Monday, September 09, 2013


Happy Birthday to my little Will.
He'd be 11 years old today, and probably not so little any more.

It's strange - normally when I think of him, he's the chubby-cheeked, peach-skinned baby I held in my arms on that rainy day in 2002.
But today I've been imagining a tall, leggy, sandy-haired mischief of a boy, opening his presents and enjoying all the birthday fun.

I've felt pretty sad all day, to be honest. I couldn't really work out why, because normally Will's birthday feels like a pretty positive day for me - celebrating the day I became a mum for the first time, and the day I held him in my arms for the first - and last - time.
But I think, in picturing him as he would have been, if Meckel-Gruber syndrome had never got its filthy, murderous hands on him, I've had a greater sense of what he - and we - lost.
All those years and all those firsts.

Yes, I know, better than anyone, that if Will had been well, in all likelihood I'd never have had Charlie - because 14 months between kids is NOT my idea of fun.

But I can't rationalise Will's death simply because of Charlie's life.
My wonderful Charlie-Boy being here doesn't cancel out the loss of my first beautiful boy.
The two events can't be linked - I can't, and won't, be 'grateful' that losing Will gave me the chance to have Charlie. It doesn't work like that.

I wish Will had lived for longer.
I wish he'd lived a full, long life and died an old man with his children and grandchildren beside him.
But he couldn't.
And he didn't.

He was only here, living and breathing for 15 short minutes.

But that quarter of an hour was indescribably precious to me.
Every second, every minute.

He was, and is, my son.
I love him.

And that's just the way it is.

I've heard it said that grief is the price we pay for love. It may be 11 years, and yes, he may have only been alive for 15 minutes, but he was my glorious, beautiful boy, and I will gladly pay that price until the day I die.

Happy Birthday, Son. xxx

1 comment:

Ann Fisher said...

Beautifully written Ali, as well as being totally and utterly right. xxxxx