Tag Archives: grief

We are Seven

If many more people thought like the child in this poem, the world would be just a little lighter for many bereaved parents as the acknowledgment of every child they created and not just the ones that they still have with them everyday is something many of us crave. 
I’ll forever be a mum of every child I’ve held inside me, not just the ones I can hold tight every day. xxx

We are Seven – William Wordsworth 

—A simple child,That lightly draws its breath,

And feels its life in every limb,

What should it know of death?
I met a little cottage girl:

She was eight years old, she said;

Her hair was thick with many a curl

That clustered round her head.
She had a rustic, woodland air,

And she was wildly clad:

Her eyes were fair, and very fair;

—Her beauty made me glad.
“Sisters and brothers, little maid,

How many may you be?”

“How many? Seven in all,” she said,

And wondering looked at me.
“And where are they? I pray you tell.”

She answered, “Seven are we;

And two of us at Conway dwell,

And two are gone to sea.
“Two of us in the churchyard lie,

My sister and my brother;

And, in the churchyard cottage, I

Dwell near them with my mother.”
“You say that two at Conway dwell,

And two are gone to sea,

Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell,

Sweet maid, how this may be.”
Then did the little maid reply,

“Seven boys and girls are we;

Two of us in the churchyard lie,

Beneath the churchyard tree.”
“You run about, my little maid,

Your limbs they are alive;

If two are in the churchyard laid,

Then ye are only five.”
“Their graves are green, they may be seen,”

The little maid replied,

“Twelve steps or more from my mother’s door,

And they are side by side.
“My stockings there I often knit,

My kerchief there I hem;

And there upon the ground I sit,

And sing a song to them.
“And often after sunset, sir,

When it is light and fair,

I take my little porringer,

And eat my supper there.
“The first that died was sister Jane;

In bed she moaning lay,

Till God released her of her pain;

And then she went away.
“So in the churchyard she was laid;

And, when the grass was dry,

Together round her grave we played,

My brother John and I.
“And when the ground was white with snow

And I could run and slide,

My brother John was forced to go,

And he lies by her side.”
“How many are you, then,” said I,

“If they two are in heaven?”

Quick was the little maid’s reply,

“O master! we are seven.”
“But they are dead; those two are dead!

Their spirits are in heaven!”

‘Twas throwing words away; for still

The little maid would have her will,

And said, “Nay, we are seven!”

William Wordsworth

International Bereaved Mother’s Day Sunday 7th May 2017 – send a thought to those who pop into your mind, they’ll appreciate it xxx
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Four years and counting 

As our darling daughter’s 4th anniversary draws to a close, it still feels like only yesterday when we last held her in our arms for the very last time.

TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070 to help us reach our £4,000 target in Millie’s memory today. 

You cannot imagine the immeasurable pain that you feel when you lose a child, unless you have sadly been through this yourself and for those that haven’t, we would never even want you to try and imagine.

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The hardest part of Millie’s anniversary?
Time.

Every time we look at the clock we are right back in that day and we know exactly what we were doing and who we were with. As I write this now, I know that we were about to leave the hospital after being there for over 7 hours, knowing that instead of coming home with us, our daughter was about to be taken to the mortuary, which is where the next place we saw her would be. 

TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070 to help us reach our £4,000 target in Millie’s memory today. 

At 12.30pm today, I was thinking about how I was being taken to hospital thinking that I was going to see my daughter sat up smiling at me when I walked in, how wrong was I? 

At the same time today, we were arriving at our daughter’s sleeping place with lots of lovely balloons that our lovely friend Jay had once again put together for us, some to stay at Millie’s sleeping place, the others to send to the clouds at the time that she officially passed away, so that Millie could play with them – Leo enjoyed releasing the balloons today and watching them float away.

Time. It doesn’t heal. It’s a lie. People say this to you because they aren’t sure what else to say. It doesn’t get easier and it doesn’t heal – nothing can heal this type of pain, nothing can ever heal the loss of a child. You learn to live with it. You learn to live with your new way of life. 

Our heart goes out to every parent who has ever lost a child, at whatever age.

TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070 to help us reach our £4,000 target in Millie’s memory today. 

It’s very important to us that Leo, Millie’s little brother, grows up knowing everything about her and also that we still always smile so he does too. 


This was him today playing at the park just twenty minutes before we left to visit Millie and get through the saddest time of the day for us. He smiles, we smile; we smile, he smiles. It’s the way that it should be – even on our saddest days. 

To all the parents sadly starting out on this journey, or travelling through this journey a little way behind us; it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to smile, it’s ok to scream. 

