Never enough….

This year is particularly raw. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how grief evolves or even how it’s supposed to get better.

The weight of it has hit me hard in the past week. My dreams taking me right back to the delivery room and the distress I was in. It has made me realise how much of what I experienced over those days and early weeks, I pushed out of my head. Especially from the hospital. The condolences from strangers, the unkind Doctor I encountered, all turning me into another statistic when they finished their shift. Harsh words you might say but not one of those people who were there that day ever followed up with me again.

6 years is an eternity when you lose a child. More forgotten milestones passing, as the years roll into each other. Yes they are hard and just as hard as those early milestones but I hold my head higher, you build resilience to fool people to believing you are ok. The truth is you are never ok. You may smile & laugh again and find pleasure in your life again but it never leaves you.

In recent months I invested in myself to help me be a better version of myself. I have found an inner peace which helps me to live on. My family means the world to me they are the reason I get up every morning. But as my little rainbows grow I see more and more of how much I lost, how much was taken from us and how it will never be the same without Patrick. I guess I am still angry too.

Over the coming days there will be people who have forgotten, people who assume we are just over it and not mention him. It’s not in our power to control other peoples behaviour but this is what we are up against as bereaved parents. I know who has been there for all of us, held us up and surrounded us with love.

There will be no birthday party or gaggle of 6 years olds filling the house with joy and laughter. There will be no presents to wrap or presents open. But I plan to celebrate our son, I will watch for signs he is with us, I will look at all his beautiful photos. I will surround myself in his few possessions. I will visit his special place. I will talk about him, I will embrace him in my dreams. We will keep his memory alive. I will hold his siblings closer and of course blow out his candles on his very special birthday cake.

These are all the things I can do, but they will never be enough…

“ A broken heart may never mend. Some memories may never end. Some wet tears may never dry. My love for you will never die”

Patrick James 16th February 2016 my forever baby boy 💙


The pandemic has stolen so much from different areas of peoples lives. It has kept people locked away from family, friends and social gatherings. It has left people isolated, alone and battling some personal demons.

Now, even though we are by no means clear of this deadly disease we can live a semi normal life again thanks to vaccines.

The early days of our country plagued with Covid 19 I battled my thoughts and dreams of losing my boys over and over. Being aware of how precious life is during the pandemic sent my head in a million different directions and to dark places.

I have a precious family. How would I cope if anything happened to any of them.

In the past number of months I have faced some of my fears I have revisited some of those places that hold memories to painful to return too.

I’m ashamed to say it, but I found it hard to visit and tend to Zac’s resting place after Patrick’s death, purely in the disbelief that lightning struck our family twice and I couldn’t separate the events that were so familiar. I took stock and have tenderly looked after his grave again, reconnecting to the memories I had been blocking out for the past 5 years. I’ve taken pride in my first lost son’s resting place and have spent a lot of time talking to him again.

We also managed to escape the island and returned to a place that I hold so dear with my memories of Patrick. I was at my happiest in this place as I carried Patrick safely within my body. I first returned alone at sunrise and cried. I cried for all I had lost, all I am missing and all our shattered dreams.

Then I returned days later with my precious rainbows and stood over looking the water. As I held their little hands in mine, I told them how Patrick was here with me before and how happy I was then. In that moment I felt a new connection and new realisation.

Now home still in the mist of the current wave of this pandemic I’ve decide it’s my time, time to invest in myself, time to give it all to me. I have a focus, I have a need. In this moment I have courage, the courage to build on the new me. I don’t know if I can pull it off, but right now I feel I have the strength too. I’ve got my beautiful family and my two boys with me on this journey of self discovery again. I can do this……

I always tell my precious living children Dream, Believe, Achieve, now I’m telling myself…. With my family spurring me on with support let’s do this….

Another year, a new decade….

Another year, another run up to Christmas. The sentiment of family, giving and receiving. Santa coming to all the boys and girls. The feeling of emptiness creeping upon me all over again. Will it ever get easier? Somehow, I don’t think so.

