"Every year for 70 odd years, I get a new diary at Christmas and the first date I put in is 3rd September- Laura's birthday," she shared.
A great-grandmother named Marjorie Rigby has finally discovered the resting place of her stillborn baby girl after 76 years and she expressed how it brought her a "sense of big relief." The 102-year-old told BBC North West Tonight that she was in labor for three days back in 1946 when she overheard a conversation between a consultant and the matron. Rigby revealed that she heard the matron getting told that "the baby is dead. We'll get her into the hospital." The centenarian, who hails from Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, recalled: "He just spoke to her really, rather than me."
Although Rigby knew that her daughter was dead, she still had to deliver the child. She revealed to the news outlet that she was "just taken back to her room and was left there" once she'd birthed the infant. "Not a single person came to talk to me and tell me how to get on with life," Rigby lamented.
The grieving mother was sent back home a couple of weeks later, which was standard practice back in those days. Rigby, who had served in World War II as part of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, recalled: "I just went home and carried on." For more than 70 years, she lived without knowing the whereabouts of her stillborn daughter after her traumatic time in labor as she had no knowledge about her baby's final resting place.
Rigby went on to become a mother of two more daughters but her firstborn, whom she named Laura, was never far from her mind. "Every year for 70 odd years, I get a new diary at Christmas and the first date I put in is 3rd September- Laura's birthday," she shared.
The story of a great grandmother, 102, who's finally found the grave of her stillborn baby after 76 years.— BBC North West (@BBCNWT) November 10, 2022
A turning point came earlier this year when BBC North West Tonight covered a story about Lilian Thorpe, a woman who found her stillborn son's grave after 61 years. Marjorie's daughter, Angela Rigby, saw the program and did some research to discover a charity called Brief Lives Remembered. The non-profit managed to trace Laura's grave to a cemetery in Stockport and also guided the Rigby family through the process of obtaining the stillbirth certificate which meant so much to them.
"We found out that our sister had her own little coffin and had been buried with five other babies and an adult in an unmarked plot," Angela revealed. "We told mum and we went to see the plot and just took a little bunch of flowers from the garden."
She also expressed her happiness after seeing her mother finally get a sense of closure upon standing at Laura's grave. "The look of peace on mum's face was worth everything. It was just amazing," Angela said.
According to ITV, Rigby previously made headlines when she became Dogs Trust Manchester's oldest adopter by opening her home to "Old age Pooch" Paddy the Patterdale Terrier, who is 77 years old in dog years.
A lovely story to brighten up your Monday morning ❤️— ITV Granada Reports (@GranadaReports) February 3, 2020
100-year-old Marjorie Rigby from Dukinfield has become Dogs Trust Manchester's oldest ever adopter.
She adopted 'Old Age Pooch' Paddy the Patterdale Terrier, who is 77 in dog years! 🐶
Read more: https://t.co/jNOLYOtlOV pic.twitter.com/dDGdbn5icn
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | AlexSava