Happy Birthday Baby

William baby, I miss you, I miss you so much. I wish so much that you were here, or I was there. I don’t like this, I hate this, I can’t get used to this at all. I need you so much, I need you to be here, I need to see you, I need to hold you, I need to breathe in your beautiful smell and run my fingers through your soft hair. I need to know that you are ok. I need you, my baby, here with me.

When you arrived two years ago today on my birthday, I was overcome with an emotion I had not experienced in such an empowering form as this. I loved you fiercely from the moment I knew you were coming, but when I first saw you, when I first felt your tiny weight, your warm skin on my chest. I was in love. I knew then, that I would need nothing more in my life, it was you, it was always you. I couldn’t stop looking at you, waiting for you to open those mesmerising brown eyes, to drink in your soul. You loved with your eyes from the moment they were opened. Your eyes, the key to your beautiful soul is what I miss so much. I look at your photos and I just look into your eyes, hoping, wishing, wanting to jump right into that photo. Knowing so much that those little eyes won’t talk to me again, knowing that those little eyes won’t love me like they did. Although as your mummy no-one can get closer to you than I am but it is an infinite chasm that is between us. Un-natural, relentless and peppered with hardships that neither you nor I should have to endure.

Our first cuddle xx

Our first cuddle xx

I’m sitting here looking at a photo of you lying on my bed 3 days after you were born. I can remember lying there with you, I remember tracing my fingertip round the edges of your ears, learning their shape, getting to know every millimetre of your perfect little body. I remember gently walking my finger up the inside of your tiny little fingers, knowing your senses were heightened now you were no longer being incubated in mummy’s belly. I could see you taking it all in, stretching your perfectly formed little fingers out so that our fingertips could touch. Both of us tingling with new sensations, I was learning what your touch felt like, storing those moments in my memory for me to recall, I am glad I did that. I remember so clearly the folds of your skin, I remember the indentations your finger prints made, I can draw in my mind the lovely wrinkles that made you brand new. I remember oh so well. If I close my eyes, I can touch you. I know what your touch feels like. It gives me goose bumps and sends shivers down my spine. You were mine and I loved every bit of you.

Our first birthday cuddle xx

Our first birthday cuddle xx

I remember holding you, almost comatose on milk but not quite, still hanging on, that lingering look between us, I would slowly rub your forehead just at the top of your nose, until I would stop and my finger would come to a standstill, my finger with its tiny pressure resting on your forehead, you would succumb to your milky way. I wouldn’t move my finger, wanting so much to be part of your dream, my connection with you whilst you were sleeping. I wouldn’t move until you woke. The first person you saw when you opened those sleepy eyes. How many times did you wake to see the tears streaming down mummy’s face? You knew they were happy tears, tears when mummy was overcome with emotion, never quite knowing how to cope with the love that eclipsed us.

Today as I navigate through our birthdays without you I seek desperately to find some comfort knowing that you are safely tucked up in Heaven, but it’s not right and it’s not the same. This evening I will look up to the stars knowing that you are not just one but all of them, you’re beautiful soul shining through. I’m sorry I couldn’t get to you today. I’m sorry I can’t hold you, I’m sorry that I can’t cuddle you and smother you in a million kisses. I’m just so, so sorry. Sorry I couldn’t protect you, sorry I couldn’t make you better, sorry I wasn’t holding you when you took your last sweet breath. I’m just sorry it was you and not me. I would give my life for you to have yours. I would give my life so you could take one more breath, live one last moment, cuddle you one more time. I miss you sweetheart, I’m totally lost without you my precious little boy.

Today you are turning two, and I wonder what you are doing in Heaven. I hope there are lots of toys, and you are having lots of fun, I hope you miss mummy, because mummy misses you. I hope that the birthday you are having is a happy one. I ache to hear those little words, it’s my birthday mummy, it’s your birthday mummy. I ache to hear that little word uttered by you, mummy.