What a strange year it has been, yes we’ve had new beginnings which has brought happiness to us beyond measure. But other things in my life changed that I wasn’t expecting but now I see it has its place for the better.

Since Patrick’s death I have lived a quieter existence and it makes me so much more content in my life.

We told Patrick’s story very publicly in a national newspaper and the response we received was overwhelming and more so to let other people know they are not alone on this lonely road of babyloss and grief.

I saw this quote today and it says it all plain and simple. Especially when people who don’t understand what we’ve been through and don’t understand why we are not over it or why we are different now.

Our living children have made us extremely proud and have brought us joy and happiness this past year. It still makes me sad the boys will never be part of this. One of the milestones this year would have been Patrick setting off to play school. The overwhelming understanding of Santa this year that only a 3 year old can have. Things like this sparks the emptiness I feel.

Kindness is something that has helped me through the darker days. In world where mental health is so prevalent these days. The smallest gesture of kindness goes along way.

Do what makes you happy, surround yourself with people who truly love you. Look out for those less fortunate than you. Cut ties with the narcissists, the bullies, the people who talk about you behind your back, the people who use you, these people may even include family. Heading in to a New Year, a new decade remember for some of us there are more days behind us than there are ahead.

Remain humble, have courage and be kind.

To all my bereaved Mummy & Daddy friends, sending love, light and strength to you all and our little ones who can not be with us this Christmas. 💙💖

Anne Marie xxx

Dispelling the Myth…

It’s all about milestones for my 2 little rainbows today. Hope reaches exactly 2 & 1/2 and Grace 4 months. A pair that I can’t ever imagine one being without the other. Routine is established and the wheel of life keeps turning. I hold my head high in the best possible way with a smile.

The truth is people assume your fixed once you have another baby. The baby that died is just a moment in time which is now past and let’s not mention it. Sure I have two little girls to focus on and Patrick like Zac should fade in to a forgotten memory.

You see after Abbie was born in 2006 nobody ever mentioned that tiny little baby boy who spent a fleeting moment in our lives and was laid to rest in his forever bed not far from our home. I assumed at the time that was just the way. People lost babies mid pregnancy and it was never talked about again. Although my heart was broken I was left to conceal my feelings and hide my tears and walk this lonely road of baby loss alone.

I had been blessed with a healthy baby girl and that should be enough. He was never really talked about again outside our home despite the returning visits to his forever bed on every calendar occasion.

Now with Hope & Grace I get, they are beautiful, you look so happy, they’ll be the best of friends, you are lucky, they are lucky to have each other to grow up with. Then there’s the deafening silence while I wait to hear his name being said… and nothing… no whisper, no mention, no acknowledgment of Patrick. The silence is almost as deafening as the silence in the delivery room when I birthed him into this world.

Yes my girls are beautiful, but do you not notice Hope is the double of Patrick?? You look so happy?? Do I?? I mask it well, the huge piece of me that’s missing. They’ll be the best of friend’s. Yes, I hope they will but they are missing the influence of a slightly older brother for play, giggles & sibling rivalry. You are Lucky …. am I that lucky that my perfectly healthy baby boy died???

This is what I face daily, the undertone of what people assume is my life. The reality is another baby or babies does not replace the baby you have lost. My grief for my son has not changed I’m just better at managing it. My grief will never leave me, my nightmares will always haunt me. My heart will never heal. My girls will help take the edge off the pain but I will never get over the life that was lost, his little life I had planned, the dreams and aspirations I had for him.

I will also live with the unanswered question of why me, why us, why my son.

If I was to find the best words to describe my grief these are them, from another bereaved mother so eloquently put.

The best way I can describe grieving over a child as the years go by is to say it’s similar to carrying a stone in your pocket.

When you walk, the stone brushes against your skin. You feel it. You always feel it. But depending on the way you stand or the way your body moves, the smooth edges might barely graze your body.

Sometimes you lean the wrong way or you turn too quickly and a sharp edge pokes you. Your eyes water and you rub your wound but you have to keep going because not everyone knows about your stone or if they do, they don’t realize it can still bring this much pain.

