When the Carter family suffered an unimaginable tragedy they decided to channel their grief into creating a magical Christmas display that could help others survive what they almost didn’t.
Bonnie and Steve Carter, of Canberra, have lost two daughters, Grace in 2016 and Matilda in 2017 - both babies were stillborn.
“We were completely broken,” she wrote in a piece for local publication Her Canberra.
The tragic experience had the couple asking how others survived such heartbreak.
“I could not fathom how those mothers and fathers survived such earth-shattering moments,” Mrs Carter said.
The couple have dived head first into giving back, participating in raising awareness and funds for causes they feel passionate about, they admit it also helps them grieve their loss.
“Since 2016, we have done everything in our power to honour our daughters Grace and Matilda, all the while doing proactive things in the community to help us survive our own grief,” Mrs Carter said.
The couple have created care packages for other couples experiencing child loss, raised funds for Canberra Hospital’s Fetal Medicine Unit and spoken at Parliament House before the Senate Inquiry into Stillbirth Research and Education.
This year, the couple decided to go all out for the festive season and they have lit up the hearts of their neighbours and put smiles on the faces of everyone who visits their home.
“Our very special Christmas Lights display is in memory of our precious daughters Grace and Matilda,” Mrs Carter wrote on a local Facebook page, along with a video of the colourful display they have created in the front yard of their Canberra home.
The couple invited locals to come and visit the colourful display and donate generously to Lifeline Canberra.
“We have our Lifeline Canberra Donation Station ready to go, so pop by Wearing Street in Higgins this weekend and donate to our wonderful local charity! We look forward to meeting you,” Mrs Carter wrote.
“That’s beautiful,” one person commented.
“I will definitely bring my kids to visit and make donation. Thank you for all you are doing to make Christmas special,” another person said.
The Carter family have faced further challenges, including two miscarriages but will continue to work through their grief by giving back.
Although the pain they have felt is still “very real”, the Carter family hope that by sharing their story, they can inspire others to keep moving forward after heartbreak.
Donations to Lifeline Canberra can be made online here.
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