Elijah suffered massive brain damage when he was born three months prematurely on March 27, 2013
Image: DAILY MIRROR)
When Jenny Halse’s son Elijah died just 37 days after he was born, she and her family went camping on a cliff top and found solace in nature.
Five years later, Jenny and husband James, 44, inherited an oil painting that would remind them of that time and become a link to the baby they lost.
The seascape from the 1800s shows a boat in choppy water, and Jenny, 44, said: “We felt like it really related to Elijah and how we expressed our experience of grief. Grief is not calm, it’s dark and stormy.”
The painting, which had belonged to James’s grandmother, was mouldy and water damaged, but they took it to The Repair Shop, where is was lovingly restored by Lucia Scalisi.
The emotional moment she and James got their picture back is shown on tonight’s episode of the BBC One show.
© Ben Rector)
Jenny, from Sheffield, said: “We were absolutely blown away. The painting was just as familiar and as lovely to us, but tenfold because we could now put it on the wall and get lost in it.”
Elijah suffered massive brain damage when he was born three months prematurely on March 27, 2013.
After he died, Jenny took sons Jacob, now 14, and Amos, 11, camping on the Pembrokeshire coast.
She said: “We stayed on a cliff top where we were battered by the sea and wind. It felt very cathartic and helped me with my grief.”
They now feel the restored oil painting is a precious link to Elijah. Jenny said: “New life has been breathed into it.”
Now a team of four military personnel will set out from the Canary Islands on December 12, in a boat called Elijah’s Star, aiming to row across the Atlantic in the baby’s 37-day lifespan to raise funds for Action Medical Research.
Jenny said: “It is amazing that Elijah’s story is continuing.”
- The Repair Shop, tonight, BBC One, 8pm. This week is Baby Loss Awareness Week. See babyloss-awareness.org
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