A year has now passed since we lost our little
Now, more than ever before I remember him with
a smile on my face. I think of the times I spent fighting him to
keep his feet inside my stomach when he was trying to kick his way
through. I remember how ill he made me for seven months, but for
that I can forgive him, and think of it as his only chance to be
I still have days where for no reason at all,
it all comes flooding back and the tears come and don't leave for
days at a time, maybe that will always happen now, I can't say, but
I know I don't mind. To cry now and again reminds me how much I
loved him and how much I still love and miss him every day. I can't
cry every single day but I can let the times that I do remind me how
precious he was.
The weeks leading up to his one year
anniversary and his birthday were the worst I had known since we
lost him. I dreaded every minute of it, every day I could feel
myself getting more and more depressed and I just wanted to cry the
As the days drew nearer I knew that I couldn't
avoid them so started making the plans for what we would do for him
on those days. Nothing special, nothing fancy, just spend time with
him at his graveside and do what little bits we could for his grave.
As I knew that it would be, the anniversary of
his death was the worst one for me. It started the night before, in
bed, thinking of everything that was happening at that time the year
before, he was still alive then and kicking around inside of me. The
morning was the same thing, it was awful, retracing the actions of
that time the year before, the getting up after playing with Alfie's
feet sticking lumps out of my stomach, making dinner, feeling ill,
going to the hospital and at 20 past 5, the doctor telling us that
our baby had died. It was horrendous. I hated every minute of that
I cried more than I had in months, felt
wretched the whole day and wanted it so badly to be over. I just
hoped the day after wouldn't feel the same.
Much to my surprise, Alfie's birthday turned
out to be totally different to the day before. Even from the moment
I woke up, I didn't have that same sense of dread or misery or
whatever you'd call it, I felt quite elated and much happier. It was
as if some natural reaction had kicked in to making your child's
birthday the best you possibly can.
We went to collect a big box of flowers that
we had ordered him, took him those, some cards and some birthday
balloons and went to sit with him for a while. There's not much you
can do but within myself I felt much, much better than I had done
the previous day. I was happier, felt at ease and seemed to take
everything in my stride.
The day passed without a hitch, I didn't break
down and cry or feel any of the things I had done before, I felt
calm and obviously sad that we weren't spending it together but I
was ok with the fact that this was how it had to be.
Things now feel different. Since the
anniversary and birthday have passed, I feel much more settled. I
think it's the fact that I'm no longer doing the *this time last
year* things any more. There are no more one year markers, I have
passed all of those so there's nothing niggling at me every day
reminding me of the bad times.
I try, as I said, to think of Alfie now with a
smile. He's my 4th baby, always will be whether he's here or not. He
has a family here who love and miss him and that will never change.
The only difference is that I will have to wait a little longer to
spend my time looking after him. I look forward to that day and know
that it will be perfect when it comes. I hope that Alfie has made an
impact on everybody who has seen or heard of him, through his
website and his little appearance on local TV his tiny face has been
around a bit. It makes me proud to know that he has touched so many
people's hearts, hopefully this will continue.
Two Years On
This year was quite different from the first for me at least, I can
only speak for myself.
The anniversary day itself, the day we lost Alfie was still a very
emotional day, I think I will always find this day difficult but we
did get through it. We took a single rose up to the grave and spent
a little time there with him but it seems very sombre and there are
only the bad and sad things to think about.
The day after, his actual birthday was his
second birthday, bought him a balloon and set off to spend a little
birthday time with our little boy.
The time we spent there on this day seemed
totally different from the day before. Even though we were in the
same place for the same reason, the atmosphere was altogether a
lighter one. I suppose it felt lighter and happier because no matter
where your child is, you will always try and make their birthday one
that they would enjoy and celebrate the day that they came into the
We did this and did our best to create a happy
feeling about the whole day, it worked well, as the day ended I
realised that I hadn't felt down or miserable or unhappy at all that
day, I was content that maybe headway was being made within the
healing process, if I can remember him in this was all the time then
that is alright with me.
The Third Year
Well, this year's anniversary has just passed, Alfie's birthday was
yesterday as I write this and I am still putting together the pieces
and trying to work out how this year affected me.
