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Just For A Second

Yesterday for a few seconds, I thought that Jack was still alive and singing the exact same that he was in this photo. But …. then I woke up.

I had been dreaming that Jack was alive again, him dying had all been a nightmare and he was walking towards me singing. I was so overjoyed to see Jack and to hear his voice again, the happiness I could feel was indescribable. As Jack got closer to me, I put my arms out to cuddle him and then I realised that he wasn’t there, he really had died. I could feel the sadness overwhelm me as I was inconsolable. As I woke myself up crying, I felt like I had just lost Jack all over again. For a few seconds, I had that hope that I would see him, talk to him and cuddle him again then it was stolen from me all over again. My crying woke my husband up and I was lucky that I had him there to hold me while the tears flowed. For most of the day yesterday, I felt really sad and teary and we spoke about how long it had been since I had a dream like that.

In the first 12-18 months, I had dreams like that regularly, I would wake up shaking, sweating, crying or shouting no, stop, don’t go because I was dreaming Jack was dying. Other times, I would wake up thinking that I could hear Jack walking into my room or shouting mummy from his room. For a few seconds, I would believe that Jack was in the house and then BANG I would realise that he had died all over again. It’s like emotional and mental torture having dreams like that and those are the parts of grieving that people don’t know about.

I met my husband about 10 months after losing Jack and I remember the first time I had one of the dreams with him there. I remember the relief I felt from waking up and not being alone and having someone there to hold me as I cried. But I also remember thinking how difficult it must have been for him to witness that. Those are the parts of being in a relationship with someone who is grieving that people don’t see.

It has probably been about 9-12 months since I had a dream as traumatic as that. Thankfully those dreams are not nightly like they used to be so there is hope to for people who suffer from those dreams frequently.
Tonight, I thinking about all those who are grieving alone. I am very lucky that I have a great mum, dad and friends around me and I am now lucky that I also have Paul as my husband but I know that some people are not so lucky. Some people are on their own, grieving alone with very little support. I have great support and to the outside world, I look “fine” “better” “strong” “moved on” but nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors and that is why I am sharing this. There will be people out there suffering alone, putting that “mask” on every day and feeling so alone on their grief.

Maybe you know someone, who is grieving, send them a text, tag them in this post, give them a call, do something to let them know that you are thinking about them. Maybe to others they look “fine” “better” “strong” “moved on” but maybe they feel alone and need some support or someone to talk to. You could be that one person.

Brightest Star is here to support families who lose their son or daughter, at any age from any cause of death. We offer support meetings, one to one/couples counselling to parents/grandparents and therapeutic support to siblings at our Hulks Haven base in Glasgow. Maybe you would like some support or know someone who might, please get in touch.

We really need all of your help through raising awareness and raising funds to support families that lose their son, daughter, sibling or grandchild.

Arlene, Jack’s Mummy xx


How Much I Miss You

“There are no words that can ever say, how much I miss you everyday
As times goes by the loneliness grows, how much I miss you nobody knows
I think of you in silence, I often speak your name
But all I have are memories and you in a phot frame
Nobody knows my sorrow, nobody sees me weep...
But the love I have for you is in my heart to keep
I’ve never stopped loving you, I know I never will
Deep inside my heart, you are with me still
Heartaches in this world are many, but the death of your son or daughter is worse than any
My heart aches as I whisper low
I love you and miss you so
The things we feel so deeply are often the hardest to say
But I just can’t keep quiet anymore so I’ll tell you anyway
There is a place in my heart that no one else can fill.
I love you so much my precious child
And I always will”

Missing Jack is something has never got any easier over the last four years, if anything it’s the one part of my grief that has got harder. The longer time passes, the more the finality and reality of his death has sunk in for me. I miss everything about little thing about Jack and the life, love and relationship we had as mother and son. People who expect you to be “over it by now” “better” “fixed” “moved on” can’t possibly imagine the pain of losing a son or daughter.

Sadly, people lose their or son or daughter every day,
Sadly, thousands of families live with this many unimaginable every day,
Sadly, there is a lack of support services available to bereaved families and that is why Brightest Star was established.

Someone once told me that “Brightest Star exists to saves the lives of those left behind”
Currently we offer peer support groups and one to one support/counselling/therapy sessions to parents after the death of their son/daughter. We also offer a bereavement programme to children who lose a brother or sister and I am delighted to announce that we are now extending our one to one support/counselling sessions to grandparents.

If you are a parent or grandparent looking for support, please message or email us to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you know a parent or grandparent who has lost their son or daughter, of any age, from any cause of death then please share our details with them.

Arlene x


SAM 0363

How Lonely Grieving Is

Nobody ever warned me just how lonely grieving can be and last week, four years on, I finally realised that fact for myself. I am lonely because I don’t have Jack here anymore, I don’t have his unconditional love, his cuddles and kisses or his “I love you mummy, can we do this mummy, can you get this for me mummy”. What I would I would give anything to be together again, for the sleepless nights, for the school run, for the washing basket to be full, for all the mum things ...that people often complain about. What i would give to have those arms arounds me just one more time.

Yes, I am physically lonely but I am also emotionally lonely because nobody can walk this path of grief for me, nobody can take this emotional pain away. These are the aspects of grief that many people don’t know about and I hope by sharing my own journey of grief that I can help others.

Our culture isn’t comfortable with the subject of death, and few of us know how to cope with the pain of loss and grief, myself included. We often don’t permit or encourage the free expression of sorrow. Instead we learn to control our feelings and hide our pain so we won’t disturb other people. As a child you may have learned that grief is a taboo subject, that feelings should be buried, and that grieving should be done alone. As an adult you may equate grieving with self indulgence or self-pity. You may be too embarrassed or ashamed to let your emotions show in front of others. You may feel isolated, different and apart from everyone else, convinced that no one understands and you must grieve alone. You may be reluctant to turn to others, either because you haven’t learned to accept or ask for help, or because you’re afraid others won’t know what to do with your feelings.

Last week I didn’t know what to do with my feelings and I was afraid of myself, I was reluctant to ask for help and I was so low that I didn’t think I was going to survive this ocean of grief. This week, I am swimming in the grief as opposed to drowning in it and I am just thankful for the family and friends that are still here to hold my hand and are not “expecting me to be over it by now”.

Sometimes those are the people that we forget about and I want to thank everyone who supports those that are grieving. It is an even lonelier road if you are walking it alone.

Arlene x100 1327

When no words seem appropriate .....

When no words seem appropriate .....

~I won't say, "I know how you feel"- because I don't. I've lost parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and pets, but I've never lost a child. So how can I say I know how you feel?

~I won't say, "You'll get over it"- because you won't. Life will have to go on. The washing, cooking, cleaning, the common routine. there.


~I won't say, "Your other children will comfort you"-because they may not. Many mothers I've talked to say that after they have lost a child, they easily lose their temper ith their remaining children.

~I won't say, "Never mind, you're young enough to have another baby"- because that won't help. A new baby can not replace the child you lost. A new baby fills your hours, keeps you busy, gives you sleepless nights. But it will not replace the one you lost.
So what will I say?

~I will say, "I am here. I care. Anytime. Anywhere." I will talk about your child. We'll laugh about the good memories. I won't mind how long you grieve. I won't tell you to pull yourself together.
~No, I don't know how you feel- but with sharing, perhaps I will learn a little of what you are going through.
~And perhaps you'll feel comfortable with me and find your burden has eased. Try me.