There are days you are simply happy now, smiling comes easy and you laugh without thinking. You slap your leg during that laughter and you feel your stone and aren’t sure whether you should be laughing still. The stone still hurts.

Once in a while you can’t take your hand off that stone. You run it over your fingers and roll it in your palm and are so preoccupied by it’s weight, you forget things like your car keys and home address. You try to leave it alone but you just can’t. You want to take a nap but it’s been so many years since you’ve called in “sad” you’re not sure anyone would understand anymore or if they ever did.

But most days you can take your hand in and out of your pocket, feel your stone and even smile at its unwavering presence. You’ve accepted this stone as your own, crossing your hands over it, saying “mine” as children do.

You rest more peacefully than you once did, you’ve learned to move forward the best you can. Some days you want to show the world what a beautiful memory you’re holding. But most days you twirl it through your fingers, smile and look to the sky. You squeeze your hands together and hope you are living in a way that honors the missing piece you carry, until your arms are full again.

– Jessica Watson –

💙Remembering forever our boys

Patrick 16th February 2016

Zac 20th January 2005💙

The Pull of the Past

The days, weeks and months are rolling into each other as life with our newest rainbow and toddler rainbow consume my days with endless feeding, changing and laundry. Things I yearned for in that first year without Patrick.

While my baby girls fill my heart with so much love and joy, I feel happier than I have for a very long time. But when I catch a quite moment lately one memory returns to turn my glint happiness into heartbreak again.

Whilst over the past 3 years flash backs have haunted my very being this one I am struggling with. My last visual goodbye to Patrick. This memory is playing clearly like a movie over and over. I see every little detail in the room. Laying him out so perfectly in his casket, rearranging the small items around him, his teddy, a letter, a lock of hair from all of us. Telling myself to be brave that I could do this.

Our friends who came to the house that morning had left for the church. There was just us myself, Paul and some of the children. In the bedroom the time had come to say our final visual goodbye before we sealed the casket. I touched, kissed and inhaled Patrick one last time. I asked Paul if he was ready, he turned to me, eyes full of heartbroken tears and said he couldn’t and left the room. I stood there alone having to be the bravest I had been over those few days and seal the casket. I will never know what gave me the strength to do it nor will I ever understand why I did it alone. I never asked. Maybe this memory was just all to painful to recall until now.

The pull back to these memories show you never truly forget anything, the grief and trauma never leave you. It’s how you chose to deal with it in that moment. I get an uneasy feeling and must pull myself back into today. This hasn’t helped my mood which swings from happy to anger and then despair and sadness when I’m alone. I’m sure my mind is telling me I need to process the trauma that I blocked out for all this time.

I try to imagine Patrick as a cheeky 3 year old, drawing on the walls, upending his toys, being the little boss of the house. I wonder if he had not have left us would I have his beautiful little sisters. Hope & Grace are a pair it’s clear to see. Hope adores Grace it’s like they were meant to be, that they were life’s plan. But does this mean Patrick was never meant for this world and that we would suffer a lifetime of heartache without him.

I love to sing and lately I’ve been singing a particular song to my babies as night time falls. It’s from the movie An American Tail (a favourite of mine growing up) it’s called Somewhere Out There. As I sing the lyrics I look to the stars and hope that my precious boy can hear me.

I’ll leave you with some of the lyrics

Love, light & strength

Anne Marie xx

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight

Someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight

Somewhere out there someone’s saying a prayer

That we’ll find one another in that big somewhere out there

And even though I know how very far apart we are

It helps to think we might be wishin’ on the same bright star

And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby

It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky

💙Remembering forever our boys 

Patrick 16th February 2016

Zac 20th January 2005💙

New Beginnings….

Today is my 42nd birthday. While I will celebrate surrounded with love by my wonderful husband and children I will give thought to the 2 boys who are missing.

Zac’s due date coincided with my birthday in 2005 but he left too soon as I spent my 28th birthday in deep sadness of what was never to be.

