Dear Grandad….

Me and my Grandad xx

Me and my Grandad xx

Today is your birthday Grandad, so I wanted to send you a very special message. I would be on Skype today, waving to you, and showing you how I’d learnt to say ‘gangan’ and wishing you a Happy Birthday. You would make me giggle and my laughter would fill your house. They don’t have Skype in heaven, I wish they did, because I miss seeing your face Grandad. I really wish I could give you a birthday cuddle and lots of kisses.

You see, I know Grandad, that you never imagined mummy would be able to have me after she had been so poorly, but I was your best surprise EVER. I was your little miracle, and I know how much you love me. I see you crying, crying because I am not there anymore. Crying because you don’t understand why life was so cruel to me, and took me away from the bestest family I could have ever wished for. There won’t be anymore cuddles or photos or new memories. But I’m so glad that mummy took me on my only holiday, on an aeroplane, to come all the way to see you in Spain. I was a really good boy and it was the best holiday ever.

You were so excited to see me, and I was really excited to see you. I got to show you what a good boy I was and you now believed mummy when she told you that I never cried. You got up early in the mornings with me and had breakfast with me everyday. You took me in the swimming pool everyday, you swished me round and round and it was so much fun and when it was too hot to go outside you would sit and watch me play with your slippers. They were much more fun than toys. Especially when you wanted to wear them and I wanted to play with them. A good game, that I always won, because I’m cute. I miss your slippers Grandad.

No-one sticks apple stickers on my forehead anymore or puts doily’s on my head like you did Grandad. You were quite pleased with yourself, mummy thought it was funny, I pretended I didn’t like it, but I did really. We made our own fun, didn’t we.

Naughty Grandad xx

Naughty Grandad xx

My new hat xx

My new hat xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandad I’m really sad that I didn’t get to make it over to spend Christmas with you, I was going to show you how clever I was at walking, how I’d learned to clap my hands and most of all how I gave the most amazing cuddles. Mummy would have let you look after me, but we both know that it would have been me looking after you. I would have been your little helper.

I really miss you Grandad, I miss us, and I miss what would have been. How special our relationship would have grown to be. You make me proud Grandad, and I tell everyone that you’re my Grandad and that I got the best. So, although I can’t be with you, I’d like to wish you a happy birthday, I miss you so so much and I love you lots and lots. Your little William xxxx

I never said I was leaving,
I never said goodbye,
I was gone before you knew it,
And only God knows why.

A million times you’ve needed me,
A million times you’ve cried,
If love alone could have saved me,

I never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still,
In my heart I hold a place,
That only you Grandad, can fill.

 

 

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Life hurts more than death

“Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live”

In the end, it’s going to be ok, if it’s not ok, it’s not the end. That’s the problem. There is no end. There is no proverbial light at the end of said tunnel. It is just a tunnel of darkness. A tunnel which feels like the inside of my head, my voice bouncing off the walls with no-where to go. The words slowly echoing into silence. And the silence, the silence is deafening.

I have never been a defeatist person, I’ve always tried to achieve goals that are perhaps slightly out of reach. A challenge. William was my biggest achievement, but he wasn’t a challenge. He taught me that in life the biggest achievement is to love and be loved. The type of love you experience only when you have a child. The bond that love creates when this tiny perfectly formed being is passed to you, your own child, your own flesh and blood, grown within your body and part of you is so magical, it eclipses any other feeling of euphoria you think you have experienced. William was a miracle, my miracle.

My first cuddle xx

My first cuddle xx

Every new day brings with it a different emotion. I get out of bed already angry, angry because William should be here, angry at the situation, angry because there is nothing I can do about it or feelings of guilt, gnawing away at me, why should I be here when Grumpus isn’t? Feeling totally hopeless and knowing that nothing will make me feel better, knowing that tomorrow won’t feel any different. If you asked me if I really wanted to feel differently, my answer is no. I don’t want to feel ‘better’, I want to be free. I write to purge the thoughts and feelings in my mind, but it does not free me from this fog.

William taught me love that exists without saying I love you, love that is felt not heard, love that silences any room with one glance, love that is so tangible it bought me to my knees. Then death walked right in and stole him from my arms. Grief instead brought me to my knees as I stood in front of his tiny white coffin; but love made me get back up, love forced me to stand tall, death has no place to come between me and my boy. When I carefully picked William up, sat down and cradled him in my arms, I was home, where I belonged, where William belonged. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that could possibly pierce that love, not even death.

No matter the depth of grief the love doesn’t go away, it doesn’t disappear or fade, it continues to grow, just as it would if he were in my arms. Death is not a barrier, it is an obstacle but death no longer frightens me, I do not fear it, living without William scares me. When my wings take flight, I will overcome grief, I will rise above the relentless sadness and pain, and I will be free. Free of this life without William. Free to be with my boy for eternity.

