A musician who lost his baby daughter 13 years ago is hosting a major Ely fundraiser to support other people dealing with the grief of child bereavement.
Legendary Ely rockabilly Jacen Bruce, who’s headlining at the Minister Tavern’s Christmas Music Festival on November 27, has picked Child Bereavement UK as his chosen cause for the evening, which will include five hours of live music from local acts, including his 16-year-old daughter Lana.
Jacen and his wife Alison hope that by publicising their tragic story, they will reach out to other people who have lost children and raise awareness about child bereavement.
Their daughter Lily was stillborn on November 28, 2003, weighting in at a tiny 1lb 1oz.
Jacen told Spotted in Ely: “Losing a child in any circumstances has a deep and lasting impact. Lily was like a miniature version of our daughter Lana.
“It’s very hard to comprehend, deal and cope with losing a child. It’s a difficult kind of grief.
“No one expects their child to die before them. It is out of the natural order of things. It feels even more like something that should never have happened.”
Jacen, who has two other children, Lana and Dean, says that because there’s still a taboo regarding the issue of child bereavement, many people don’t really understand how painful it is to suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth.
“People think that you can only grieve for a child who has been born alive and one that you have got to know, if only for a short while. But parents begin their relationship with their baby long before the birth and may experience grief for babies who die before they are born or where a pregnancy is terminated because problems have been diagnosed.”
During his upcoming session at the Minster, Jacen will be performing “Sitting Right Beside Me in the Dark”, a poignant tribute to Lily.
Lana, herself an up and coming musician, will also be playing a selection of acoustic originals and pop on the night.
The “indoor busking” sessions will feature performances by nine musicians, each of whom will play a 20 minute set, including a Christmas song. Many will perform their own original tracks too.
The Christmas Music Festival takes place from 6pm on November 27 at the Minster Tavern, 1 Minster Place, Ely.
For more about Child Bereavement UK click here.