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  • Writer's pictureEdwina Symonds


It is impossible to look at this photo and comprehend that this beautiful baby boy is not alive.

The mum in this photo radiates peace. She is beyond proud, beyond devoted to this new life.

That first night, the overwhelming first time love, that newborn wonder, that lioness badge achieved. Level up.

Who is he? Who will he grow to be?

Who will she become, as his mother? What will her new days take on?

The unknown is the magical.

But now I know. The life she has experienced as a mother has been the best, like most. But the worst, like many.

Parents of loss lead lives that are shattered.

Our hearts that are broken, still beat. They still grow.

But they always, always ache.

This baby boy was ‘supposed’ to live, he was ‘supposed’ to get a new bike today, ‘supposed’ to have woken up this morning at 5am with great anticipation ahead of cake for breakfast, a floor full of balloons.

But this precious baby is no longer here. He didn’t make his first birthday, let alone the fifth. A letter from the King won’t ever arrive.

It’s a tragedy that no-one can possibly come close to understanding unless you have lived experience.

Even I am confused. I wouldn’t want you to comprehend it, because it’s too painful to even try.

My life is lived with a filter of loss. I look at this photo and experience utter joy, and desperate heartache.

Those two things can be true. That is grief.

So I must believe that, somewhere else, this little boy IS riding that bike; that he DID get a double serving of icing on that breakfast cake. That he says “goodnight mummy I love you too”, back to me every night.

Because without that belief, I couldn’t be here. No bereaved parent could.

Today I ask you to help me celebrate Sebby, and say Happy Birthday to our beautiful boy even though he is not here.

Because this photo is real.

This moment, on 23 Sep 2017, was real. It was theirs alone and it took her breath away.

Dash and Elodie love celebrating Seb's birthday.

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