A unique art project invites Donegal families to celebrate the short lives of their babies.
The Maternity Unit at Letterkenny University Hospital is organising a Snowdrop Art Workshop for families who have lost a baby before, or shortly after birth.
In collaboration with HSE Create-A-Link, families are being invited to visit the Create-A-Link art studio on the Pearse Road, Letterkenny on Thursday 16 May anytime from 11.30am to 7pm to draw a snowdrop on a canvas which will be later displayed in the stairwell of the Maternity Unit.
Peadar McDaid from the HSE Create-A-Link studio said, “It was a privilege for Create-a-Link to be asked to be part of such a worthwhile project and I thought a lot about the loss and grief that a mother and father must feel when losing a baby.
“I pondered with the idea and remembered a day when I was a child with my father. He was showing me a beautiful little white flower. As we got down on our hunkers to look at these flowers, he lifted the little head of one of them and told me how they would shoot up from the ground through snow and frost, popping its head above the surface. It would only be here for the shortest time and then it would be gone. It was this little white flower, the snowdrop, that gave us the inspiration for the artwork.
“To complete the work, we are asking parents to come to our art studio to paint a simple white snowdrop on the canvas in memory of their baby. The snowdrop symbolises the birth of their child and their passing, but also a celebration of their short life.
“At any time on Thursday 16 May between 11.30am and 7pm, parents can call into our studio and add their snowdrop. Don’t worry if you can’t paint, we will guide you and you will be given the chance to test your brush marks on a test canvas first.”
Evelyn Smith, Director of Midwifery at Letterkenny University Hospital said, “While birth of a baby is a very joyous experience for many women and their families, sadly there are times when a baby dies before or shortly after birth. In January we opened the Butterfly Room in the Maternity Unit, a room designed to meet the needs of parents at the time of loss.
“We also want to remember all the families who lost a baby in our Maternity Unit and they are invited to attend the Snowdrop Day on 16 May in the Create-A-Link workshop to be involved in this remembrance art project.”
For more information please contact Peadar McDaid or Teresa Haughey at 074 9128872 or Evelyn Smith Director of Midwifery, at 074 9125888.