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Saving lives, supporting families

Baby Loss Awareness Week 2018

12th October 2018

No one can imagine the pain of losing a baby, but we have a team of befrienders here at Tamba who can help families going through this difficult and traumatic time.

Tamba’s Bereavement Support Group (BSG) has helped hundreds of families since it was established in 1982 in response to requests from parents who had lost a twin.

All our 27 befrienders are volunteers and have suffered a loss from a multiple birth either during pregnancy, at birth or at any stage after the birth. Many will be been befriended themselves and then become a befriendee.

Befrienders do not offer counselling or give out advice. They do listen to families enabling them to speak freely and without judgement on what they are feeling at any given time.

Support is offered via emails, over the phone, through texts or WhatsApp and we have an online facility to provide virtual peer-to-peer support.

The community has a closed group on Facebook of 518 members where parents of multiples can share their stories and console each other in their losses. Some have lost one multiple while their twin or triplets survived. Others have lost all their multiples.

Families who come to us often need different levels of support and we are on hand to enable that to happen. For some, it’s just a few phone calls, for others it’s long-term support.

During Baby Loss Awareness Week last year, we launched our Bereavement Support Group Booklet which has been downloaded from our website on average 63 times a month.     

Sharon Darke is Tamba’s Bereavement Group Coordinator. She lost her identical twin boys Charlie and Joshua just days after they were born prematurely at 26 weeks on September 13, 1999.

Sharon has befriended so many families over the years and has recently been supporting Amy, who lost one of her twins at eight weeks.

Amy said: “I felt so alone when we found out that we had lost one of our twins. But Tamba was there to help me during an emotionally charged and physically complicated pregnancy and they continue to support me now that my surviving twin has arrived.

“Whilst it began because of very sad reasons, the friendship that I have grown with Sharon is something that I am so very thankful for.

“She has been such a great source of support and has made me feel understood. I no longer feel alone.

“We talk often, sometimes about “twin things” but also about other things going on in both of our lives but it always feels like catching up with an old friend.’

Another befriendee Claire said: “Tamba has given me advice on funeral arrangements, readings to use and ideas from others. I received information on ideas for thinking about your loved ones’ ashes and the ways you can make personal belongings and memories for them.

“The biggest thing though for me is meeting someone on here who went through exactly the same situation to us.

“If I hadn’t seen her post I would have never got in touch with her. We meet every few weeks now and find comfort in talking through things with each other and how we are dealing with surviving twins and the loss of one. I hope we can help each other through the good and bad days.”

Richard became a befriender after confronting years of delayed grief for his twin sons.

“There is no right way to grieve, but I know from experience that some ways may be better than others. Putting on a brave face, feeling the need to be strong can be exhausting and damaging and unintentionally isolate us from the ones that need us most.”

Related blogs

Hannah and Matt's Story

Befriending Chain - spreading love and support

Bereavement Group Meet Up

18 Challenges for Charlie and Joshua

Tamba joins Bereavement Care Network



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