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Happy Wedding Anniversary

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lost her soul,
The shining light that lit her life was taken from her world.
Life was harsh and sleep was hard ,
But strong she stood through it all.
A fairy love story brought back a smile,...
And helped to mend her world,
A present sent from heaven above,
Jack sent her someone to love.
A handsome man, her shining knight,
Took her hand, won’t let her fall,
A strength to help rebuild her a life,
A strength we all know is Paul.

3 years ago today, I was alone and wondering what my future held without Jack. The love and happiness in my life left the day that Jack died and I had lost all hope for the future. To me, there was no future without Jack.

1 year ago today, my life changed and I married the man who made me smile again. When Jack died, I really believed that I would never feel happiness, love or hope again. I didn’t think it would be possible to ever smile or feel love again after the death of your child but I think these personal pictures of our wedding day show that those thoughts are not true. Nothing can ever replace my son or the life and love that we had together but Paul has given me a second chance at life. Yes, my life is still full of sadness, low days and what ifs but with Paul and our families and friends, my life is also filled with good times, laughter, love and hope.

Today I want to thank Jack for sending Paul to look after his mummy, I just wish he was here with us. And I want to thank Paul for giving me a second chance at life, love, happiness and hope. This fairytale had the saddest beginning and it will always have that special someone missing from it but Jack and Paul have given me the chance of love, laughter and a happy ever after.

Some people never get the chance to be a mother and some people never get the chance to fall in love and marry their best friend. I have been able to experience both so for that, I feel very lucky. I know more than most that tomorrow is never guaranteed so maybe tonight, take a minute to tell your partner, husband, wife or children that you love them.

Arlene, Jack’s Mummy xx

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Let Them Know

There is a very silent mass of hearts that never beat,
a secret group of men and women, who walk among our streets.
I’m one of those who hide my pain, and rarely do you see,
how hard the day can sometimes be and how it tortures me.


These men and women walk a different path and live a different life ;
they try to conquer challenges amid a soul of strife.
Our tears fall soft and silently when no one is near,
the pain we have felt has changed us and there is not much else ewe fear.

A miracle was sent to us and all our dreams seemed real,
I never dreamed the kind of love a mothers soul could feel.
I wish my dream had lasted and my lifer had stayed the same,
but fate had other plans for me and I search for who to blame

I had my child for a less than expected time and my life seems empty now,
I hope each night my life will change and someone will show me how.
I seem to make it through each day although I rarely truly smile,
And hold onto the hope that my broken heart will hold on for another while.

No-one really knows us, there is no way they could feel the kind o f pain we suffer with a heart that cannot heal.
But one day when the sunshine ends and our time on this earth is world is through, we will have our children back again and our lifes will be born new.

By Diane Ranker Riesen

I wish I wasn’t one of those people but I am, I wish I didn’t feel this pain but I do.
I wish my child would come home but he wont, I wish I could turn back time but I can’t.
All I can do is take each day as it comes, some days I might get out of bed and function and some days I might stay in bed.
Some days I might want to talk about my grief and my son and some days I might not.
All of which are ok as despite what people may say, there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

Brightest star is here to support that “secret group” of men and women who walk among our streets. There should be nothing secret about us or our grief and Brightest Star can’t “fix you” “make you better” or make you “move on” as people may tell you too but we can give you a safe space to meet other parents who have lost a child through our parent support meetings. Brightest Star also offers parents the opportunity for one tot one sessions with a counsellor and bereaved siblings the opportunity to work with our play and adolescent therapist. If you would like to know more about our services or wish to make appointments, please get in touch. If you know someone who has lost a child of any age, please let them know that Brightest Star exists.

Arlene x

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Be grateful, Just For Today

Just for today, I will try to live through the next 24 hours...not expecting to get over my child's death, but learning to live with day at a time

Just for today, I'll remember my child's life, not his death, and bask in the comfort of the treasured days and moments we shared.

Just for today, I will reach out to comfort a relative or friend of my child. For they are hurting too, and perhaps we can help each other.


Just for today, I will free myself from my self-inflicted burden of guilt. For deep in my heart, I know if there was anything in this world I could have done to save my child from death, I would have done it.

Just for today, I will honor my child's memory by doing something with another child, be it my own, or someone else's, because I know that would make my child proud.

Just for today, I will offer my hand in friendship to other bereaved parents, for I DO know how they feel.

Just for today, I will matter how much I hurt on the inside...for maybe if I smile a little, my heart will soften and I will begin to heal.

Just for today, I will allow myself to be happy and enjoy myself, for I know I am not deserting my child

Just for today, I will accept that I did NOT die when my child did. My life did go on and I am the ONLY one who can make that life worthwhile again.


I always have been and always will be forever thankful for the amazing son that I had for nearly 6 years. There are people so much more worse off than me. Maybe just for today, we could all be grateful for what we have as tomorrow is never guaranteed xx

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Just A Virus??????

I don’t want to die and my son grow up without me. How would someone tell him that I had died? How would be cope without me there? Who would look after him? As a parent, these are things that cross our minds but it had never really crossed my mind that my son would die and I would have to live without him.

Why would it? My son was born a healthy little boy, for 5 years he was a healthy little boy with no health conditions. Like every child, he caught colds and bugs but he a...lways bounced back. Like every child, I would take him to the doctors and hear the words “it’s just a virus, give him paracetamol”. Like every parent, I thought my son would bury me one day, I never thought I would bury my son but on the 19th of December 2012 my son died from “just a virus” an “everyday cold and flu virus”. He went to school that day, he was happy and healthy, went to bed with a temperature and never woke up again. Before my son died, I had no idea that its not “just a virus”, a virus can be deadly and I want every parent to know what I didn’t.

For 3 years, have been trying to raise awareness about viruses. Yes, people may say that it is rare for a virus to kill people but my son died from one and nobody can tell me why or what made that virus kill him. I don’t want another child to lose their life like Jack did and I don’t want another doctor or nurse to use the line “it’s JUST a virus”

I am asking you all to share this post with your family and friends and also to share your experiences of viruses on this post. It is only together that we can make a difference.

Arlene, Jack’s Mummy xx

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