Out of the grief comes courage

Nicola Welsh.with benefactors at site of bench in Linlithgow cemetery.
Nicola Welsh.with benefactors at site of bench in Linlithgow cemetery.

The death of a child is the most devastating loss. You mourn the loss of his or her life, potential and future. Your life is forever changed.

But it’s not over. You can work through the grief , pain and darkness and come out the other side with a different level of understanding and ability to cope.

And that’s exactly what Nicola Welsh has done.

Losing her son Theo to an extremely rare disease at just three-weeks old, she struggled, as all parents would in such devastating and horrendous circumstances.

But forming a new branch of the existing Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society charity, SANDS Lothian, gave her the renewed courage to face the world again and to try to help others who may be faced with similar circumstances.

The West Lothian group’s latest achievement is to have installed a memorial bench within the children’s section of Linlithgow cemetery.

Nicola said: “It’s about giving families some comfort.Losing a baby or a child is not the same as losing a parent or grandparent. There’s an inevitability about that type of death.

“But no parent expects to have to bury a child. Losing a child doesn’t follow a natural pattern and the grief process is different too.

“My task is about providing lifelong support because the grief of losing a baby or child is just that – lifelong. The pain never goes away.

“I’m pleased to know that the bench will be there long after I’ve gone. It’s a reminder that Theo is never forgotten and that his death has helped so many others suffering at a very difficult time.”