In fact. It’s okay to do exactly what you want or need to, to help you along this tragic journey.

Kiss your child good morning, kiss your child goodnight,

We could never have truly guessed what was to come with such a fright.

I never would have thought my heart could break with such a pain,

I never could see through the storms and clouds and the never ending rain.

Four years since you were taken, cruelly snatched in just a minute,

We hugged and kissed and smiled and laughed, we never could have foreseen it.

You were stolen with no warning and taken from us so fast,

I never thought I would survive, I truly thought I wouldn’t last. 

Although we grieve through everyday and miss you with our heart,

We always know, that one day we’ll no longer be apart.

Love mummy, daddy and Leo on your 4th anniversary xxxxx

TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070

To donate on Millie’s 4th anniversary.

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I wish. 

September is here. 

I’ve been dreading it all year. 

Many of you will be getting those last minute things for your little ones this weekend as they start their first day of school next week (I know some have done so already) … School bags, pencil cases, jumpers, socks, brand new shiny shoes.

You know what we got to buy today for our girl instead of her first school uniform. 

We got to buy this. 


Flowers for her sleeping place. I’m so angry right now. I hadn’t got to anger about this milestone yet, today I have. 

Today I got angry. 

Our girl should be here. Our girl should be starting school on Monday. We should be stood at those school gates. 

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I wish I got to complain about how expensive her school uniform is. I wish I got to complain about how it was hard work it is in the school holidays. I wish I got to complain about she had outgrown her school shoes again and I had to buy some more.

I wish. I wish. I wish. 

Three times and it comes true right? 

I wish. 

Love

A very upset mummy X

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Millie and Leo

Leo and I had a lovely day in the sun today whilst daddy was at home putting some wallpaper up 😀

After a great park visit and before a shopping trip to buy daddy’s birthday presents, we headed on down to visit Millie. 


This is as close as we will ever get to our children playing together (with their grandpa also – that’s the headstone at the other side of Leo). 

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The reason I’m showing this? 

I’m showing you that it’s ok.

It’s okay to take children to cemeteries and let them grow up understanding that yes they are a place of sadness, but they should also understand that they are a place full of love and not somewhere to be scared of.

Leo spent most of the time today getting me to blow bubbles and putting everything else that Millie has at her sleeping place in and out of pots (he seems to like cleaning up – that’s a good sign 😉) 

I know that some people won’t agree with us taking Leo there and treating Millie’s place as a normal place to go – and that’s fine, it’s my choice and that’s yours.

We want Leo to grow up understanding that he can talk to his big sister, she might not be able to speak back but I want it to be a place where he is comfortable and relaxed at; and we know it will be. 

That’s it really – just a short but little blog for you this evening xxx

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the sun today, we certainly have! X 

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Judgement or no judgement 

Little dude has had a real rough time this week, one day he’s happy as Larry and we start to think that he’s all better and the following day he’s sneezing, snotty, coughing and feeling generally rough. It’s awful watching him like this; I get lots of extra cuddles though. He’s spent all day leaning on me and laying his head on my legs to rest … I do love the extra mummy cuddles but I’d rather he was all better. 


Thought I’d take him out for some fresh air earlier and then to the shops to get some toddler essentials, so I put his socks on and in his travel cot for a second whilst I got sorted. He clearly didn’t want his socks on because 5 seconds later this happened…  He does make me laugh though because he throws them out and looks at me with his arms open wide and an “oh” – as though he is shocked that they aren’t on his feet anymore 😀


He’s gone up to bed now with his tickley cough and his big sleepy eyes and I can hear him wriggling around trying to get comfortable – I’ll definitely be sneaking in later and having another cuddle before we go to bed. 

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Whilst out earlier getting our toddler essentials, Leo was ok until about half way through and then he started to get very unhappy. Cue a few piercing screams, some loud shouts and a Leo that thought that if he became a contortionist he would be able to escape from the trolley. Now, what always astounds me is the dirty looks from some people just because my child might be having a little tantrum (and believe me, this was little in comparison to some of the ones that he has at home – terrible twos have definitely come early 😂).  

The thing is, children have tantrums and you cannot bow to their every demand can you? So many of you know just as much as we do, that sometimes you’ve just got to let them get on with it. I’m fully aware that one day Leo will have a full blown paddy on a shop floor somewhere or in a park full of other parents and children and I’m totally ready for it – one big reason why? Millie; because we never got to have the tantrums with her. 