Happy birthday sweetheart, I love you xxxxx

You’re one of Heaven’s angels now,
A perfect little star.
And when you shine the world can see,
How beautiful you are.

May you fly with magic wings,
On clouds so soft and white.
May your heart be joyful,
And your days be bathed in light.

And though our hearts are broken,
And your life was far too short.
We thank you, sweetest angel,
For the happiness you bought.


www.williamslegacy-auction.com

www.justgiving.com/williamoscarmead

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William’s Charity Auction

Givergy

So everyone, William’s birthday is in two days time, and as you know we are releasing some balloons for his second birthday on Saturday, as are so many of you around the world.

Yesterday evening, our online charity went live. It’s now possible to bid on the amazing items that so many generous people and businesses have donated. Here is the link:

www.williamslegacy-auction.com

The lots include the following:
– A holiday for two in Bali;
– An iPAD;
– PADI Diving course, beginner or intermediate;
– Limited edition signed book by Amanda Prowse;
– Signed England rugby shirt worn in the recent England Vs Ireland game – framed;
– Signed Everton FC shirt – framed;
– £100 Jewellery voucher for Zamsoe;
– Detailed & lifelike A4 animal portrait;
– 2 x Limited edition signed prints from Aminart;
– 3 night cottage break for 2 in the Lakes;
– 2 Night boutique escape, your choice of hotel;
– England Vs Wales 2016 VIP tickets;
– 24 Hours on a private island for 2 people;
– 2 Nights, your choice of Champneys Spa’s for 2; and
– A jewellery set by Jacy and Jool’s.

All of the proceeds will be donated directly to The UK Sepsis Trust in William’s memory. So please support us in achieving our goal of £10,000!!!

Please share the link with your friends on your social media sites. We are so grateful and thankful for your support.


 

www.justgiving.com/williamoscarmead

Happy Birthday Daddy

The Untouchable Bond

The Untouchable Bond

Dear Daddy,

Daddy, I missed you as I watched you get up early after not sleeping very well this morning. I saw you opening my curtains, I was right there with you as I always do, resting on your shoulder, hoping that I won’t just be part of your imagination but be right there, be very real. You can’t see me, but I can see you. I saw you pick up your birthday card. I watched you going out when the temperature is barely above freezing. I’m with you in your van. Bumbling along. I wish you could see me. I love going for rides in your van. I watch you dip you little biscuits in your cup of tea and wish so much that I could have one, but you always eat them all. Mummy taught me that it was good to share, save me a biscuit daddy?

You see daddy, the moments we share now are moments that we can only imagine, moments that we dream of, moments we play out in our head. Like you do, you imagine me running around and chasing after you, I imagine that too. Sometimes when you get up to walk in the kitchen, I follow you, just to see where you’re going. There’s no stair gate anymore to keep me out of danger, I follow you, as you get a drink out of the fridge, I can see the dustpan and brush I used to play with. I secretly know now that you bought an extra one so I could play with it, but now it just sits there.

I can feel it daddy, I can feel that something is missing, I know that is me. Our home is not full of laughter and smiles like it used to be. My toys aren’t littered all over the floor, the washing machine isn’t constantly on, and you always leave the house on time. Now you can put you cup down on the table, that makes me sad, and I know it makes you sad, silly little things that you couldn’t do when I was with you. You know I would have put my hand in your drink, you would have laughed, and I thought it was funny so I would do it again. All the little things that have changed since I came to heaven.

