Balloons, one in the shape of a teddy bear, floated up to heaven to be played with by the little angels who were being honoured at an emotional ceremony.
Tearful adults watched this symbolic release, thinking of the babies who had been lost but would never be forgotten.
Earlier in the afternoon, they had penned heart-rending messages of love to little ones who had been taken too soon and tenderly tied them to a tree. Notes included “Teegan Louise - My heartbeat is your lullaby Mummy’s Little Angel.”
Tots cuddling teddies or blowing bubbles were a poignant reminder that Sunday was a celebration to mark the launch of a baby memorial garden at Boythorpe cemetery.
It was a day when the vision of a tranquil haven of remembrance became reality for bereaved families and volunteers who raised more than £20,000 for the garden.
Donations, sponsored events and concerts over the past 18 months helped members of Chesterfield Sands (stillborn and neonatal death) charity and staff from the borough council’s bereavement services achieve their goal.
Opening the garden, Nicky Whelan, chair of Chesterfield Sands, said: “We wanted to create a beautiful place where we could bring all our babies together and a place where families could come, sit and reflect on their loss and remember their babies in beautiful, peaceful surroundings.”
Councillor Sarah Hollingworth, the borough council’s assistant executive member for environment, said that in June last year a similar garden at Chesterfield crematorium had been opened. “We know that that garden has been used to the comfort of many families in the past year,” she added.
A memorial topped by a teddy bear was unveiled as the centrepiece of the new garden at Boythorpe. Women wiped away tears as they looked at the memorial while sitting on benches featuring a teddy carved into the woodwork.
Among those visiting nearby plots was Jade Croves, 19, who lost her baby in the womb at seven weeks. Placing yellow flowers on baby Adlington’s grave, she said of the garden: “It is a nice and quiet place.” Her mum Lisa, of Old Whittington, added: “It is a lovely garden.”
For more information on Chesterfield Sands, visit the website: www.chesterfieldsands.co.uk or the Facebook page: wwww.facebook.com/chesterfieldsands