to see their baby’s name and have a place to go to see them and remember their child.

“Everyone deserves to be able to grieve for the loss of their child, whether they were lost through miscarriage, stillborn or as an infant.”

South Wales Argus:

The display in the window of Michael G Ryan funeral directors in Newport

South Wales Argus:

The display in the window of Michael G Ryan funeral directors in Newport

She added: “I know how much it means to me to have this, so every name I write for the display is written with the utmost love and emotion.”

Alongside the baby names, there is also a display showing images of parents and their stories. Many are mums but some also have dads in too - which Mrs Davies is extremely proud of.

“Many people tend to forget about the dads when a baby is lost, but it means just as much to the dads too," she said.

"It’s lovely to see the dads are involved."

It is the second year the display - which is lit up with pink and blue lights - has been held at Michael G. Ryan’s in Malpas Road, who have been a huge support factor for Mrs Davies and her family.

“Mike Ryan and his team have supported the charity from before we were official and have been absolutely amazing with letting us do displays throughout the year and I’m grateful for them to help us with this and let people know they are not alone,” said Mrs Davies.


Ffion’s Gift has spent the past five years raising awareness about baby loss alongside Edwards Syndrome and have seen how the topic has become less ‘taboo’ - but there is still some way to go before talking about losing a baby is not seen as a stigma.

Mrs Davies said: “I think it stems from a time period where when a baby died, it was just whisked away and nothing was ever said about it again.

"The parents wouldn’t even get to hold the baby.

"Luckily now the doctors and nurses are a lot more sympathetic. When Ffion was born sleeping, we were crying, but the doctors and nurses were also crying.

"It didn’t register at the time but looking back once it did register, I was shocked that they must see it quite often with how common losing a baby is, but it really gets to them too.”

Mrs Davies wants people to be able to grieve how they want to and believes the key to mums and dads being able to talk about their lost child is for people to be willing to listen.

She said: “Those that have been through it do not need a special week as they remember their baby 365 days a year.

"Baby loss awareness week isn’t for us bereaved parents.

South Wales Argus:

The display in the window of Michael G Ryan funeral directors in Newport

"Losing a child never goes away, we never forget and just learn to carry on and live with it. The week is for people who haven’t been through it to be able to educate themselves and make themselves aware of it and how common it is.

“A lot of bereaved parents are afraid to talk about their baby because they may make others feel awkward but it shouldn’t be that way.

"We can talk easily about when a sibling, parent, grandparent or even a pet dies and we speak about the memories we have.

"But for bereaved parents, the only memories they have is of their baby and if they want to talk about them, they should be able to without worrying that they are making someone feel awkward.

“Two years ago we held a memorial service in Newport and we thought there wouldn’t be many people there, but there were people there who had never spoken about their loss before, and had carried it with them for decades. We were able to provide a safe space for them to grieve.

“I hope that soon bereaved parents will be able to talk freely about their child if they wish.”

“All of us at Ffion’s Gift want to say a huge thank you to Mike Ryan and all of his team for their support and everything they do.”

For more information visit Facebook.com/ffionsgift