Like you miss me, I miss you daddy. There is no-one that chases me round and round the coffee table. There is no-one that follows me up the stairs, teaching me to climb. There is no-one that is as comforting as you to lift me out of my bed in the mornings. There is no-one that has the patience like you, to re-build my train track when I’ve been busy putting it back in its box for the tenth time. There’s no-one that finds it funny when I post all the ball pool balls through the stair gate to make the kitchen into a giant ball pit. There is no-one to teach me how to high-five. There is no-one that is like my daddy, there is no-one that I love more than my daddy, and although I don’t do those things anymore, it isn’t because I don’t want to, it’s because I’m busy following you around. I’m busy learning, I’m busy learning to be just like my daddy, so that when we meet again, you will be proud of me, just as I am of you. So although I’m not there, imagine me climbing on your lap and giving you the biggest cuddle of them all, because that’s what I’ll be doing. Making sure that my arms are wrapped around you on your birthday, just as they will be every day. My daddy, my hero. I love you daddy, happy birthday, see you this evening in your dreams xxx

My Hero, My Dad
If you took the warmth of the sun,
The calm of the sea.
The strength of a mountain,
The magnificence of a tree.
The wisdom of ages,
The power of Eagle’s flight.
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night.
The joy of a mountain spring,
The faith of an evening breeze.
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need.
If you combined all of these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add.
You would finally have your masterpiece complete,
And so, this is who I call….Dad

I love you daddy, love your little pickle xxxxx


http://www.justgiving.com/williamoscarmead

What is mental health?

Before William died I had no experience of the mental health care in the UK. I’d had no reason to need it personally, nor had I known anyone personally suffering with their mental health. It wasn’t even taboo, because I didn’t even afford it much thought. I would often catch the news, mental health being known as the cinderella service of the NHS. Hard to access, not enough facilities or not the right facilities. This may be true in some areas or for others experiences. But, I can say that had it not been for the care and guidance of the mental health team in Cornwall, I would not be here. They have been the scaffolding that has been wrapped around me for the last 11 months, and continue to be. When I fall I know they are there. When I’m falling and I don’t know it, they catch me.

Anyone in my position will know that time is like a punishment. Nothing you can do to stop it, always ticking by, excruciatingly slow. Initially, days passed in shock, weeks passed in disbelief and months have passed without me even knowing, carried along on the tidal wave of grief, churning me round and round in the eye of the storm, discarding me just where it wants too. In the initial few months, everyone has time, everyone touched by William, and they now have a life tinged with sadness, but albeit a life that they return too, maybe after the funeral, maybe after the inquest, maybe when I returned to work. Slowly people drift away back to their own lives, no time to sit with me anymore to go over and over things like I did back then. I still need to do that, so who do I lean on, who do I turn to when people are living their lives and I am on my merry-go-round of despair and can’t get off? I turn to those who I know will always be there, with a bucket load of time. Whether it be when I have a complete meltdown in the dairy aisle of the supermarket and the crisis team need to come and rescue me or whether it be the day before my scheduled one to one appointment and I need them now. I know I can rely on them to change my appointment.

I have full capacity. I am not mentally ill. I have a problem that they cannot fix. They cannot bring William back. I could be hospitalised because of my suicidal ideation, but knowing they could not fix me, and they would only be removing me from everything that is William would increase the intensity of those feelings. So, what do they do? One thing they haven’t done is give up. But, one thing they have done is respect me and respect my decision. I am a vulnerable, high risk adult. What does that mean?

Vulnerable Adult – A vulnerable adult is described as a person aged 18 years or over, who is in receipt of or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

High Risk Adult – Current or recent moderate / high risk of intentional self harm

