Raj has shared his story for the Sands Awareness Week Finding the Words campaign.

"My name is Raj. In April 2020, me and my wife welcomed our baby boy, Riaan, into the world. Riaan very sadly and unexpectedly passed away in November 2020, aged just 7 months.

 "The words don't exist to describe the heartbreak and devastation that this loss has had on us. The weight of the grief is something that we will forever carry, as are the unavoidable triggers that we must navigate daily. 

"It is impossible to truly explain the complexities of baby loss but, for those impacted, it is so important that we have avenues and safe spaces to try and voice how we are feeling. If we don't, then we ultimately bottle everything up inside our heads to the detriment of our mental health. 

"That is why it is important for us as a society to feel confident talking about how baby loss. Yes, it is a difficult topic, but we need to break the silence, and this will only happen by encouraging and supporting open and honest conversations.


Raj and Sharan Chagger with baby Riaan

"I will talk about Riaan all day long to anyone that will listen; I don't want my baby boy to ever be forgotten and that will be the case for most, if not all, bereaved parents.

"If you know of someone that has been impacted by baby loss then my advice is this; the worst thing you can do is say nothing, by saying nothing it makes us feel like our losses are forgotten and that we can't talk to you about it if we wanted to. 

"Don't be afraid to say 'the wrong thing' - I would much rather someone attempted to talk to me about baby loss and said 'the wrong thing' than said nothing at all. At least you have tried, and I can then advise on preferred language which you can take forward. That is how we change the culture and increase confidence in baby loss conversations."

Together, we can help everyone find the words to talk about pregnancy and baby loss. 

Our Finding the Words campaign is part of our aim to break the silence around pregnancy loss and baby death.

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