A government minister has spoken movingly after both of his newborn twin sons died in hospital.
Guy Opperman said the loss of his sons was a “horrible tragedy” – and had left him and his wife “shell-shocked.”
He wrote: “Sadly, just over a week ago we lost our twin boys
“Teddy came and went from this world quickly and quietly. He passed peacefully.
“Our younger twin, Rafe, was not born until Tuesday 23, but died later that day in NeoNatal ICU.
“Baby loss, and coping with grief, is very hard.”
He added: “Nothing we could do. Just a horrible tragedy. We emerged from hospital a week ago shell shocked.
“We have taken some time out to recover. I am back at work part time, but bear with me. We will come through this, but will always miss our boys.”
The Hexham MP and Pensions minister said cards would be welcome, but asked people not to send flowers.
He went on: “The loss of our younger twin Rafe was particularly acute. He lived and died within a long day.
“But we treasure our time with him in Neonatal ICU. We were able to tell him of all our hopes and dreams for him, and our family; but he could not make it and died in Flora’s arms.”
And he paid tribute to the NHS workers who cared for his family.
He said: “We are grateful to the NHS doctors + nurses who tried to save our boys. We are engaging with Sands, who help families coping with the grief of baby loss.
“We will try and establish a small fund to support research that will prevent other families experiencing the same pain.”
Tweeting the news, Mr Opperman included a quote from The Good Place, a US TV show depicting the afterlife.
The quote reads: “Picture a wave in the ocean. You can see it, measure its height, the way the sunlight refracts when it passes through…you know what it is. It’s a wave. And then it crashes on the shore and it’s gone. But the water is still there. The wave was just a different way for the water to be for a little while.
“That’s one conception of death for Buddhists. The wave returns to the ocean, where it came from and where it’s supposed to be.”
Mr Opperman wrote: “The Wave quote is a good description of this awful process, and an acceptance of life passing. You never regret trying to have children.
“Sometimes baby loss happens. We will never forget our boys. They will be with us always. Just sadly only in their spirit and their memory.”