So that is what I am. Am I embarrassed or ashamed to be in this category of society? No. You see just like any other debilitating illness, mental health problems are real. They don’t go away when you take medication. You can’t ‘just get over it’. You can’t make yourself want to live. You can’t make yourself eat or sleep if your body is telling you not to. You can’t stop tortuous memories of finding your son passed away in his cot. You can’t stop hearing the call handler’s voice as she talked you through CPR. You can’t ever stop the image of your child in his coffin just pop into your head. You can’t stop that fear of knowing that tomorrow will be just as bad, after all William won’t be here then either. With these flashbacks and thoughts come physical side effects. Chronic insomnia, days with no sleep, after two, three or four days you start zoning out. In a complete daze, losing hours at a time. Sometimes you imagine things to move, sometimes you think you hear something, but you are alone. It is terrifying. Sometimes the anxiety is so bad, regardless of how much medication or exercise you do, you cannot write, because the tremors control you. Sometimes I cannot stand colour, movement, noise. Why? Because I simply cannot process it. The scores of pock marks on my skin, when in an effort to control my anxiety I pick my skin. Or bite my nails. Or pull a few hairs out. Sometimes I don’t want to talk, or involve myself in the conversation. Why? Because sometimes it is such a huge struggle to even be in another person’s company, when all you want to do is be swallowed up by the gaping pit of grief.

Mental health is not a choice. It does not discriminate. No matter your colour, your religion, or where you were born. If it wants you, it will take you.

Everyone in their life at some point will have suffered a bout of depression, most people have seen or gone through trauma like a car crash, a marriage breakdown, or the loss of a parent. But life after losing a child, is an indescribable journey of survival. A life sentence.

People move on. But I am stuck, sometimes the quicksand is deeper and the struggle to fight to get out is just that, a fight. On these days, I know that if I call the mental health team, they will come with their scaffolding, they will build it up around me as high as I need it to go. They don’t just build it and leave. They wait. They listen with compassion. They cry when I cry. They don’t try to fix me, knowing that I can’t be fixed, they guide, advise, and aid. And most importantly they do not judge, they understand. They understand that mental health is not a taboo. It is very real.

I saw one particular psychiatrist for months. We had intensive EMDR sessions, followed by psychotherapy. As a doctor he wanted to fix me, make me better, but he knew, he understood, all he could do was help to make the path I am on a little easier, so maybe when I get to the end, it wouldn’t be the end.

Not many of you know but at the end of January I spent time in a secure psychiatric unit, why? Because I had tried to take my life earlier that week, I was found in time. Had I not been found, I would not be here. Several days later I knew what that feeling felt like. The desperation to be with William, it is not a means of escape, it is not me trying to escape the pain. It is about wanting to be with my son. To sit there and actively know that what you are about to do is end your life is an extremely courageous and brave step to take. Knowing there is no returning. No going back. To be at a point, where for whatever conflict is taking place in your head, people need to exit their life, is not a cowardly way out. For some it is the only way out of a lifetime of enduring pain. For some it is a means of escape, who are we to judge, that whatever is happening in their head is tolerable or not? Because I for one moment ask you to put yourself in my shoes. If you lost one of your children, what would be your oblivion?

When I was in that psychiatric unit it was very apparent that I am not mentally ill. I have heard of schizophrenia, and psychotic disorders, split personality disorders, bipolar as I am sure most of you have, you might know someone with one of these mental health conditions. But wow, those people do not need shunning, do not need bullying, those who are very poorly require the most intensive round the clock care that can only be given in a secure unit. I sat with one man. I won’t tell you his real name, but I’ll call him John. John was 35, that is what he said anyway. He shook my hand and said hi, my name is John. I politely replied, that my name was Melissa. Within 15 minutes we had repeated that very small conversation over 30 times. Did I mind? No. John told me about his job in a shop. Told me about what clothes he sold, he told me about the people he worked with, he told me where the shop was. John had been in that unit for 5 months. John didn’t have a job. John didn’t work with anyone. I don’t even know if he was 35 and his name was John. But it didn’t matter, because for those 15 minutes he was happy. Is it his fault that he has been afflicted with a terrible mental health illness? Does he deserve it? Did he ask for it? The answer to all those questions is no. But John didn’t get a choice. Schizophrenia and psychosis picked him. I was there purely for my own safety. John was there because that is where he was living.