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I know some parents may get a little embarrassed when their kids have tantrums and I totally understand why, but I? I can’t help but smile when Leo has them in public and laugh with people about them. I know in a few minutes, it will all be over and he’ll be trying to grab the bin bags out of the trolley to play with them or he’ll be trying to pull the sweets hanging on the sweet racks as I push the trolley past and he’ll soon be back to normal.

You see, I’m so extremely happy that I can take my son out with me (tantrums and all) and so extremely sad that I can’t my daughter out shopping with us too. This is exactly why I don’t mind Leo acting up sometimes, just like many other kids – because I never get to see Millie do it. 

So just a note to those minority people that give dirty looks to parents when their children are having a tantrum in the middle of Tesco like my little Leo today – the parent you’re eyeballing might be just like me, they might just be happy to have a child with them that can actually have a tantrum.

To all you lovely parents out there, I’m with you! Toddler tantrums and all – you’re all doing a fabulous job xxx


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I like yoghurts I do. 

I honestly don’t know where the time goes, it flies by doesn’t it? We are so busy at the moment that half the time, I don’t even know what day it is.

Leo of course fills all of our days with smiles and giggles and just keeps on growing and growing. You will be very pleased to hear that we have broken a barrier over the past ten days or so… Leo is eating proper food at home. 

I’m not sure what it was but something triggered in me a couple of weeks or so ago to get upset about Leo not eating food like other children his age and I really felt like I was really holding him back… Something had to change or I know that I would have just left it and left it (I know, I know … All at our own pace…. But I just feel it was heading a bit too close to STOP rather than keeping moving).

I am very pleased to report that Leo is now eating and thoroughly enjoying Weetabix, Cheerios, dairylea on bread, yoghurts and baby rice cakes; all things his big sister Millie loved. Of course, this is clearly not an extensive list but long enough for us right now. Leo absolutely loves his food, this is what happens when I’ve told him that it’s all gone … 

 

As you can see, not a happy chappy! 

And yes.I’m petrified.That’s never going to change.But I can live with that. 

Getting Leo eating actual food (just at home for now) is a long hard process for us and I know that we have still got a long way to go and as long as Leo is happy through the day and sleeping through the night, we know that he is getting what he needs.

Most of you who read my blog will know that last year Dan and I decided that we were going to give blood (click here to find out why) which is something we can do to help someone else out when they most need it without it costing us a penny. Well, a few weeks ago I received a message from a lady who could do something for me to help my health – if needed. I was asked if I would like to attend a Cardiac Heart screening (available for people aged between 14-35). 

As long as you sit in this age bracket, you can have a screening done through CRY who work all over the UK. You can use the link above to see if there is a session near you. 

The session I attended had been fundraised for by a lovely couple who I met on the day called Simon and Joanna who unfortunately lost their son Joseph to an undiagnosed heart condition in 2012.  You can see their story by clicking here . Simon and Joanna told me that Joseph was a very fit and young healthy young man and it was a complete shock when they lost him. I felt privileged to have attended this session that Joseph’s parents had fundraised for in his memory and privileged to meet these two wonderful parents who have done so much in their son’s memory. 

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I am very happy to be able to let you know  that my heart is very fit and healthy and I actually like the fact that I have had this very short and easy test done and that I now know that.   

 

(Me with Simon and Joanna after my screening)   

I would encourage anyone between the age bracket of 14-35 to take a look at the CRY website and think about attending a session. I was told that after the day had ended 4 people out of just over 100 that had actually attended the same session that I had been to had actually been referred on to specialists following their screenings! So it is worth going if you fit in the age bracket and have a session near you.

Little man wasn’t very well last week, full of a cold, a river running from his nose that could have filled the local swimming pool and eyes that looked so puffy and tired. It’s awful isn’t it when your little one is full of a cold and all they can do is feel sorry for themselves, obviously I don’t like my little man being ill but I did enjoy all the extra cuddles that he wanted. His cold made us miss Messy Monkeys which we (I) were gutted about but he was back on top form by this Wednesday and really enjoyed the St.Patrick’s themed day, he came home rather green and I was still wiping orange paint out of his ears later that evening!