Thursday was the 3rd anniversary of the day that Alfie died. This
for me so far has always been the worst day, I dread it's arrival
and I usually feel so much the worse for wear when it does finally
come around. Because of this, after the week's run up with both
myself and J having some really down moments in anticipation of this
day, we decided to attack it from a different angle this year.
We decided early on in the week, after
discussing how we both had been feeling that we didn't want the day
to get the better of us again. We didn't want to stand at a
graveside thinking of all the heartbreak over again and feel that
same way yet again, for another year. We decided to spend the day
doing things that reminded us of Alfie in a happier sense.
When I was pregnant, whenever we had to go to
the hospital for ante-natal appointments or anything to do with
Alfie, we used to stop off and have dinner at a pub in town on the
way home and after so many visits, we used to joke that he loved
their food and had chosen his favourite meals from there, he always
used to show his approval by kicking chunks out of my sides and ribs
while we were there anyway! This is one of the ways we decided to
remember him this week, we went on Thursday and we had his favourite
meal in his favourite place and joked about all the funny things we
used to laugh about at that particular time. It was a nice time and
felt much more peaceful and a much more relaxed way to remember him
on this day in contrast to the miserable, upsetting days we have
spent at the cemetery thinking about every single thing that
happened to us on that day.
Friday came and so did our Alfie's third
birthday. I have been feeling extra down and extra anxious about
this time this year as I have been thinking during the time coming
up to this birthday that this week would have been the week that he
would have started nursery. I should have been proudly taking him
off for his first day and watching him play with the other kids and
then upon leaving him for the first time, wondering whether he was
having a good time and if he missed me but I knew there was none of
that to come and that has had a big effect on me.
Looking back, it was a strange day, nothing
spectacular happened in the things that we did. We went and picked
him up some flowers, we didn't order anything special this year as
we have ordered him a headstone which will be coming around soon and
didn't want to leave anything special on there which would have to
be removed should the time come sooner rather than later and also,
the weather here has been absolutely freezing this last two weeks
and anything delicate would have been instantly ruined leaving it
out in these temperatures. I took with me the picture that I made
for his birthday the one I have inserted into his special days page
on this site and put that on his cross to be with him.
The weather that afternoon was really weird.
We went for the flowers and walked to the cemetery, it was really
bright and sunny, when the wind wasn't blowing the sun was really
hot and blindingly bright. We got to Alfie's grave and tidied up any
leaves and stray bits that had blown around him since we were last
there, cut up his flowers and put them in his vase, pinned on his
cross his birthday picture and sat his little sheep down with the
rest of his ornaments so that it wouldn't move easily if the weather
turned nasty on the top of the little hill where he is laid. It was
so warm, I sat on the tarmac for a while as I sorted out his
flowers, it was peaceful and nice with the sun shining down from
directly above us. After we had been there ten minutes or so the
wind really picked up and it would have been impossible to have
stayed there for too much longer as there had been a total
turnaround in the weather and it was so chillingly cold and windy
that we decided we had better leave before we turned to ice.
We walked to the cemetery exit and decided to
stop at the supermarket on our way back which was only around the
corner from the cemetery, it takes only about five minutes to walk
from Alfie's grave, out through the cemetery and over into the
supermarket itself and as we walked through the car park to the
entrance of the supermarket, big white flakes started to fall, I
wasn't sure if there was a fire nearby and ashes were floating
through the air or if it actually was snow. We spent about fifteen
minutes in the store and when we came out it was like a blizzard,
there were huge snow flakes blowing right down the car park, the
change was unbelievable. It carried on for the next twenty minutes
and then stopped, it stopped and started on and off for the next
couple of hours but each time it stopped the sun came out and
cleared away what had just fallen. At half past three it started
again and came down with a vengeance, it was hard and thick and
settled straight away and within an hour it was really thick and
crisp. I took a couple of pictures at the graveside where you can
see the gorgeous bright sun and then more after we got home and the
snow was in full effect, you can see the times on the pictures from
the camera and to look at them you wouldn't believe that it was the
same day let alone just a couple of hours difference.
