Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sam: Tiny Wings

Hi my name is Sam Barlow, I am 38 years old, a teacher living in the market town of Bungay in Suffolk.

The  4th August  2012 was to be the moment in time when my life changed completely. My longed for second child, a daughter Isabella, was stillborn at 41 weeks, taken so tragically by the cord wrapped around her neck three times. Words can’t really express what this event did to my husband, my 8 year old daughter and me but somehow we are here, a year on, still standing. Of course I don’t really need to say how ‘this’ feels, what it is to live with ‘this’ every day or how you just somehow get on with life, you know, you have been here too and you understand. My heart goes out to all of you who have had to know this other life, this other you, this emptiness and shockingly overwhelming force that is grief.

Not long after losing Isabella I became involved with an online support group called Angel Mummies (www.angelmummies.co.uk) and realised that this new community I belonged to was to be my life saver, my haven and my best friends in the whole world, albeit virtual. It is so true that through grief friends become strangers and strangers become friends and so it was that I wanted to give something back, I wanted to bring a smile to a face that had forgotten how to do this, I wanted to warm a heart that at times forgets to beat.

So I set up Tiny Wings (www.facebook.com/beachnames), a Facebook page that offers bereaved parents a chance to request their baby’s name written in sand or painted stones, to somehow validate their existence and give them a keepsake to cherish. I do this for free and all I ask is that if they have money to spare they donate to one of two chosen charities that have supported me in my heart breaking journey, Aching Arms and EACH – East Anglia Children’s Hospice.

Soon I hope to be able to offer a gift service of a framed A4 or A5 photo for a small fee but again to raise money for these charities that have been so invaluable to me.

Each time I do a baby's name, I think of these precious little ones who sadly cannot be here with their family, I send a little prayer and a floaty kiss and hope that wherever they are, they are looking down and seeing their name shining out for all to see, hoping a little smile appears for them too.


  1. Sam, thank you so much for sharing your story and your reasons for setting up Angel Mummies and Tiny Wings. Such a positive thing to have done following your loss of Isabella.

    I have requested to join Angel Mummies and I am looking forward to receiving the girls' photos.

    Much love, Claire x

  2. Beautiful work Sam and thank you so much for all you've done through Tiny Wings. So sorry that you lost your angel <3