The reality of grief – what grief really looks like

Your last journey xx

Your last journey xx

Dear William,
28 weeks. Today is 28 weeks since your last journey. A journey mummy and daddy took with you. Mummy wouldn’t let you go on your own so she asked for a hearse that we could sit in with you. I remember sitting in your room, looking at the very spot you were last alive, and out the window I could see you coming. I shouted “William’s here”, the last time I would ever shout that, I ran down the stairs, opened the front door and watched as you were driven past. The hearse dwarfed your little coffin. Coffin’s should never be made that small. You shouldn’t be in one. Life is so unfair.

Your coffin surrounded by beautiful flowers spelling out your name, and your nickname ‘Grumpus’. There was a little pillow too, and sat proudly with you on your coffin was a little reindeer made out of flowers to match your favourite teddy and two red roses from mummy and daddy. To see your name in flowers took the breath right out of me as I stood there. Your name should be in lights, not flowers. It didn’t look right, how could it ever look right? You were so small. As I stood there trying to take it all in, I couldn’t, that was you in there. My baby, My beautiful little William, gone, never to walk up the steps to the front door, never to learn how to ride a bike on this very road where I was stood. At this moment I had no recollection of anything else around me, only total awareness of you. Knowing I couldn’t touch you ever again, knowing you were in that little coffin and I couldn’t see you.

Grumpus xx

Grumpus xx

Mummy rested her hand on your coffin for the longest journey of our lives. The hand that fed you, played with your hair and soothed you when you were upset. Now all I could do was place my hand on your coffin. People were looking as we drove past. I could see the injustice written all over their faces, Their mouths forming an ‘O’ as their jaws dropped, shocked, no coffin should ever be that small, 30 inches to be exact. As we pulled up mummy climbed out and stood there, preparing to carry you for the last time. With daddy and your two nanny’s I carried you sweetheart, I carried you in to your own funeral to the words of Gordon Garner’s, Heaven Got Another Angel the words resonating through my body.

Mummy had asked for two seats to be placed right next to you, so that you knew we were right there, right there with you for as long as we possibly could be. Mummy placed your little photo by your coffin so I could see you, but I knew, I knew that I was inches away from you. Some of the thousands of photo’s we have of you played on a big screen. Everyone knew what a happy, gorgeous little boy you were. It was heartbreaking sitting there knowing that there would be no more moments in time making memories like in those photos. Mummy would never get to see you running, mummy would never get to take your hand and help you cross the road, mummy would never hear you speak, she would never hear the 4 words she had yearned to hear from the moment she knew you were coming, “Mummy, I love you”.

Mummy read two poems and a letter that she had written for you. As I stood there the only presence I could feel was you, only you were in that room. I have no idea how I managed to do that, but I had to, I had to do it for you. Mummy would do anything for you, it was the very least I could do, to be able to stand there and make sure you knew how much we love you. Did you hear mummy reading, I hope so, it was for you.

And then it was time for the curtains to close for the last time. This was it. Mummy would never see you again. You were gone. Mummy was gone. In that moment I knew, I knew that the life had been completely sucked out of me. My heart and soul is with you Grumpus, I know it is in safe hands xxxx

I wanted to write this post because it is impossible for you unless you have had to say goodbye to your child to understand the depth of pain I am experiencing. After you had been through this, held your precious child in your arms, begging him to wake up. Would you be able to live with it, because I sure as hell can’t. It’s easy to say ‘God only takes the best’ but you wouldnt say this if he’d picked yours. I am falling apart, desperately struggling, treading water to stay afloat, waiting for the right time for mummy to spread her wings and fly away.

I have pondered over whether to show you this photo, this was taken a couple of hours after William had passed away, but he is still my little boy and this is part of our lives. So you see, please after 216 days, if you had been through this, held your little boy and fought for breath as you cried your life away you would understand that I feel no better today than I did when this photo was taken. In fact I feel worse, this is a life sentence. My life sentence. This is what grief really looks like.

The true face of grief xx

The true face of grief xx

You can’t hug memories

Impenetrable love xx

Impenetrable love xx

My dearest boy, how I miss you. It doesn’t get easier does it, does it get easier where you are? Those sentiments have proven themselves to be empty. Time does not heal, but has become my worst enemy, deepening the heartache and intensifying the pain. Every morning do you watch me as I raise my head, weary from another night of no sleep, my eyes hurt, another night of crying, crying because I just want to hold you my sweetheart. To run my fingers through your silky soft hair, to wiggle your little toes one by one, to watch the edges of your lips curl as you break into a gorgeous smile, and hear your sweet laughter as you revel in delight. What I would do to hold you again.

