Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, has launched a campaign urging the public to break the silence around baby loss, leading with a poignant animated film exploring the daily life of a bereaved parent.
The 90-second short follows a grieving mother navigating life after the loss of her child. Illustrated alongside her partner in black and white, she gets up in the morning, walks to the office and carries on with her work – but is largely ignored by her friends and colleagues who can’t find the words to express their sympathy.
On her lunch break she sits alone scrolling through her phone, however struggles with the constant stream of baby photos posted to her social media feed by her friends.
At the end of the film, a supportive colleague simply offers her a tea and says “I’m so sorry”. This small gesture is enough to turn her world from monochrome to colour, symbolising the power of human interaction when it comes to grief.
The overarching campaign is dubbed ‘Finding the Words’ and is rooted in Sands’ latest webpages, which offer advice on how to talk to and support someone whose baby has died. They also feature information for employers who are supporting a bereaved parent of their return to work.
“We created our 'Finding the Words' campaign because we want everyone to know how to start a conversation with anyone whose baby has died, however long ago,” said Sands’ chief executive, Dr Clea Harmer. “Our campaign video is a simple yet heart-breaking evocation of the isolation many parents tell us they are faced with after the death of their baby.
“Death is not an easy subject and when a baby dies it is even harder to talk about. But finding the right words at the right time can really help to support bereaved parents and families when they need it most.”
The campaign is running throughout June and will be promoted across social media via the hashtags #FindingTheWords and #15babies a day. The latter is in reference to the number of babies who die in the UK before, during or shortly after they are born.