A couple are holding a ball to mark what would have been their daughter’s 10th birthday and to help other families suffering from the devastation of losing a baby.
Sharon and Dave Goddard, from Aylsham, are hoping lots of people will join them at the Holiday Inn North, in Hellesdon, on September 23, to remember Lillie Mae, who was stillborn.
They never knew why their first daughter lost her life before birth, but they still remember every passing milestone and anniversary.
Sharon said: “We thought that as it would have been her 10th birthday we wanted to do something quite significant. If she had lived we would be having a big party for her getting into double digits so we will be having this.
“It’s very weird to think 10 years have passed,” she added. “Sometimes it’s like it was only yesterday.”
The ball will raise money for SANDS, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, and Nelson’s Journey, which helps children come to terms with bereavement.
Sharon was a volunteer with Nelson’s Journey when she was pregnant with Lillie in 2007 and the charity has also helped the family.
Sharon and Dave have two other children – Amelia, aged seven, and three-year-old Archie – who have been told about Lillie.
“They know they have a big sister in Heaven,” said Sharon. “Amelia gets upset at times and although she never knew Lillie she grieves for her. She also lost two of her grandparents recently so she has had a lot of grief in her life but she copes really well – and they helped her.”
Some 15 families suffer the devastation of losing a baby through stillbirth and neonatal death every day – a number which is dropping, but which still leaves a trail of heartbreak.
Sharon hopes that the Lillie Mae Ball will raise £1000 for each charity and around half the tickets have already been sold. But she said there’s plenty of space for more.
“It’s really going to be an amazing night,” she said. “It’s in a very good cause and we think it will be very special.”
Tickets cost £40 per person, including a three course meal, entertainment from Agent Orange, an auction and a raffle for some special prizes.
To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sharon on 07984 201492.