I look back today and I think that a change of
approach worked for us a little bit, we didn't sit around and get
depressed, the thoughts are with you all the time, they will never
go away but in myself I feel that this year wasn't too bad for me.
It doesn't stop all the feelings that are bound to be in your head
at a time like this but it gave me a different focus, a more
positive one maybe and whatever the reasons, I am keeping my fingers
crossed that I will continue to feel this way and that the whole
thing won't sneak up and hit me in the face in a few days like these
things have a habit of doing, it was worth a try anyway, I will have
to wait and see I suppose.
Four Years Gone By
Now four years have passed. I am writing this
on the second, the anniversary of the day we lost Alfie so the days
have not passed yet for me to fully know how it's going to feel this
year. I am posting the image I have just made for his birthday just
for now and then I will come back and let you know how it felt this
Update : The time went by quite easily this
year. We made sure we did something to remember Alfie but also made
plans again, went out and about and kept ourselves busy so that we
weren't sitting dwelling on every hour that passed. This seemed to
work well. Of course there were the inevitable moments and the odd
tear here and there but on the whole, I think we managed the period
Well, this year has been very odd. For two
The first is that the way the dates have fallen this year means that
the days are happening exactly as they did on the year that it all
happened. The 2nd, the day we lost him was a Sunday and is again
and the 3rd, his birthday was the Monday, and obviously is again.
This seems to be bringing out a lot more of
the memories, more of the the, this was the time that this or that
happened, than any time in the last few years.
Also because this year, Mother's Day has
fallen on the Sunday, the anniversary of losing him.
J seemed quite worried about this when we
realised that this was going to be the case. He kept asking me
whether I was going to be alright with that. What could I do,
there's no point me stressing myself out about it in any way because
nothing can change the time, nothing can change what happened.
Worrying about it and wondering how I was going to feel wasn't going
to change anything. With this attitude in mind I decided that I
would just take everything as it came, see how I felt on the day,
nothing more than that you can actually do is there?
We didn't go out, we stayed in and J and the
kids bought takeaway food in so that I didn't have to cook or clean
as it was Mother's Day so we kinda lounged about and watched TV
together and normal weekendy stuff, the day passed ok, we talked
about the date a few times but no major upsets.
The Monday, we kept busy. We were walking
through the cemetery to visit Alfie at half past eight in the
morning after dropping the kids off at school because the weather
was so bad, through a blizzard!
We went back home to dry off, waited until lunch time and then
picked up my Mum, we were going to take her out for dinner to make
up for not doing anything with her the day before. We dropped our
pet dog off at the groomers for a wash and brush up, left her there
and then went off for our meal.
It was late afternoon when we picked the dog
up and went back home, dropping Mum off on the way. We carried on
as usual once the kids were home from school and so yet again, this
seems to be proving the best way to get through for us. If we still
think about Alfie and have our moments, visit him and make a bit of
something about his birthday but don't sit around and dwell on what
we have lost, then keep busy, we don't seem to get by too badly at
all. This will be the way we carry on now I think, it has done us
well up until now.
Until the next one rolls by, that's all I
really have to say about the whole period this time.
We love him and we miss him and we wish every day that he was here
with us but we know that this will never be, until we get to meet up
somewhere, sometime, we are happy living with the memories we have
of our short time together. We celebrate the short life he had
instead of mourning his death.
As long as we keep his memory alive inside of us, he will always be
with us, as long as we are alive.
Another odd one.
This year we decided that as everything in our
lives was different, we would try to approach the whole time
J is not working this year as he has been previously, he is now
studying at University and has had a lot of changes within himself
so wasn't sure how this year's anniversary would affect him. As
usual, the run up to the actual time was a long one. Always aware
that it is coming up and wondering how it will feel this time.
J had always taken the days off of work that
marked Alfie's anniversary and birthday. There was no way that he
would have been able to deal with the feelings brought about by
those days in the environment that he has been in for the last 6
years. The days always hit him really hard and work wasn't the
place to deal with that.