Dan has had a bad week this week. He won’t mind me saying that. He’s gotten emotional over certain things on the tv and we haven’t been able to watch them and he’s just generally very low at the moment and it’s really hard to see the man that you love like that and there’s absolutely nothing that you can do to help him. I’m not sure what it is at the moment but we both aren’t quite right and we are both having low days where things just don’t feel good. We’ve been here before though and we know that we’ll see it through, we always do. We are having a bit of time off work over Easter and it couldn’t come quick enough for us, we need to just stop every now and again and recharge and luckily we can always tell when we need to.  We aren’t going away when we have the time off, it’s just to chill out and be a family at home with no stress. Probably what we both need right now. xxx

Update from Leo: 

Mummy took me for a walk the other day because it was sunny and daddy had gone out for a verrrryyyy long run because he’s in training for that long London run, what was it called again? 

Well, we came home and he was in MY BATH. I couldn’t believe it, he was in there with all my bubbles and there I was just stood at the side of the bath with mummy! Well I’m not sure what was going on but I’m certainly not used to seeing daddy in the bath covered in my bubbles. Actually, why doesn’t he smell funny if he doesn’t have baths like me?

He told mummy that he was broken after his 18 mile run. I don’t know how far that it is, but it must be a long way if it broke him, does that mean that he is broken like when I broke my toy the other week? 

Love Leo xxx

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All the way to the other side of the world and back 

Kiwi’s don’t exist … That is the theory I came back with after leaving New Zealand (and of course, yes I know they actually do exist … But whenever I tried to see one it was always dark and I never actually got to see one apart from the one in the photo below) 😀 

  

So how did we end up travelling close to 12,000 miles to the other side of the world and why did we go? It wasn’t a holiday … Far from it … To me it was self-help break, a trip to find out who we had turned in to and to find out how strong we were without realising. It was a trip to find out what our future may or may not hold for us and a chance for Dan and I to see whether our marriage was capable of lasting through our grief. It was the trip of a lifetime … Or was it? Not really, we would rather have not been going under the circumstances that we were… A trip of a lifetime is something that you planned for, well; forever. A trip that you’ve made a list for of all the things that you can’t wait to see and discover that you never thought you would get to see.. Our trip wasn’t like that, it wasn’t a lifetime of planning that got us there, what got us there was losing our precious baby girl and the generosity of each and every one of you guys that donated your pennies towards getting us out there to New Zealand to meet a very special family, a very special family that have a very special little boy called Kory. Click here for media article 
This is Kory in the photo below.

 A few years ago, a follower of Millie’s Trust on Facebook put me in touch with a very lovely lady called Alison in New Zealand who unfortunately had lost her son a few years previously when eating a piece of apple in a nursery. We got chatting and Alison began to help me out with my emotions and feelings of guilt and then I talked about our communication online and thousands of you decided to get together and raise enough money to send Dan and I to meet Alison and her beautiful family on the other side of the world, which was absolutely amazing of you and we are forever thankful. It was unbelievable that just 5 months after we first spoke, Dan and I were on one of many aeroplanes on our journey to New Zealand to not only meet but to stay with these wonderful, well, the description for them then I suppose, were strangers – but they soon became something very different, they became our friends.

I struggled in particular after losing Mills and I needed someone to talk to, someone who had been through this – someone who could tell me what to expect. Alison became that person and her help whilst I was out there in New Zealand is one of the reasons why Leo is here today, Alison and Carl went on to have another gorgeous little boy, Charlie after they lost Kory and seeing them with him, made me be able to see our possible future for the first time in a long time.

 
The First time we all met in Auckland.

There is so much more to tell you about our visit to New Zealand and one day, I’ll tell it you all…I promise. Anyway, where am I going with this blog? 

Well, it’s been two years! How fast that has gone. It’s been 2 whole years since we rocked up in an orange camper van at Alison’s house and spent 10 days with this wonderful family who literally helped us to change our future.

 

One day (hopefully soon and not in 10 years time) we are hoping to get back out there and introduce Leo to these amazing people, to introduce him to another little rainbow baby called Charlie that came out of a terrible storm. We want to make more memories there with Leo and take hundreds more photos there that we are smiling on; except this time the smiles will be genuine and not show as much torment and anguish as the set we currently have. On many of the photos from this trip, we can see the hurt, pain, tiredness and stress in or eyes and I wish so much that I couldn’t see that, but one day, we’ll have some new ones and the smiles will be happy smiles. 

 
We might have had to travel over 11,000 miles to see our future but I am so glad that we did. Not only did it encourage us to have Leo but we met this amazing family who we will always be close to and I’m pretty sure Millie and Kory are playing hide and seek together in the clouds and watching down on us together, some times people are brought together for a reason, our two families clearly have … It’s a real shame that we are 11,000 miles apart but for now we have technology to keep us talking. 

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Kory’s parents set up Kory’s Trust in New Zealand – to see what they do, click here