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The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before, ...
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.
But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything. There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again. They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.
So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them
and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them. For one last time.
-Author Unknown- For some, one last time really does mean one last time. If only I knew then what I know now. Cherish every minute and take as many photos as you can.


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Could You Get Over It?

Would you be able to "get over it" or "move on" if your son or daughter died?

Most people can't answer that question because they don't even want to think about such a tragedy happening to them.
In reality, nobody can answer that question honestly until they have experienced such a tragedy.


From personal experience, I know I'll never "get over it" how can I possibly get over the death of my own son? I don't think ill ever accept or understand how a healthy 5 year old can die overnight. I'll also never "move on" as that suggests I'm moving on without jack and as his never going to let that happen.

Grief comes with many physical symptoms, sickness, fatigue, body pains, chest pains, anxiety, headaches but many people don't know that. The emotional and mental side effects of grief can be overwhelming but just because people can't physically see them...doesn't mean they don't exist.

Don't let someone who is grieving to "move on" or "get on with it" instead try to support and listen to them. Try to think how would you want someone to treat you if you ended up in that situation.

Brightest star is always here to support families who are suffering from the loss of a son or daughter at any age, from any cause of death

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I Carried My Son

I carried my son inside me for 9 months, I carried him in my arms when he was a baby and all through his life, I carried him upstairs every night to bed and on this very day four years ago, I carried my own son to his funeral and to his grave.

Although I knew that a woman carrying a coffin isn’t the “done thing”, I had carried my son his entire life and there was no way that was going to change at his funeral. Along with his dad, his grandads and uncle, I made the decision to carry Jacks coffin with them in the church and at the graveside. I was understandably advised by several people not to carry Jacks coffin but I wanted Jack to know that he was ok and that his mummy was at his shoulder right till the very last minute, there was no way that I was going to leave him on his last hours on this earth. Again, it’s not always the "done thing" but I decided to talk about Jack at his funeral because there was no way that I could sit and listen to someone else talk about my son. Nobody knew Jack as well as I did and I felt that was the very last thing that I could ever do for him.

There are so many traditions, rituals and "done things" for funerals but a child’s funeral is something that should never happen so who says that we have to abide by these "done things". My advice to any bereaved parent would be to have your child’s funeral the way that you want it to be, not the way people say or think it should be. Our priest was amazing and supported everything that we asked for and I will be forever thankful for service that he gave our beautiful boy.

My advice to family and friends would be to let the parents have the funeral the way they see fit. If they want a burial or cremation, religious or not, that is their own choice. If the child is at home the morning/night before the funeral or at a funeral parlour, give the parents time with their child. As harsh at it sounds, that is the parents last hours their child so their time together is what’s most important, not yours. As a parent, that is time you never ever get back. From my own experience and from talking to so many bereaved families over the years I have learnt that after the funeral is the time when the reality of the death of their child death really hits. Before the funeral, the door and phone never stop, the house is full, the funeral is full but where do all these people go after the funeral? Sadly, that is also the time that most people go back to their own normal life and for many parents, that’s the time they need you most.

If you have made it to here, I know many of you will have been reading this and thinking “I can’t read anymore”, “this makes me too upset” “this make me uncomfortable” “this is morbid” but I am talking about it for that very reason. Children dying, children's funerals and the grief their parent suffer is such a taboo subject but sadly mums and dads like me go through this tragedy every day. If you know someone who has lost a child, reach out to them. Help Brightest Star to stop these taboo subjects.

Never did I imagine that I would see the day that I buried my own son, now know there is no greater saying than “a parent should never live to see the day that they have to bury their child”
Sending love and thoughts to every family that has had to go through this heartache.

Arlene, Jack’s Mummy x15731902 1216442415114374 5074671672295811861 o

Baby If You Got To Go Away

Baby if you've got to go away
I don't think
I can take the pain
Won't you stay another day
Oh don't leave me alone like this...
Don't say it's the final kiss
Won't you stay another day

I remember having to go buy a heavy jacket the night before Jacks funeral and as it was Xmas, this song was playing in the shop and all I could do was cry. That night, I knew I was going to see my son for the very last time and the following day I knew I would have to bury my own child. I remember thinking....I just wish Jack could another day as there isn't ever long enough to say a final goodbye to your child.

Jack was my only child and he was my life 24/7 so when he died, I really didn't believe that I could live one day without him. There have been times over the last four years when the sadness is so sore that I wonder if I will survive another day but someway somehow, I have got to four years without Jack. The journey hasn't been easy and I know that this journey never really ends but like hundreds of other bereaved parents out there....I am still standing. To those families that aren't as far along this journey as me, I can only wish that brings you some hope.

Many families will be facing Christmas without their child and they may need support more than ever. There are some small things you could do to help...

Put their child on a Xmas card.
Tell them that you are thinking of/missing their child.
Mention their childs name/talk about the child.
Let the family do what they want to do on Xmas day, they might want to see family etc but they also might not. Remember that is a reflection of their grief, not a refection of their feelings about you.
Let family traditions change to accommodate the missing place.
Share their laughter and their tears.

It doesn't matter how long ago a child died, xmas is about family and our children so if you can, always take the time to remember them with their family.

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