This year, J has made remarkable progress
within himself with certain issues that he had struggled with for
all of his life. He now attends University and a new freedom seems
to have taken over his personality which had always held him back in
many situations throughout his life. He knew that the days would
still be hard but thought that maybe with the things he needed to be
in Uni for on Alfie's birthday being so important to his whole
year's studies, that this may help him find the strength to make a
change and actually go out and do something different on that day.
this then also brought about feelings of guilt that he wouldn't be
doing the same as he always had and he felt like it was a mark or
respect to be, thinking about him on his special day. Even the
night before, he hadn't decided what he was going to do or how he
felt about it all, he had to wait until he woke up on that day to
see how it felt at the time.
We decided that whatever we were going to do
on those days this year, we knew that it was going to be with us.
It will always be Alfie's anniversary or Alfie's birthday no matter
what we did or where we were on those days.
We talked about things and visited Alfie a
couple of days before his anniversary. As we sat with him and spoke
about the feelings that arise this time every year, we understood
that the feelings would be there no matter whether we were at the
grave or somewhere completely different. We knew that going to the
grave on the anniversary just made those feelings of sadness
stronger as we had stopped going there on that day a couple of years
before as it became too much for everyone, brought back all of the
memories of the day that we lost him.
The question was about his birthday. We have
always tried in recent years to think of this as a happy day, a day
to celebrate the little life that he had inside of me and for the
time that we got to spend with him in the hospital after his birth.
This meant that J had to make a decision about whether he was to
break the pattern that he had built up over the years of not going
to work or Uni as it now was on that day.
All I could suggest was that he thought about
how much he would miss and how far he would get behind if he didn't
attend his lectures on that day. To think about how it would affect
him if he did go out and do something different. Would it be that
it took his mind off of all the sadness for a little while, would
that be good for him, would it be healthier than sitting around
thinking of the little boy that should have been with us right now
but wasn't? Should we be wanting to NOT think about those things on
that day? No matter how you try to look at it, there is always two
sides. It's very difficult to weigh up sense and logic and the way
that things are and your own feelings of guilt or whatever it may be
that you feel when you think about not going to the grave or marking
the day in some way out of respect.
Eventually the time came around. The Monday,
this year, was Alfie's Anniversary. he was with us all. We all had
moments of sadness and sat quietly in reflection, thinking about our
own feelings of loss from that day 6 years ago. We all helped each
other out the best way that we could when we could see that it was
needed but we carried on the day as normally as we could. I
immersed myself in catching up with things on the internet, doing
whatever needed doing round the house etc and everyone just did
their own thing the best way they could.
The morning after was a mixed one. Gemma
decided that this time, this day had hit her the hardest and decided
that it wouldn't be a good idea for her to go into college. She had
a big presentation to do and didn't think that she would get through
it feeling the way that she did so she stayed at home and saw the
day out there. J however, made a brave decision. He made a big
leap and decided that no matter where he was, it was still Alfie's
birthday and he till loved him and thought about him as much as he
ever did, if he went into Uni for the morning, nothing could ever
change that. Besides, he is 30 years old and will be expected to do
things on these days for the next 40 years, he has to start
accepting that fact at some point so why should it not be now if
everything else is different this year? Get it over and done with
for the first time ad see how it felt. He wasn't sure it was the
right thing to do but he wouldn't know until it was done.
He went in and did it and survived. I got a
bit of a lift by knowing that people had remembered and shown an
interest after all this time, usually people forget after so long
but I heard from my friends, Helen, Trisha and Bob all either
visiting the grave or showing concern and just remembering, it made
a whole lot of difference to me.
The day passed and we are all still here and
managing. The sad feelings I think will linger around for a while
yet and we will be back to visit him in the next couple of days. I
think we just have to keep in mind the advice that we give to the
kids ourselves, It doesn't matter what you do on those days, visit
the grave, go to work, go to school, or what you do, mope about, get
on with things, just get through the day the best you can! No
matter what we choose to do, Alfie will be with us all the time. He
is in our hearts and in our minds whether we consciously make an
effort to show it or mark it, he is here and is going nowhere. He
knows we are thinking of him and doing our best. he wouldn't want
us all sat in black crying over a graveside would he? He would want
us to get on and live our lives in the best and most painless way
that we can and we should do that for him as much as we should for
So, another year! Let's get trough this one
and see what happens next time x