Woman makes 'angel gowns' for babies who do not make it home from the hospital

Going through a terrific loss can leave someone feeling directionless and empty, but it takes a special kind of person to go through that and decide to help others who have suffered similar experiences.

Rosalind Ang, founder of Angel Gowns, is one of those people.

The 42-year-old lost her baby daughter six years ago.

She had to go through the painful ordeal of finding an outfit to cremate her in.

"I couldn't find anything suitable for her to wear," Rosalind told Stomp in a phone interview.

"I went shopping and realised that there is no support for women who have lost their babies."

The experience formed the start of an idea in her mind.

She had come across Angel Gowns in the US that provides parents with burial outfits for their premature babies, stillborns or infants who have died.

She wanted to start a similar group in Singapore five years ago but said she did not have the sewing experience.

However, last year, she finally started Angel Gowns with a group of five women she met in a sewing Facebook group.

"We all have different skill sets we can contribute to the group," Rosalind said.

The formal regional marketing professional helps with the organisations operation like making sure that there are enough gowns, materials and volunteers.

Determined to help other women, the group is in touch with hospitals and distributes gowns with cards and contact information so that those who have suffered losses will know about them.

They also spread awareness through their Facebook page.

"We have monthly ad-hoc meet-ups where we gather at a volunteer's home to make gowns," said Rosalind.

They now have over 100 volunteers involved in various part of the operations.

Those who are more crafty, sew gowns and crochet beanies while those who have talents in other areas help with logistics and fundraising.

Rosalind is thankful for all those who help with Angel Gowns.

"They are generous with their time, skills and effort. It is heartening to see people spend two to three hours to make one gown," she said.

She added that some of the volunteers have gone through their own losses as well.

"There are some who have lost a child recently and those who lost a baby eight to ten years ago. Volunteering provides an outlet to make gowns," she said.

The testimonials Angel Gowns has received encourages Rosalind and her group of volunteers to keep going.

"We receive testimonials from parents who have recently lost their baby and managed to dress him or her in angel gowns.

"It is touching for them to know that in their moment of grief, there are people who care and put in effort for them.

"We share this with our volunteers and it encourages us to keep doing what we're doing."

Rosalind said that she hopes for Angel Gowns to get registered soon so that they can do more.

"Currently with what we do, women want to work through their grief. We are not trained professionals and are unable to counsel them but hopefully, after getting registered we can start a grief recovery programme.

"So, we will not just be physically doing something but emotionally as well and resolving to cope together."

For Rosalind, she has found the past year with Angel Gowns extremely rewarding.

"It helped a lot," she shared.

"It is a healing journey and has been very rewarding and fulfilling, converting my grief into helping others."

Angel Gowns is constantly on the lookout for more volunteers so if you are interested in helping, check out their Facebook page for their next event.

At press time, their next gathering is on Oct 11.


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