So I ask you, when you see me walking down the middle of the high street, my eyes bloodshot from the lack of sleep, my hair not brushed because when I left the house I was too busy kissing my son’s casket goodbye to remember to brush my hair, that I am on my way to have more scaffolding put up to help me continue the fight. Without that scaffolding I wouldn’t be here. Without the mental health team I would not be here. I can’t help the way that I feel. I can’t just change the way I feel, it’s very real and all-consuming. Knowing I can make that choice tomorrow prevents me from doing it today. It has worked so far. I have a safety net. Suicide is my safety net. I don’t need judging, I don’t need fixing, I need scaffolding. If you want to judge or fix then please don’t. If you want to scaffold, build away. I do not see it as ending my life, I see it as going to continue it somewhere else with my son, for eternity.

Www.justgiving.com/Williamoscarmead

What is this feeling called?

What is this feeling called? What would you say this feeling is called, the way I felt when this photo was taken 2 weeks before William was born. I can remember having this photo taken, and I can remember the photographer reminding me to keep my eyes open, I kept closing them, because I was in my own world, a world of just me and William. A world that I felt desperately safe in, a world where I knew my little boy way safe. A world that I couldn’t wait to introduce my little boy to, but equally not wanting to share him with anyone. I needed to see his face, I needed to touch him, I needed to hold him, to know that he was real.

Every day of his life, I felt that way, totally safe, totally comfortable, encapsulated in his love, and I sincerely hope that William felt that way too.

How do I feel now? As most of you know NHS England visited us with their final draft report into William’s death recently. As well as the final Serious Incident report from South Western Ambulance Service (NHS 111). I’m not prepared or ready to disclose their contents or comment on them yet. Many of you know me by now, so you will understand that I have highlighted several areas for fine tuning. But….

For the last 333 days my body, my mind and my whole being has been pushed, pulled and tested in ways that I didn’t know possible. I have fought with strength I didn’t know I had, I have forced myself through each day knowing that tomorrow I would need to continue the fight for my little boy. My whole being has been running on an inner strength I didn’t know existed, but I did, that inner strength has been there since the moment that I fell pregnant, that inner strength, that fight, that refusal to back down, that passion, is called love. That strength is William. That is what William was and still remains to be, my strength, my inner strength. Everything I live for. That is what the definition of what a parent is. That is what the definition of a child is. There are no breaks, there are no gaps, there is no contest, there is no divide or anything material or intangible that will come between the love that a mother has for her child, the love that I have for William. Simply, there is nothing that will ever impact the bond I share with William, even death. In death I love him just as I did when he graced me with his beautiful presence.

I have fought so hard, every phone call, every meeting and for each of the 237 emails I have sent, I have achieved what William deserves, recognition that his life, that his 382 days are worth just what my 10,571 days are. The last 11 months I have been carried along by this desperation to achieve recognition for William’s life by those that did not save him. I have almost accomplished this. There is relief, there is anger, there is total disbelief, and my whole body is fizzing with anxiety, pent-up anxiety that i have needed to drive me forwards, I cannot lose the grip I have at the last-minute.

In 2 weeks it will be William’s second birthday, a day that he would delight in. A day he would eat cake and spit out because it’s too sweet. A day he would stay awake all day and not cry. A day that he would grace us with that ear to ear smile, a smile that melts everyone’s heart. That smile belongs to my little boy. My. Little. Boy.

I still get through each day knowing that tomorrow doesn’t have to come if I don’t want it to, that theory has worked for the last 333 days, so I’m sticking to it. I don’t know how to be brave, but I’m not afraid of falling. The hardest feeling in the world is knowing that all of the love I have for William is now spent sharing him with the world, when all I want to do is have him with me and keep him to myself as the most precious secret, but I can’t, my love for William is ploughed into sharing him, allowing others to love him, allowing others to understand the love intertwined between him and me. I hate that this is the only way I can share him, show him off to the world, but I have no choice, it is the most unusual sense of pride, a guilty pride. I just know that every step I take is ‘one step closer’.


 

http://www.justgiving.com/williamoscarmead