IT was a time to say goodbye and try to let go of the hurt and pain of losing a baby.
Around 40 people gathered at Portsmouth Cathedral for a moving and emotional service.
Many families and individuals lit candles – each burning flame representing the memory of a baby who lost their life.
The ‘Saying Goodbye’ service was organised by the charity The Mariposa Trust and is aimed at families coming together to remember and mourn the loss.
It is the second time such a service has been held in Portsmouth and Saturday’s gathering was the 50th nationally held by the charity.
There were poems read out, including the words ‘You will live in my heart until the day I die’.
Attendees rang a hand bell for each time they have lost a baby.
Singer Dylan Jones sang poignant songs, including the lyrics ‘Gone Too Soon’.
The Rev Canon Peter Leonard, who led the service, spoke of ‘the unspeakable pain’ of losing a child.
The service was emotional for Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond, who had a miscarriage 25 years ago.
The mother of four said: ‘I thought it was very moving.
‘I had a terrible miscarriage.
‘I came here for other people and I found myself being supported.
‘It was a long time ago. You try to put it behind you, but actually it’s always there with you.
‘I can understand how difficult it is.’
She said talking about the loss is very important as many people can be haunted by the memories.
Sarah Curtis, 29, from Stamshaw, who also had a miscarriage, said the service was ‘lovely’.
‘It’s definitely what I needed,’ she said.
Lauren Burton, 34, from Southampton, who lost her baby boy three years ago, is one of the volunteers for the charity.
She said: ‘I think meeting other families has really helped – finding other people who have been through it.
‘People don’t talk about it.
‘When you tell people you have lost a baby they either go silent or they say have been through similar circumstances.’