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.

A Mother without a Mother….

As the 2 & 1/2 year mark approaches I have been reflecting on my journey of grief. I’ve had more wobbles and tears in recent weeks than I’ve had in quiet a while. I suppose I’ve been on autopilot making myself so busy that the inevitable would eventually stop me in my tracks. Living a life which appears from the outside perfectly normal when really it’s only a screen where I pretend it’s all ok.

Living the pretence has gotten me through week after week until someone close to me said something and that was my trigger. What they said opened that suitcase I had packed away wanting to forget. Their words took me back almost 14 years to January 2005 when we lost Zac.

I remember the utter devastation I felt, the heartbreak and I thought I would never get through it. The endless days sitting and crying behind closed doors and sitting on a mound of muck in the rain in the cemetery where he was laid to rest for hours on end. I felt isolated as people in the outside world didn’t get it. Thankfully the one person who did get it was my mum, she supported me, held me up and let me grieve. All the while not letting others interfere with how I chose to cope with my loss.

With Patrick I didn’t have that protective motherly blanket. While pregnant with Patrick I watched my mother fade away to the clutches of Alzheimer’s disease. I had spent my pregnancy grieving for my mother who was lost but still with us. I had spent my pregnancy counselling my other children to deal with an illness that had stolen one of the most important people in their young lives.

Then WHAM…..the joy and excitement that new life was supposed to bring to our home was taken abruptly too.

Yes I cried, but all times I remained composed and dignified. I’d just be dealt the roughest cards life could deal and there was nothing I could do about. There was nothing I could change, I couldn’t bring Patrick back.

This person close to me who has made me reflect is someone who helped me deal with my loss after Zac and has been a huge support to my family since Patrick’s death. His words to me were “but you haven’t fallen apart you’ve put on the bravest face and kept going since Patrick but you haven’t fallen apart”

This made me think why I have given this impression and then I remembered. I couldn’t fall apart like I had in 2005 I didn’t have my mum to protect me. My own children needed their mother to protect them so I switched on my autopilot and kept going.

I am having daily flashbacks of the time we got to spend with Patrick in our home as family. Special moments drown in sadness but flooded with overwhelming love. I’ve also been able to replay the events surrounding our final goodbyes to Zac too. These are memories I haven’t been able to process for fear of becoming unhinged. The emotional numbness and detachment has led me to block these memories because of the anxiety they bring. Even after all this time the lasting trauma is still too much for me to bear.

I still have to be a mother to both my living children and my angel children. I have to be a mother without a mother. But I owe it to my mother for teaching me how to be the best mother I can.

Remember loss mothers are mothers too and mothers are one of the most precious gifts of this earth. My boys have left a gaping hole in my heart and my mum has too.

The Winds Of Change

It’s been quite sometime since I’ve had an opportunity to write.

Life is busy, I have eased my way back into proper work again around spending as much time as I can with my precious rainbow Hope. Finding a happy balance has been difficult as trying not to miss out on the milestones she is hitting on an almost a daily basis.

My emotional battle still continue in my head consuming my thoughts and mind. Trying to find a calm place in my mind has been challenging but I have found taking important time for myself at least once a week is holding the pieces together. I’ve been lucky enough to have a very generous friend who has helped me with what I can only describe as her magical reflexology treatments which has not only helped my body but also my mind. It has helped me to relax and take on another day, one day at a time.

I have also returned to the place I ran away too in those early days where I screamed out loud and cried many tears, a place I where I was anonymous and a place I didn’t have to put on a brave face. I stood in the very same place where I broke down where I thought my life would end because my heart was so broken.

As I stood there inhaling all around me. The waves crashing ferociously, the wind blowing hard and the sun beating off my face, I knew why I came back. I had come back to face my reality, the only difference this time was the peace I felt. The peace in my head and in my heart. I felt more connected to Patrick in this moment than I have for some time. I know he guided me to go back to face this.

Myself and Patrick’s 2 oldest sisters took on the challenge of the mini marathon at the beginning of the month. It gave us an opportunity to bond over our loss, 10km of emotions, memories and for me a few tears. It felt so uplifting coming over that finishing line knowing I had done it for my boy.

For now I find the winds are changing in which direction I don’t not know and for how long. 28 months have passed and my grief has become more private. Another level of acceptance has come with that too.

In saying all that, my love for my forever baby boy never changes. I know that that love will manifest on different days as either joy or incredible sadness.

I wrote this poem for my husband Paul on his first Fathers Day without Patrick 2 years ago. Sometimes I find it hard to believe those words are mine. But as I choose to survive another day I like to believe in everything I express in my words.

To my Daddy on this Fathers Day,

A little star lights up the sky

Do not fear because I am here

I walk beside you

I hold your hand

I am your dreams

The gentle breeze

The rain that wets

The air you breathe

The rainbow in the sky

The clouds that pass you by

The trickle of water

The tears that you cry.

Daddy I never left you

We’ll always be together

The whisper in the wind

Will let you know I’m here.


My Heavy Heart 

I have written so much about time and and the time for us that was never to be. So here I write again 7 days away from Patrick’s 2nd birthday. 

The year has passed quicker than I could ever have imagined much faster than the first. All because I had to take control of my life and try to learn how to live again. This past year has opened and closed doors for me. It has brought joy and many other personal challenges. The birth of Patrick’s little sister caught us all in the bubble of newness, beauty, innocence & love. While we all relished in the delight of our new arrival I fought a very dark battle with myself. I fought the pre loss me.

