She should have been 19.

I’m not sure how to explain today, how to find the words.

It seems wrong to say that my daughter is 19 today, when in reality she will be forever 9.

I want to celebrate what should be her special day.

I want to eat cake and sing happy birthday, but my heart is just so broken.

How can you celebrate when you cannot hug the birthday girl tight?

How can you smile when forever seems so far away?

Gosh I miss my beautiful girl, that feels like such an understatement. Every breathe I take aches for her, my arms crave to hold her again, my heart beats with a missing piece.

I torture myself wondering what she would be like now, I wonder would she still love her football players, her gothic clothes and Tinkerbell. Yet how can I really know, she has been gone nearly ten years, her sisters have changed so much, so would she?

I have no idea; do you know how hard that is to comprehend? No idea at all. I should know my daughter, I should have been given the chance to.

My heart feels on a roller coaster right now, my faith doesn’t feel like the liberation it should be. Yes, I believe I will see my daughter again but forever is still out of my reach.

Is it wrong of me to wish her back here, back into a body that struggled so much, a body that betrayed her in so many ways?

Is it selfish of me to just want one more day?

Nineteen, it would have been the last of her teenage years, yet the truth is she never got to the beginning.

Nine and a half years, a minute moment in time, not enough, never enough.

I know Livvy would be cross at me today, I know she would be giving me her evil eye and her stern look.

“Mom you know better. You know not to waste a moment, celebrate me and do it with joy. Remind my sisters how much I love them, tease my new brother who you should know I got to meet first. He may have got lost on his way, but I got him to you eventually.

Get out there Mom and enjoy the sunshine, sing at the top of your lungs and hug my Dad tight.

No sadness, no sorrow, no more”

I can actually see her in my mind conveying all this, her eyes alight with mischief.

I can actually feel her soft hand, her long fingers entwined in mine.

I can feel her, but my goodness I miss her.

I can try my darling girl,

I promise I will try,

My heart wants to fall into a million pieces,

My soul just cries out in missing.

I don’t know what or how I will be today, maybe there will be moments of joy wrapped in the ribbon of sorrow.

I can try but I’m sorry Livvy I cannot promise, I just miss you too much.

Happy heavenly 19th Olivia,

Happy birthday Livvy xxxxx

How could I have forgotten? 

Yesterday the world just didn’t make sense. My heart and my head just couldn’t stay on the same page. I screamed, I cried. I was angry, I was sad and for a while I didn’t know why. 

Why was this day so hard? 

Then I caught the date on my phone December 3rd, 

December 3rd 

As I read that number it hid home with a gigantic bang.

How could I have not realised, how could I have not remembered? 

What kind of mother am I ?

Forgetting the day I buried my daughter. 

If I close my eyes I can recall that December day. It was cold but yet the sun lite up the winter sky, warm rays dancing on the icy floor. 

Frost sparkling like a carpet of diamonds fit for a princess, my princess. 

You know It’s not in any parenting books, or  on any websites. There are no handbooks on how to bury your child.

You wander through it all in daze, making decisions you have no desire to make. The colour of the casket, the silk that lines it. What does she wear? Oh the irony of it all, does it actually really matter? 

Yet matter it did, from the brand new cardigan that Nanna travelled to fetch to the choosing of her special toys, it all mattered, it mattered desperately.

I wanted it perfect, I needed it to be perfect.

It was all I could do, all I had left to do. 

I don’t really remember the words that was spoken or even the memories we shared.

All I really remember is the weight, the weight that consumed me, my feet feeling lead lined not wanting to move. To leave, to leave my beautiful girl behind. 

I kept on at myself “she isn’t there” “she has already gone”. Yet in that casket laid my last physical connection with my daughter and everyone is telling me I have to move, I have to leave. 

I held on tight to my youngest hands as I left that chapel, scared to let her or her sisters out of my sight. Wanting to hold on tight to them and never ever let go. 

I was empty, I was lost. 

