A Scunthorpe couple have opened the first community Baby Rainbow Memorial Garden in their local area to help others going through the same grief they continue to suffer after the loss of their nine-day-old son.
Rory Harrison Clifford was born on October 24, 2019 but sadly died just nine days later on November 2 from sudden infant death syndrome, which is sometimes called cot death.
After Rory’s tragic death, rainbows became “incredibly signifiant” to his parents Andrew and Donna Clifford. It rained for many days after Rory died and the couple included lots of rainbows at his funeral because they wanted to celebrate his short life with lots of colour – read Rory’s Legacy page here.
Now, whenever a rainbow comes out the couple tell their children Rory is there with them and in their hearts. Rainbows continue to play a signifiant part in their own grieving process too, which they said is why they have “such a profound meaning in this project”.
The Baby Rainbow Memorial Garden at Central Park is now open for families who have lost a child to gather together.
It includes The Halo Wall of Remembrance for people to put plaques in memory of babies they have lost. The gardens aim to offer a “unique, dedicated, bright, and beautiful space, where families can take time to reflect and commemorate their children in a positive way”.
The couple said it is their firm belief “the garden can help support the bereaved community in keeping the mind focused on something beautiful and symbolic while dealing with grief in a constructive way”.
Andrew Clifford said: “I didn’t eat for a long time, I ended up decorating my house from top to bottom, just finding stuff to do, trying to keep my mind off it, it didn’t work.
“It was only until I came up with the idea of doing something like this that my grief started to change and I started to speak to people more.”
Andrew’s wife Donna added: “That’s the reason why I think we’ve put ourselves into this project to try and help other people that probably are going through exactly the same thing that we went through…this hopefully will help a lot of people and that’s what we want it for.”