I found out I was pregnant with Patrick just after my 38th birthday in 2015 and I always said he was the best birthday present I could have ever received but again this joy was so cruelly robbed from me and I spent my 39th birthday swallowed up in a sea of grief I thought I would drown in.

So another year rolls in and I become more aware of my own mortality. The years will pass whether or not I choose to celebrate or not. 40 & 41 were a bit easier as I have the joy of our little rainbow Hope to share cake & candles with.

But again this year is different, different in a way that I realise that I must make the most of this life I have. Although my heart will always be heavy and ache for all I have lost. But now it is time begin again.

A huge event has happened in our family in the past few days. Much to our delight we welcomed the tiniest most precious bundle of joy into our hearts and lives. My boys have sent us the blessing of another little girl Grace. A special name for a special little girl chosen by her Daddy.

Another pregnancy wrought with anxiety and with more than a few problems. I managed to keep this precious tiny human safe until it was time for her to arrive. Early but safely.

Having spent a number of days in special care in the hands of an incredible medical team who I can only describe as living angels and an obstetrician who will forever be my hero. She is home where she belongs.

So now new life brings with it new beginnings. Our family is now complete with those 2 pieces of our jigsaw forever missing. Those who have chosen to be part of our journey and remember our boys with us will join us on our continued journey of love, family, friendship & hope.

To my support network you know who you are, my gratitude knows no boundaries in the counsel, friendship and support I have received in recent weeks and months. And least I forget the singing, the best type of therapy I could ever have imagined! To my singing group I hold so dear I look forward to our on going adventures, chats and continued friendship.

So another year of my life begins surrounded with love, hope, friends and my beautiful family of 5 girls and 3 boys, I will always be immensely proud of them here on this earth or dancing in the stars ✨.

We intend as a family to endeavour to help others in similar circumstances and carry the torch to ensure our boys will never be forgotten.

As a music lover I will leave you with lyrics of another Faith Hill song one of my favourites called Stronger. For me it’s telling me not to be afraid to start living again 💙💙

“This is the window to my heart

I just want you to be free

There ain’t no freedom where we are

Ain’t no wishes in these stars

Ain’t no reason to believe”

Love, light, hope & strength to all.

Anne Marie xxx

Living in the Past…

Here I am today 4 days away from what should have been Patrick’s 3rd birthday. This morning I cried uncontrollably I don’t why, bad news day is not for another 2 days and his birthday 2 more. Is it that it is Tuesday the actual day he was born and that is having more of impact on me than the actual date.

The days in the run up to his birthday I realise it will always have an impact on me no matter how many years pass by. The last days he was full of life safe inside me. The days he was overdue and I was so excited to meet him. The nights in recent days when I haven’t been able to sleep reliving the memories that will haunt me until the day I die.

My grief envelopes me with an over whelming sense of helplessness today. There is nothing I could have done to save him. The whispers of others…. has she not moved on it’s been 3 years, she never knew him to still be this upset, she has had other child she should be over it by now.

None of these unhelpful, unsupportive comments are good for a bereaved parent. From the moment you watch those two lines appear on that pregnancy test there is an instant bond, a bond that grows stronger as the weeks and months pass by. Everything you prepare for is done with complete unconditional love. Dates from the past will always have huge significance when you have lost your child. The day you found out you were pregnant, your first hospital appointment, the date of any scan you had watching the life inside grow. The day you heard those words I’m sorry…. and finally the day you meet your precious most loved, most wanted child.

I have spent the last few days fighting the ugly head of my grief. In the shops full of gifts sending of the message of love for Valentines. But I can’t cope because my heart was torn to shreds on February 14th when I last felt my baby move and made that fateful journey to the hospital to check if he was ok. Less that 34 hours later having my perfect, beautiful silent baby son placed in my arms after the most perfect labour. People, strangers around me giving me their sympathy.

I’m sorry if your feel the need to remark unhelpfully, but my child died.

This is something I will never get over, this is something I will never forget, this is something I have to live with for the rest of my life. Although my rainbow shines a light into my life on a daily basis she does not replace the child I lost.

If I want to cry today, I will.

If all I want to do is drink tea and be on my own, I will.