For a long time I hardly recognised myself. I longed to be the once confident outgoing person I used to be but that was impossible. The anxiety that has enveloped my life since Patrick’s death has left the consequences of living in fear of bad things happening to me and my family. The fear of sleeping and reliving the horror of losing Patrick again and again. I don’t know if I will ever get past this trauma. 

I lead a double life, the life I live behind closed doors and the life I live as others perceive it. The doer, the professional, the friend, the mom and the wife. It’s very difficult to let others see you are still broken as sometimes they won’t have the courage to stick around to support you. 

Our rainbow Hope has helped me be a parent again, she has helped me be a mom again to my older children as this is something I lost sight of in the aftermath of Patrick’s loss. She has given me reason to make plans to look to the future to build my family up and try to be the best mom I can.

These last few days have filled me with the dread of dates that will haunt me for a lifetime February 9th my due date that came and went, February 14th the day Patrick’s heart stopped beating, February 16th the day I met my beautiful still sleeping prince. Finally, February 19th the day we said our final goodbyes. 

The loss of my boys has filled me with different emotions. The loss of Zac left me with a heavy heart of sadness & grief but Patrick’s loss I am still unable to put into words as the effect on my life has changed me forever.

To my beautiful boy as you spend your 2nd birthday amongst the stars. 
I love you now.

I love you always.

I love you forever.

I will continue to miss you every single day.

I will remember every small detail about you. 

I will remember how your skin felt against mine. 

I will remember how I tenderly kissed every inch of you. 

You will always be mine. 


Footprints on my heart 

Today marks Zac’s 13th birthday. A year gone by of big milestones, Confirmation, starting secondary school, turning into a teenager. 

I remember this time two years ago thanking him for sending me his brother as we waited patiently for Patrick’s arrival. I remember so well not feeling the heaviness in my heart I had felt over many other years. I had found the acceptance that left him tucked away in a special part of my heart only for him. 

The milestones that have passed this year did not upset me, I did look to the skies with a frown and wonder what he would be like now but I smiled inside knowing he is safe and is a place where he is happy. 

You might ask how I came to this conclusion. For many years I searched for answers to why. Although there was nothing I could have done to save Zac as he passed due the the effects of an infection. I weigh it up now and it could happen to anyone. Ironically I do believe in the afterlife and I do believe he’s with my nearest & dearest and of course his little brother Patrick who have left this life and I take comfort in signs that he has let me know this. 

While I grieve in different ways for my boys it doesn’t take away from the fact they were both my sons. I just happen to be at two different stages on my lifelong path of loss. 

Sometimes I do ask myself why was life so cruel to us. While some days are good and others feel hopeless. I still wake everyday and live. While the loss of a baby can make your life stand still, the world still moves on. 

The vacuum that grief holds you in is the biggest mountain you will ever climb but you need to learn to climb to live again. 

I have no photos of Zac, just a small box of treasured possessions that make up his little life. This made me angry for along time why didn’t I have more. His tiny little face is etched in my memory along with  his tiny but perfect features. His tiny little footprints are embedded with him in my heart. 

Happy birthday in the stars 💫 my so perfect little baby boy, still loved, still missed, still born, never forgotten 💙

Love Mom xxx

Farewell to 2017

Time has pushed us another 12 months down the road. The road of being a bereaved parent.
In 2017 I accomplished the one bravest act of my life by bringing Patrick’s little sister safely into the world. A golden achievement on this journey of loss. 

My family has changed yet again but we still hold each other closely in our tightly knit unit. Patrick has taught us the importance of being surrounded by love and returning that love to each other. You enter this life with the love you were created with but unfortunately some people lose this security blanket of love as they grow and end up lonely or bitter or both. 

I have come to realise that one small act of kindness can change a persons life. Material things mean nothing in this life and time is only a word, sadly it has taken the loss of our beautiful Patrick in order to understand the true meaning of this statement. 

I believe our loss has given my life a new purpose and I will strive to fulfil this purpose surrounded with love of my family. Despite all the challenges and hurt I feel at different times dealing with my grief I find a different kind of happiness in my heart that I can not describe rather than being stuck in the vacuum that is child loss. 

That’s not to say I don’t have my bad days and I do when the tears flow and my heart breaks but I have learned to deal with these days so I don’t get dragged back it to the vacuum that can paralyse you. 

Again in reflection this year has pushed people into our lives and others out of our lives. Some people believe another baby fixes you. This makes me sad as although I cherish every living moment with our beautiful rainbow baby she does not replace the one we have lost. She has helped with the healing process and makes some things easier on the heart.  I can smile again. We as family can smile again. 

As we head into 2018 another year another Birthday, so many more milestones missed with our beloved boy so many more other families will join us on our journey loss as they begin theirs. My words of wisdom as a bereaved mother for the coming year are….
Remain humble, you never know who is struggling more than you.

Avoid the anger, anger can eat you up and make you bitter. 

Listen, make time for that cup of tea you might surprise yourself and need that chat more than the other person. 

Share kindness & love, we only get one chance at this life. 

Be true to yourself, never forget who you are, what you’ve accomplished, how far you’ve come. 

As we close the door on this year I want to say thank you to Patrick.

Thank you for choosing me to be your mum. 

Thank you for changing my life.

Thank you for the blessing of your little sister.

Thank you for helping me to be a better person and to give back to help others.

Although my heart is still missing a huge piece thank you for being mine. 

My eternal baby boy forever 💙