I just had to write today, I have had this uneasy feeling all week as we build up to the anniversary of Harry’s funeral. I took my laptop into town, thinking I could hide away with a coffee and write, but I just couldn’t do it, I knew that I would just cry my eyes out…so I’ve come home. (And yes…I am crying my eyes out…) Maybe that’s what I need to do today, maybe it’s been bubbling up and needs to release.
This time last year was my last day with Harry, my last chance to hold my little boy in my arms and have that physical and nurturing touch with him. Family came with me and we read stories to him, whilst I cradled him, kissed his cold little lips and held onto every last moment I could. Finally the time came, when I had to let him go, drink in that last look at his beautiful little face, with his gorgeous long eyelashes and sandy, golden hair. He just looked like he was asleep, like he had been kissed by frostbite on his little cheeks. He was wrapped up in his snuggly star blanket, I had bought him before he was even born and surrounded by his favourite toys, stories and photos…and even his toothbrush, as Harry loved cleaning his teeth. He was wearing a beautiful sky blue jumper and trousers covered in stars. He still had the little tattoo of Thomas the Tank engine on his leg from our day out over Easter. A lovely friend also made Harry a beautiful little hat with stars on and a little skirt to match for Brooke to wear, which we will treasure forever.
I had to dig as deep as I could possibly go, to find the strength to hand him over one last time and say my last goodbye. I remember walking out of the funeral home, and my legs collapsed from under me, I don’t know how I walked away from him that day, but I had no choice…I had to keep moving through time and hope everyone else would carry me along with them.
The next morning, the day of Harrys funeral. I was all the emotions you would expect, but I wasn’t crying… until it was was a few moments before I knew Harry was about to arrive and I was in the bedroom with my sister, trying to get ready, but my hands wouldn’t stop shaking. I didn’t want this to be happening, I didn’t want Harry to pull up in a hearse and see his little white coffin…I didn’t want any of this to be happening and felt an overwhelming sense of panic. But, one thing I have learnt a year on, is you cannot stop these things from happening…it just does, and you have to deal with them as they come. Time moves forward…with or without you.
Harry arrived and Lee and I held hands and were the first to walk out to be with him, we had to, we are his Parents and he needed us for his final journey. I will never forget seeing his coffin, I will never forget that drive. Lee was so brave and carried Harry, along with both his Grandads into the service, whilst my brother in-law played “Twinkle twinkle little star” on his guitar. I walked behind, and I can’t even remember who I was with, but I remember screaming out and hugging my best friend. I sat with Lee, with my legs and arms wrapped around him, I just couldn’t let go of him…I can’t even tell you who was sat the other side of me now. I was so focused on Harry and getting through the service and listening to the words being said by our celebrant.
Lee and I both decided we wanted to write our own goodbyes to Harry, along with a beautiful poem written by our friend Lisa Davies. We were determined to find the strength to stand up and read them ourselves. I haven’t read or shown anyone else since that day last year, but felt I wanted to read the words again today and share them with you all.
Dear Harry, love Mummy
Why have I lost my precious one? My eyes have cried and cried
It makes no sense, so hard to bear, why is it that you died?
Why is it that you left me, why have you gone away?
I miss you so, so much, and more than words can say
I just can’t carry on like this, I’m so alone without you here
And every time I think of you, my heart then cries a tear
This world just isn’t fair and I just don’t understand
What I’d give to touch you and just hold your precious hand.
‘I love you so, so much my baby blue eyed boy. You had the longest eyelashes,
the brightest of smiles and cheeky little laugh.
I loved the way you wiggled when you ran and got so excited, you kept falling over your own feet.
I loved the way you frowned and threw your food on the floor, we still have the splatter marks on our kitchen wall!
I loved the way you cuddled me, you held on so tight. I will cherish every moment we had together, the fun and sleepless nights. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything alright, if I could my baby boy, you know Mummy would in a heartbeat.
We will try our best to live our lives for you. We will one day smile, look forward to tomorrow and try our best to carry on. Sleep tight my baby boy, I know Grampy will hold you tight. Cross over that rainbow and be the brightest star in the sky. I love you so, so much my darling baby blue eyed boy.’
Dear Mummy, love Harry
I love you Mummy, don’t worry, I know this isn’t fair
I know you really miss me and kissing my soft blonde hair.
But, I’ve had to leave this world, much sooner than we planned
I want to help you grieve and to help you understand
Although you cannot see me and touch me everyday
I’m with you all the time and I’ll be with you all the way
I’m always going to be there, I’ll hold you when you weep,
I’ll cuddle right up next to you, when I see you sleep
I’ll walk with you through life, I’ll join you when you sing
I‘ll send you love and comfort and the good times I will bring
So, don’t think of me as gone, I’m always, always here
And in so many subtle ways, my love it will appear
So, keep going Mummy through life, together we will be
Our love, our souls, our hearts, our dreams
Joined as one
Just you and me x
That day, was the second hardest day of my life. But, I am so proud that Lee and I managed to say our own goodbyes to our little boy. We were surrounded by close family and friends that all knew Harry and were there with us to honour his special time on earth. The service was over and everyone slowly left. We stayed with Harry for a little longer, then walked out the doors. Family were looking at the flowers, but for me it was too hard to stand there, knowing Harry was inside on his own. We needed to go, but it was all happening too slowly and I felt a rush of panic again, and just ran back inside to hold onto Harry one last time, I just hugged his little white coffin, tears falling onto his silver name plaque… I couldn’t let him go. My Dad, came in after me, and helped me pull away… but I said we just have to get in the cars and go, we can’t stand outside. So we did, we all just left and I looked out of the window to catch the last glimpse of Harry, before he was gone out of sight. We were driven back to Haslemere, to Hemingways, a local cafe in town, this was the last place I took Harry and Brooke that Friday morning for a teacake. Hemingways have supported us from the very beginning and so generously offered to host a memory gathering for Harry after the service. I have only recently found out all the staff volunteered their own time to help cater and serve our guests. There are no words to thank them all enough, it was one part of the day we didn’t have to organise or think about, they just did everything for us. So many people came, and wrote little memories of Harry on a little star for us to read one day and keep forever and to share with Brooke and now with our precious rainbow twins one day.
Brooke joined us for the memory gathering and at the end we went outside and all held hands. Brooke, Lee and I stood in the middle and we all sang “Twinkle twinkle little star” and then released blue and sliver star balloons into the sky… a magical moment we will always treasure with friends, family and our beautiful little girl.
I love you Harry, and miss you every day. I can’t believe it’s been a year already and the hurts not gone away. It will never go away…