One year ago today our lives changed irrevocably when our beautiful blue eyed boy lost his fight against everything that had been thrown at him. As the anniversary of Harry’s death has been approaching, it has given me cause to reflect on the last 12 months and how much has changed for us as a family. The arrival ten days later of Harry’s little sister was such a welcome distraction in the midst of our grief and Maisie has charmed us every day since then with her cheeky grin and infectious giggle. The similarities between her and her older brother are astonishing, breathtaking at times, but always heartwarming when I think that a bit of Harry lives on through Maisie.
To say that I miss Harry is an obvious and somewhat trite thing to say but there are occasions when the pain of exactly how much I miss him is almost unbearable. It can hit with such surprise and ferocity that it feels like a physical blow. Apart from hearing his cheeky giggle and seeing his beautiful face, holding him in my arms or even having to retape his NG tube, what I miss most of all is the future, the future of what could have been. Robbed twice of watching Harry grow up, firstly in the post surgery hell of brain damage and secondly that day one year ago, I miss being able to watch my son overcome the difficulties he was faced with. I miss being able to watch Harry and Maisie play together, seeing Harry’s face light up when Maisie giggled or the two of them laughing together. There is nothing that I wouldn’t give to be able to watch all three of my children grow up together.
Many people have written about how much they would want to have ten more minutes with their loved one so that they could hug them one last time or tell them that they love them. I don’t want ten more minutes with my boy, I just want him back in my life. For the rest of my life. 365 days ago I lost a part of me that will never grow back and the pain will never go away. I’m sure that the pain will ease with time and the grief will become less raw, but even with the huge amount of joy and happiness that Maisie and his new baby brother will bring, there will always be a dull ache of sadness where Harry should be.
The morning of Saturday 16th 2013 replays in my head differently from day to day, sometimes whirring past as if in fast forward, sometimes dragging by slowly, and at other times a mixture of the two with bits like the ambulance journey seeming to take an absolute eternity and the interminable waiting for any news while they tried to revive our soldier. What overrides everything though is the memory of the empty feeling of complete and utter helplessness that I felt knowing that my efforts to revive Harry were having no effect.
I don’t know if I will write about Harry again as this seems like a natural end to the story. There are no more milestones for another ten months until his third birthday and as cathartic as these pieces are to write, reliving the memories is emotionally hard work. If this is indeed the last piece I write then I would like to thank each and every one of you that has taken the time to read my blog from the bottom of my heart. I am beyond humbled that anyone outside my immediate family and friends would be interested. I don’t know if there is anything that anyone can take from my words but if they have offered just one person some small crumb of comfort then I am glad.
I am incredibly lucky to have the support of a wonderful family and the most supportive of friends, without whom I could not have got through the last 786 days. Thank you, each and every single one of you. You will never know how much you have helped me.