We believe the love of a mother knows no limitations. The moment a woman finds out she is pregnant, she takes care of herself by eating healthy, staying away from stress, exercising, and taking prenatal vitamins, all to ensure a healthy baby is born. Still, through no fault of their own, some expectant parents face the devastating outcome of a stillborn.
The loss of that child is real and may never be 100 per cent overcome and accepted by the mother and father. In Oxford, England, residents were left shocked and baffled when a stillborn was discovered by walkers on the path between University Parks and Marston.
The city of Oxford was emotional and struck with grief at the discovery. The body was found in February 2016. The police held off on burying the baby, hoping the mother or a family member would step forward. To this day, no one has claimed her.
Raihana, whose Arabic translation means "Heaven’s Flower" seems like a perfect name for the child, who touched the hearts and souls of hundreds of people. Holmes appealed to the public several times asking for help locating the family, even breaking down during one of the news conference.
"Having two children myself I know how hard it is to choose the name for your child and in these circumstances I think it is more important, this is the only memorial there is going to be," said Holmes. The funeral service was conducted by the Oxfordshire City Council and Thames Valley Police. Holmes worried no one would show up to the tiny girl's burial. Instead, hundreds of people from across the United Kingdom showed up to pay their respects, throwing rose petals and rosemary springs to the ground. A white rose was laid on top of the coffin and a sign was placed near her tiny grave which read, "Baby Rihanna, Born asleep February 2016."
People left stuffed toys, flowers, and notes of remembrance for the deceased baby, despite never having met her. Holmes said "the little girl we are saying goodbye to today remains unknown. We can’t say if her mother had any personal religion. We have our humanity in common, knowing it is what brings us together today. This little girl is one of our own and one of our community."
The determined officer says he will leave no stone unturned in finding the mother and shared at the graveside that "no matter how small the lead, we will follow it up. We will keep on trying to find your mother. That is my promise to you."