When you graced this Earth the Sun was brighter, the flowers blossomed longer, and mummy’s life was filled with a love that I never knew existed, it was heaven on Earth. You were heaven on earth. Now even on days that seem warm, bright and sunny there is always a darkness slowly seeping through. The depth of depression is debilitating, the anxiety exhausting, the intensity of love manifests in to what seems like a ball of fire in my chest, with no outlet, my heart aches. Now as I look up into the night sky, seeking to escape from a world with no light, the stars are brighter than they’ve ever been, because I know that you live among the stars.

As time has passed the reality of what life without you is relentless torture. There is no getting used to it, I can’t get used to it and nor do I want to. I have come to realise that my grief for you is mine alone, no one but me feels it, no one but me owns it and that’s because no one but me will ever love you more. All mummy wants to do is climb into your little cot, lay down where you last rested your head for the last time, lay my cheek where your soft little cheek touched the mattress for your last sleep, close my eyes and take my last breath, just as you did, to take the same journey that you traveled on. To open my eyes and to be with you again.

At the end of mummy’s bed, the jumper still hangs there, the jumper that I last cuddled you in, the jumper that you last snuggled into when you were so poorly. Mummy can’t wash it. Your sweet strawberry smell lingers, a couple of strands of your wispy hair still cling on, knowing you touched this jumper, knowing you cuddled your mummy, knowing you sought comfort from me in this very jumper. Knowing that this is the jumper I was wearing when I carried you to bed for the last time. It’s funny isn’t it Grumpus, how one jumper can be so significant. Sometimes I sit and look at it, like it’s a precious treasure, but you see, to me it is. This was what mummy was wearing the last time you ever hugged your mummy in. A part of the most prominent memory I will ever have of you, not a happy one, knowing now how poorly you were, but to me, it is the last time I ever hugged you and that is the most precious memory I will ever have; and no matter how many people say hold on tight to my wonderful memories of you, that’s all they are, memories, that’s all I have left, and I can’t hug memories.

Hand prints on my heart

Painting pickle xx

Painting pickle xx

After checking the paint was non-toxic, covering the floor in a plastic mat, and covering the table in brown paper, we undressed you to your nappy and put you in a t-shirt bib. We were all set. Ready to make a mess, ready to make more memories, ready to make prints of your ever-growing hands, they were slowly losing their chubbiness, and mummy wanted to capture every change as you grew from a baby to a toddler. After 30 minutes of painting and 29 minutes of wrestling with you to stop eating the sponge dabber, we finally got a lovely clear hand print. It was time to pop you in the shower, after covering yourself in little hand prints, you had done an excellent job of turning yourself into a smurf. Mummy still has this little hand print on the fridge, a constant reminder of the fun we had in the short time we were blessed with you. Little did mummy know, your next hand print would be taken after you had died.

Your hand I remember placing on mummy’s face as I held you at the hospital, to feel your touch, and to feel your skin on mine. I can still feel your little hand on my face now, and your not so chubby fingers entwined with mine. I held your hand for so long that by the time I couldn’t hold you any more, your hands were warm. I wanted so much to make you warm, to pull you so close to me that somehow my breath would warm you up, but it wouldn’t. Instead I cuddled you tight, your head resting in my neck. Mummy’s tears making their way down her face landing on yours, some would land on your eyes and it would look like you were crying. Mummy had enough tears for the both of us.

When I was pregnant I would often think how amazing mother nature was. I would marvel at your perfect toes, perfect ears, perfect everything. I tried for so long to understand how all of your little features had grown and formed exactly as they should be, how, by eating food full of nutrients and sleeping well it would in turn look after you, keeping you healthy, my body nurturing you and keeping you alive. How it could even be possible that there were two hearts beating in mummy’s body. Now your little heart wasn’t beating any more, and as I laid there, with your hand on my face and my tears falling down your cheeks, it felt like mine had stopped too.

As I lay there with you wrapped around me, I could not have felt more at peace with you in my arms. That’s where you belong, in my arms, I knew these moments were sacred. I knew these moments were limited and I knew my time holding you was running out. Nothing could prepare me for the moment that I had to place you in your coffin for the last time. It felt like I was closing the lid on my life, and the truth is, I was, you were my life and you still are now. That’s when the fear set in, knowing that I would never see you again, never kiss you again, never hear you again and never be able to hold you again. I had been the first person to hold you when you were born, I was the last person to hold you before you died, and I was the last person to hold you before the little lid was shut for the last time, the light being diminished from my life forever.