About a place of tranquillity and remembrance of ‘the children of silence’
Vaikuse laste rahupaik – a place of tranquillity and remembrance of ‘the children of silence’.
Risti churchyard, in Padise parish in Estonia, holds a memorial place for ‘the children of silence’. It is a place for the parents and their families who have been affected by the death of a baby through stillbirth or newborn death.
This memorial offers a peaceful place also for those grieving a baby lost in the earlier stages of pregnancy, through miscarriage. Whilst it is a tranquil place for the bereaved families to grieve the babies who were too little to have their own final resting place, it also holds a special spot to lay the baby’s ashes to rest. Wishing to do so, the local pastor should be contacted for further arrangements (see for the contact details).
Some might ask whether such a burial place in Risti churchyard is really needed – couldn’t the babies be buried and have their final rest in their parents’ family graves? They certainly can. The memorial is solely intended for those families who feel the need for it – for young parents who do not have their own family grave; for those who find it hard to leave their precious baby they were unable to fondle to a seemingly cold and bleak graveyard, and when dealing with their own death seems still ages away. According to crisis counselors there are quite a number of families facing the tragedy in these exact conditions.
The initiative to establish a tranquil place where parents can remember their baby in peace came from one such family who found it to be helpful to cope with their loss when they were visiting an analogous memorial place in Riga, Latvia. They felt that the families in Estonia who have been affected by such tragedy should also been given the opportunity to find consolation in a peaceful memorial site in Estonia. Similar memorial places in other countries (such as Latvia, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc.) have shown to provide the bereaved families with support and help to cope with the pain and grief; knowing that you are not alone – that there are other families who have experienced that excruciating pain of losing their baby and yet found strength to overcome the crisis – can also help to survive these tragic times.
An Estonian-wide support network is currently being organised, the memorial site in Risti being the first and central link in that support system. We work with Tallinn Pregnancy Crisis Centre and post relevant information and updates on the current webpage.