Walking through the pleasantries, shared moments, warm hugs. 

Yet nothing was ever going to be the same again. 

I would never be whole again. 

I left part of my heart behind in December 3rd 2008 and whilst the brokenness has started to heal I will also have a missing piece. 

A beautiful blond wild haired missing piece. 

My girl, my Livvy,

Forever in my heart, forever my daughter. 

Eight years 

I wasn’t sure I was going to write this year, I was thinking, wondering if I should let the day go past without remembrance. Yet I knew it would be a lie, a falsehood because pretending that this anniversary doesn’t exist doesn’t make it so. In fact the pretence builds its power giving it more control.

Eight years, eight long years of missing my beautiful daughter. 

Eight years since I held her last in my arms.

Eight years since I heard her sweet giggle.


Grief, it’s a horrific road, it often plays unfair. Sometimes it even allows you to feel like you are winning, only to sweep your feet from underneath you, cold and swift. 

Yet the truth is that grief and love, they walk hand in hand. Without one you would not get the other.

So I’ve decided today that I’m not going to hide away.

I’m going to immerse myself in all that was Olivia, 

That is Olivia.


I’m going to give myself permission to walk through the valley of pain in hope to find a place of peace.

I’m going to remember her sweet little ways, her cheeky character, her strength of spirit.

And I’m going to give thanks 

Thanks that even now in the midst of grief, I am so thankful that I got love.

I am one incredibly blessed woman that I was lucky enough to have this child call me mom. 


That I would walk a lifetime in pain for the privilege of being Olivia mom. 

That whilst nine years will never be enough they were such a gift. 

My beautiful girl I wonder if you really knew how you changed my life. How you opened my eyes into a world of innocence and honesty. How living one day with you would often seem like a lifetime. You taught me so much, you challenged me, to embrace each moment, to celebrate each breathe. 

Many can travel this life without really knowing their destination, their purpose. You young lady gave me mine, you made it crystal clear what was expected from me, I’m still hearing your instructions from heaven. 

Be kind for kindness sake
Be thankful for all things 
Stand up for what matters 
Be the voice of the voiceless 
And never ever be afraid to say yes to love. 

We are not all promised forever but knowing you are loved is a lifetime gift. 
Thank you for being one of my greatest gifts.

My beautiful daughter
My inspiring Livvy.

Until I get to hold you again, love you girlie xxx

Happy 17th Livvy xxx

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Today my daughter celebrates her 17th birthday, a birthday of pending adulthood the beginning of life on the road. Yet there will be no licence applied for or birthday hugs for me. Because my daughter is celebrating in heaven.

My heart is heavy today, the weight of missing drags upon it. 

I’m reminded of what is missed and what never got to be.

I’m trying so hard to focus on what we did and the memories we made, but 9 years will simply never be enough. 

I wonder what celebrations are like in heaven, do they have birthdays or is time and years past an earthly constraint? 

I wonder if someone has made her a cake, chocolate of course and are they singing her happy birthday again and again just to see the smile that lights up her face. Lights up your heart.

I wonder a lot, what does she look like, would her hair still curl around my finger? Does her blue eyes still sparkle with mischief? 

Sometimes I cannot breathe for missing my beautiful girl. My arms ache just to hold her again.

I often get lost in the anger, just so angry that I was robbed of my amazing girl. Bitter at the emptiness. 

But then I remember her, I remember my Livvy and her desire to live life to the max. Sometimes I wonder if she knew that she didn’t have forever because she packed so much in her days.

She loved people wholeheartedly, from her teachers to her sisters to us her parents. She has this way of making you feel like you were the only one in the room, as if you were so special to her. She made sure you knew she loved you. She didn’t need words her eyes were the windows to her soul, she looked deep inside of you, filling you with love. 

I am so grateful I got to be Livvy’s mom, I wouldn’t trade a moment, a minute. Even today in the minute of this extreme pain i know I would do it all again in a heartbeat. 