If I don’t want to see people, I won’t.

If I want to stay in bed all day, I will.

If you haven’t experienced what I have you will never understand, you will never understand my pain, you will never understand the emptiness, you will never understand what it is to continue to live everyday after. I wish I was the parent out shopping for the perfect 3 year old birthday present and card. Instead I will be remembering those days I got to hold you, be your mum and say goodbye. I will hold my other children closely and remember all they have lost out on in their missing sibling.

While I let the grief take over me for the coming days I know it too will pass and I will continue back to way things are, my life without you my beautiful Patrick.

Keeping dancing amongst those stars, ride the rainbows full of fun and send me some sunshine to let me know you are happy with your angel friends. What I wouldn’t give to share your birthday with you.

Moonlight kisses & shooting star hugs on your 3rd birthday my forever sleeping prince.

Love always Mom xxx 💙💙💙

Letting Go of Negativity

As we head into another new year I am poised to speak my mind. I held onto a lot of dirty laundry so to speak since the death of Patrick almost 3 years ago. But as 2019 is about to grip us all I have to clear the air I have found a new clarity in my life to help me move forward on this never ending rollercoaster of grief.

In the early days of our loss I allowed people reluctantly back in to our lives people who were not good for my family or even to have any sort of relationship with. Why…… because of the false promise of building bridges when a tragic situation can throw you together most unexpectedly.

Some showed their true colours very quickly by using the loss of our son as their own personal tragedy. Playing it out on social media as if it was their loss when in fact if Patrick had of lived they would not have been involved in his life.

I bit my tongue as those close to me told me what was going on. I was not capable of dealing with someone else’s drama of dragging sympathy out of our grief so I chose to ignore it.

In the run up to a charity ball we organised in memory of Patrick some others chose to have a stab at me personally on a social media group. In turn showing me the disgusting manner that certain people had of completely disrespecting my son’s memory. This was upsetting but again I bit my tongue.

Then there is one person who has made outlandish allegations to others, probably thinking I would never hear about them. Some of these allegations a direct attempt to cause personal hurt or damage my marriage. This in particular infuriated me but again I bit my tongue.

And finally there are those who have let my living children down since they’ve become part of their lives in the aftermath of their brothers death. I should have never doubted myself as a mother to why I never had them involved in the first place.

Saying all this helps me to let go of all this unnecessary hurt that others have caused. I will not carry this burden or these people in to another year. I have spent so much time in recent weeks with people who are my true family & friends and these will be the people I choose to surround myself with in 2019.

I have given life to 7 beautiful children, 5 who share in our life in this living world and 2 who were not meant for this world but are with us every minute of every day.

Losing a child is unlike losing anyone else. You will always remain vulnerable no matter how hard you fight back. You will always have a piece of your puzzle missing, you will carry the burden of your loss until the day you die. No amount of moving on or letting go will ever change this.

To all bereaved parents,

Surround yourselves with those who truly love you and you love too.

Don’t be afraid of the whisperers they haven’t lost what you have.

Don’t carry others pain, your burden is big enough.

Kindness goes along way on this journey of loss.

Continue to follow your dreams and make your angels proud, let them be your guide.

Sending love, light and hope to all for 2019

Patrick’s & Zac’s Mommy xxx


It’s been 2 years and 10 months since we met our beautiful boy. I’ve been spending a lot of time recently with like minded people,other bereaved parents, my new friends.

That’s important this time of year, many of us struggle with our losses as it reminds us of what we should have had to look forward too. But for us it’s an emptiness that can never be filled.

For many loss moms and dads the What ifs… are pulling at their heart strings. For me this year it’s a sense of wonderment surrounds my days in the run up to Christmas.

This will be our 14th Christmas without Zac and 3rd without Patrick.

I realise my situation will never change as much as I wish I could wake up and my 2 boys are here by my side.

I wonder what they would be like now.

