Wedding Dress to Funeral Gowns

Earlier this week I featured in an article in the Guardian talking about why I donated my wedding dress to be turned into funeral gowns for babies.

Very soon after he died Henry had to go away to another hospital for a post-mortem, when he was returned to us a week later he was wearing a hand knitted cardigan, hat and booties over the babygrow we’d dressed him in. I don’t know who knitted these clothes or who dressed him in them but at the time it meant a lot (and still does). Not only had someone taken the time to make these clothes in the first place somebody else had cared enough to carefully dress Henry in them, it reassured me that he’d been well looked after and cared for during his time away from us. It was quite soon after this I heard about the charity Cherished Gowns who make funeral clothing for babies from donated wedding dresses. We had plenty of clothes that fit Henry but often parents of babies born sooner and smaller don’t; Cherished Gowns aim to provide clothing for babies of all sizes from those born very early right up to those who die at full term so that all parents have something to dress their babies in.

I’d held onto my wedding dress with the vague idea that maybe one day a future child might want to wear it on their wedding day but after learning about Cherished Gowns I knew this was where I wanted my dress to go. I joined the waiting list to donate my dress and earlier this year sent it off to a volunteer seamstress who turned it into 11 beautiful baby gowns and tiny nappies. My children will never get to wear my dress but other children will, and other parents will have the opportunity to dress their babies with dignity in a beautiful item of clothing. I hope the gowns made from my wedding dress bring even just the smallest amount of comfort to those parents during the hardest time of their lives, like the hand knitted booties, hat and cardigan did to me. Though my wedding dress hasn’t become part of the legacy I’d intended I still consider it an important part of Henry’s legacy, one we’ll continue to build on in his name for many years to come.

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