Yet today I’m allowing myself to be sad, allowing the waves of grief to wash over me. Allowing the missing to be.

But tomorrow I will move on, I will do what she wants me to do. Continuing her legacy of love. I will love on her sisters and the brothers she has sent to us to love. I will plan the Livvy’s smile events, our forthcoming tea party and those yet to be planned. I will continue on, being brave just as she was. Hoping and praying I’m making her proud.

Happy birthday my beautiful girl, how I wish you were here to celebrate with me. How I wish we could eat chocolate cake until we were both sick. How I wish, how I wish….

  
Happy 17th Livvy, may heaven be singing for you today. I love you my precious girl xxxxx

  

Simply worth it.

How do you do it?

How do you move forward?

How do you breathe again?

These are only a few of the questions I get asked often regarding grief. When people are lost in the pain, in the missing they need anything to hang on to. I know I did and at times I still do. 

Grief is a unique journey, no two people can face it the same way. Your heart is individual so your pain will be too. 

Some have to scream and rage and allow the anger to be free. Whilst others bury the heartbreak deep, hiding under layer of layer of pretence.

I don’t think there is a right way to grieve it’s about survival and that’s to be found in each of us differently.

At times I have raged against the world, screamed at God and actually hated others for surviving. While other times I have pretended, hid myself under a camouflage of “I’m ok”.

I think one of the worse grief moments I have faced was when I was told by another mum that “she wouldn’t have survived losing her child” as if the fact that I’m still here now is a disrespect to my beautiful girl. That I failed to love her enough. 

This makes me so angry as I would have only failed my beautiful daughter if I had given up. If after watching her face battle after battle to live, I chose not to. 

Grief is unique no one can understand the journey unless they are walking it. It’s like explaining a space walk whilst on the ground. You cannot fathom it, you cannot come close. 

It’s a personal journey that people have to walk on their own but hopefully not alone. 
It has its own timetable for each and everyone of us. Sometimes it’s five steps forward seven back. 

The only advice I would offer is to be kind to yourself and to be true. Don’t hide how it hurts because if you don’t allow it out it will twist up inside of you. Speak to others, share your pain with those who are walking alongside you. 

Remember those you have lost as they were. Laugh at the antics they used to pull, smile at their characters. 

I truly believe they never leave you. So talk to them, let them know what you are up to, how much you miss them. I chat to Livvy daily, remarking on what are sisters are up to or how I may strangle her dad. 

I was struggling to find the words to end this post. How do I explain my relationship with grief? How to convey how I would face this pain a million times over for Olivia. That although it hurts like crazy it is so worth it, because I got to be mom to this beautiful, brave girl. 

  

  

Then I read a post from the beautiful Ann Voskamp and this just simply says it all. 

  

I would pay the price again and again because simply she was worth it. 

Another child lost.

For the last few days we as a nation have been following the news from Edinburgh intensely. Praying and hoping that little Mikaeel Kular would be found safe and well. Yet in the early hours of yesterday morning we heard the news we had dreaded. The worst had happened the body of three year old Mikaeel has been found.

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Another child lost.

Why, how, why?

My heart is aching.

Why do we have to lose another one?

The news today is full of his mothers arrest and social media is full of anger but to be honest my heart is just full of pain.

I don’t know if his mom has committed this terrible crime and its not for me to judge. That is all down to the police and the justice system. All I do know is that another life has ended too soon.

I cannot get my head around crimes like this. I would have fought to the death for another moment with Olivia yet so many take a life so easily.

I watch my friends sit at the hospital beds of their sick children praying for miracles yet the news is full of abuse and childhood thieves.

Why?

Why are so many trying to save when others are willing to slaughter?

I’m struggling right now.

I’m missing Livvy so desperately I can barely breathe.

The news of this little boys passing is bringing it all to the forefront of my mind.

Not that it ever really disappears.

