The Ghost of Christmas Future

I could sit here and write about what a dismal Christmas I’ll be having this year. Once again, Romy is not here. Once again, we have chosen a beautiful tree ornament in her memory and as the rest of the family settle down for an afternoon of films in front of the fire I will once again make the journey to the burial ground to leave roses for my youngest girl and reflect on what sort of Christmas we might be having if she were here with us.

As a child, I loved Christmas. Continue reading

Politics and Grief


I am not a political person. Not even slightly. The news is never on in our house and we don’t buy, or read, newspapers or subscribe to online news websites. It is still a source of amusement and consternation in my family that I was two whole days late to the party when the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death came out.

However, for the first time in my life I am about to comment publicly on a political event.  Continue reading

Candles and Cake

Today, October 15th, is International Infant Loss Awareness Day. At 7pm across all timezones worldwide, bereaved parents and their families and friends are invited to light a candle in memory of a precious child or baby who has died.

On October 15th 2014, just 3 months after Romy died I lit our candle. Continue reading

A Message in Two Bottles

It was a long, lazy summer and during it I made the decision to cancel all counselling. It’s a bit shocking, to see it written down in black and white, but after two years of endless varieties of counselling with women, men, on the phone, in person, talking about it and sitting in silence I have finally admitted it: I am counselled out. I have counselling fatigue. I need counselling to help me unravel all the counselling theories I have amassed. Continue reading


I have sat down to write this post as we approach tomorrow, the second anniversary of our daughter’s death feeling that I must commemorate it, and her, in some way, but words are failing me this time.

Exactly two years ago today, I was in the middle of a living nightmare which has endured to this day. Continue reading


Two days ago, we returned home from Spain. Not a holiday, but a trip to visit family. We last travelled there together in early July 2014, with Romy. Last year I couldn’t bring myself to visit Spain, where my husband’s mother lives and where his sister, who lives in the US, visits each summer with her family. Although by then pregnant with M, the idea of being where Romy had been so soon before we lost her was unbearable. This year, D went ahead and booked himself a solo flight knowing that I wouldn’t be able to face it. Our youngest is now nine months old and the parallels are many.

Despite this, Continue reading

(No) Going Back To ‘Normal’

I’ll put my hand up here, and with absolutely no offence meant to anybody, I’ll admit that I dislike the term ‘new normal’ almost as much as I dislike ‘rainbow baby’. (For reference: ‘new normal’ describes the state you find yourself in after a bereavement, serious illness or other life changing event. A ‘rainbow baby’ is a baby born to parents who have lost other children or babies). Even before I joined the ranks of the bereaved I struggled with the term ‘normal’, especially in relation to parenting or children. What on earth is ‘normal’? Everybody’s normal is different, and the word itself implies that there is some kind of invisible generic manual we ‘should’ all be following.

I dislike this term because I think it also implies that there is some kind of end goal with grief and I know this not to be true. Like those other oft repeated adages, ‘Time heals’, ’It will get better’ and, ‘There’s always someone worse off than you’, when you are lost in the maelstrom of grief so intense it feels as if you’ve been hit by a bus every day, these words can feel empty, confusing and offensive. Continue reading