Zac, a moody teenager into computer games like his big brother and maybe a sportsman too. Would he be tall and look like his Dad. With blue eyes and quick wit like his sisters. Would he have a girlfriend and be asking me for extra money to buy her a Christmas present or would he be saving his money for the latest pair of outrageously priced runners. Giving me cheek and not forgetting that all important mom kiss as he runs out the door. I can visualise it all when I sit with my thoughts. Is this his gift to me?

Now for Patrick, would you be an over active toddler keeping me on my toes, shouting the loudest so you catch my attention in the crowd that are your siblings. Would you be singing Jingles Bells and telling me your a good boy and Santa is bringing you the biggest surprise or would I be threatening that Santa only comes to good boys and girls. Would you love to curl up beside me on my bed or sofa for magical stories as we adventure through the pages of book. Would I be able to delight you with my voice changes and enthusiasm as you allow me to interpret the story to you. Would you be excited and able to keep the secrets surrounding your sisters birthdays over the Christmas as you would have help picked their presents and something special from you too. Would you choose me to run to when you are hurt or upset or would it be the safety of your Daddy’s arms. Would Daddy and I be wrestling you for the best cuddles. Would you be a cuddle monster or little Mr Independent.

These thoughts which cause me to wonder, to imagine, to live again, as these thoughts allow me to let go of the anger surrounding my loss.

As I sit and write with tears streaming down my cheeks tonight. They are not tears of sadness they are tears of pure love. Love I have within for me for my boys that has nowhere to go.

As we spend another Christmas without you. I choose to believe you are with me that our bond is powerful, binding and never ending. I hope you know that as we leave another year behind and approach both your birthdays, we will never forget you, we will never stop remembering you and we will always love you.

Mom, Dad, Jamie, Chloe, Sophie, Abbie & Hope xxx

Love, light & Strength to all loss Moms & Dad this coming Christmas & New Year.

Empty Milestones

This week marks another big milestone for my family. Abbie my first rainbow baby headed off to secondary school. It’s made me think back to 12 years ago when she was just a few months old and the loveliest feelings she made me feel, she always gave double hugs, double kisses, my complete little wing woman. I have always said she made up for all I lost out on with Zac. Now she is an outgoing, confident young lady who I have a very special bond with.

I thought back then in 2006 my family was complete. But it wasn’t. Fast forward 9 years and it was the first week in Sept 2015 I discovered the precious cargo I was carrying was a boy. I skipped out of my scan on top of world, thanking the stars we had been blessed with another boy and this time it was going to be different. I was just about to by pass the danger zone the dreaded week I had lost Zac knowing this baby was perfect and I had nothing to worry about.

I trusted all that was said to me, as I believed their had been significant improvements in maternity care since I had lost Zac, although I was increasingly worried about being 10 years older.

Sharing the news with Paul was one of highlights of my pregnancy with Patrick as he was unable to attend that scan. The glint that lit up in his eyes filled me with a tremendous sense of accomplishment of being his wife giving him another son, a glint that would be cruelly extinguished in only a short period of time.

Zac should be starting 2nd year in secondary school and I often wonder what would he have been like. He looked so much like his older brother Jamie. Would he be into computer games? Would he be sporty like his big brother, would they have an inseparable bond like brothers have full of rough and tumble.

Telling the kids they were getting a new brother sent such huge rip waves of excitement through the house. Jamie especially couldn’t wait, it was like the years since losing Zac had become less painful. Jamie spoke often of how he was going to steal him away to his bedroom after he was born. We joked how Patrick was so active on the inside he was going to be a better footballer than his brother.

I love each of my children deeply, truly, wholeheartedly but it’s so hard when pieces of your jigsaw are missing. My heart aches so heavily for Patrick. What I wouldn’t give to see him smile, to see his eyes, to hear is little voice.

What I have of him will never be enough. I will always ask …..Why me? Why us? ……I will never have that answer.

For the rest of my life I must face milestones. Milestones that were never to be for my boys. Sometimes I wonder will I ever be able to face these empty milestones over and over. I am blessed to have 5 healthy living children but nothing will ever fill the void of the pieces that are missing.

I look to the stars and ask will I ever wake up from this nightmare? Can I live with the weight of this grief burdened down on me.