Livvy is the first thing on my mind as I wake and the last thing when I fall asleep.

Losing a child is a pain like no other.

Its a journey no one wishes to travel.

Yet

Others choice to join it.

Is the pain the same?

I don’t know how it could be.

Maybe I’m being cruel I honestly don’t know but I miss Livvy with every piece of my heart.

Can you miss the one whose life you have stole?

I’m sorry, I’m angry.

I’m thinking of every one of my friends who are grieving right now and thinking of how much they would give to hold their children again.

Where is my compassion?

I don’t know peoples stories,

I don’t know their struggles.

All I know is a child has lost his life and that whatever the reasons this is wrong.

Rest in peace Mikaeel Kular.

 

 

 

Every moment is a gift.

Dear Kate 

For a long time now I have followed your journey on Facebook the heartbreaking diagnoses of Tay-Sachs Disease for your beautiful daughter Brook has made my heart ache for you all.

You have walked this pathway with such strength I can only admire.

You desire to share every moment with Brook creating memories and making sure she knows she is loved is simply inspirational.

The photos of Brook have both blessed and broken my heart at the same time.

You are a amazing lady and I know you will not accept this but you are truly inspiring.

Your handsome son Jake has shown such courage and grace and I know you are so very proud of him. He is certainly an amazing big brother to Brook and a credit to you and the way you have raised him.

I cannot imagine what you are going through right now. I think back to the time when the hospital told us we would lose Olivia unless her seizures came under control. Even in that darkness we had hope and for a few more years we had that hope. But sometimes hope fades and for this my heart breaks.

Seeing Brook reach her third birthday was so wonderful and I actually screamed out loud when she was here for Christmas Day. My family all though I was crazy until I shared your story.

It was the sharing of this story then that made me decide to share It again here on my blog.

My husbands words of “every moment is a gift” struck straight at my heart.

You have struggled these last months but in a grace filled way that I have  respected greatly and if by sharing your story here I can help you to be able to cherish every moment you can with Brook then I’m happy to do so. I know I so wish I could do more.

 

SO…… 

Dear blog readers

I share with you the story of a beautiful little girl who has the terrible disease Tay-Sachs, who is now living on borrowed time. A little girl who is so very loved by her mommy and big brother and many many more.  Kate, is an amazing mom who wants nothing more than to spend as much time as she has with Brook.     To help Kate do this her friend has set up a giving page to raise funds to allow her take unpaid leave from work and to be by Brook’s side.

Every moment with Brook is priceless so please, please make a donation to this worthy cause. Nothing is too small honestly.

Please help me to help make every moment count for this beautiful family.

 

Dear Brook

Your are a beautiful young lady who has blessed the hearts of so many. You have shown such strength and courage. You have reminded us all of the gift of life.

I will forever hold you in my heart. xxxx

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Dear Kate 

The next days, months, years, forever are going to be hard but please know that although many miles separate us I am here for you always.

xxxxxxx

 

 

 

Never the same

So Christmas is upon us and I am going crazy with lists, shopping, concerts, carol services and so much more.

Yet deep in my soul I am aching. Aching so deep the caverns in the earths core know my name.

The missing of Olivia at times is so very overwhelming that I cannot let myself go and fall into the whole spirit of the season.

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My joy is tinged with a sadness that will not release me.

I buy presents for four children yet not for my blond haired blue eyes beauty.

I pack stockings but the one baring the name Olivia stays empty.

I’m trying to lift my head and be thankful for the season.

To remember the true reason for this celebration.

The gift of the birth of Jesus.

The hope in that stables birth.

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Hope of eternal life.

Hope I can only find in my faith.

Peace in the promise.

Missing Olivia is so hard. Even now five years on the brokenness is so very raw.

I wait for it to become easier but it won’t!

How can it be?

How can my heart ever beat to the same tune of five years past?

How can I ever be the same again?

Will Christmas ever been the same again?

Will anything be the same again?

It cannot be.

Because simply

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