For Joseph, on your 10th birthday.

Joseph,

I have spent the last few months dreading this day, counting down the weeks, fearing the moment when you would feel further away than ever before, when I could say that a whole decade has passed since I held you in my arms. And whilst all of your birthdays have been hard, none have felt as truly momentous as this one, double figures, a huge milestone that I wanted, and needed, to honour.

And what started out as simply an idea to raise money for SANDS, a charity so close to our hearts, soon escalated into an awareness campaign, a media whirlwind and a celebration of your life and all that you meant to us. Over the last three weeks your story has been shared with our local newspapers, the national tabloids, various parenting websites, social media and amazingly, reached as far as Australia.

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I can’t even begin to tell you how proud this has made me, how comforting it has been to know that so many people have shared in your story, spoken your name, taken the time to reach out and offer me their love and support. I have been amazed at the number of emails flooding in through my in-box, people telling me how deeply you have touched them, how they too have suffered such tragic losses, how our story has given them hope of finding happiness in the future.

Because for such a long time I felt so guilty that I had gone on to find happiness, infact I was scared to feel happy again, unable to differentiate between the emotions of moving on and letting go. I was so scared that, should I move on, the time we had shared would feel even further away, that the memories would start to fade and ultimately, that I would start to forget you. It took me such a long time to realise that actually, it would be impossible to forget you. It would be impossible to forget those moments that we spent together, so deeply etched are they in my memory, impossible to deny that the beat of my heart still whispers your name, every heartbeat a gentle reminder that although life has moved on, we have taken you with us.

And so on Saturday, at our SANDS Summer Soiree, we all came together to celebrate your life, to raise money, and to remember that just because we didn’t get the ending we had hoped for, doesn’t mean that we didn’t get a happy ending. Because we did, even though it still hurts, and even though we feel your absence every minute of every day, there is no denying that your Dad and I have been truly blessed. And you would have been so proud of us all on Saturday, not just my family and friends but your Dads family and friends too, all of the people who had known and loved you, putting our differences aside and coming together in your honour. And as emotional as it was, and admittedly there were tears, it was also a really happy occasion with so much laughter, lots of drink and crazy dancing, and all of your family, your siblings, Lewis, Eva, Megan, Harry and Theo, safe in the knowledge that you will always be a part of our lives.

img_7190As always on your birthday, I try to imagine what you would be like at this age, whether you would be like Lewis or someone else entirely. I try to picture what you would look like, what our lives would have been like with you in it. I wonder what you would be into, whether you would be glued to your X-box playing Minecraft or out chasing Pokémon with other boys your age. Most of all, I wonder what you and Lewis would have been like, whether this would have been a difficult year for you with him moving on to High School, whether the two of you would still have been as thick as thieves, partners in crime, an older, cheekier version of your sisters. And I cant deny that it hurts when I try to imagine those things, when I fail to imagine you aged ten, when all I can see when I close my eyes is our little baby, with your mop of dark hair and those perfect little fingers and toes. I think that regardless of how many years pass, you will always be that baby. The little boy who changed our lives, stole our hearts and stayed forever young.

I used to tell myself that there is nothing I wouldn’t give to go back in time to that July, to 2006, when we were so innocently naïve, when you kicked away in my tummy with Lewis at my side, when life was seemingly perfect. And yet as the years have passed, and circumstances have changed, I am slowly learning that although life doesn’t always work out as we plan it to, perhaps life has it’s own plan for us, bigger than any of us could ever imagine. I’m not sure how our lives would have panned out had you survived, had we been a happy family of four, simply enjoying our boys. I’m not sure whether, even had my marriage ended afterwards, I would have wanted more children, if your siblings would have been an option, or a dream, for me to consider. It’s difficult to live with regret when had we gone down a different path, I would potentially be without your siblings. It’s a constant power struggle in my mind, the question of whether had there been you, would there have been Eva, Megan and Harry?

It’s not a question we will ever be able to answer, but I do know this.

You, Joseph Emmerson, made me the person I am today. Not just a different person, but a better person. You gave me strength I never knew I was capable of, you gave me the understanding to be more forgiving, more allowing of others behaviour, the knowledge that every single one of us is fighting a battle that others know nothing about. You made me want to be the very best that I could be, gave me the ambition and motivation to make you proud, the desire to live my life to the fullest, to embrace a life that you never got the chance to live. You made me a better wife, a better daughter, a better friend, and yet most importantly you gave me the greatest of gifts in making me a better Mother.

You are always there, an angel on my shoulder, reminding me not to sweat the small stuff, to take the time to simply sit down and snuggle these precious siblings of yours, to get down on the floor and build dens, draw pictures, pull funny faces, create magical lands where fairies fly and rainbows end. You got me through the hardest times of my life, were with me during the best times of my life, and you live on in all of us, in the sound of your siblings laughter, in the twinkle in their eyes, in the magical stories they tell me of how you fly in through the window at night and sprinkle them with angel kisses. You have given me so much, more than you will ever realise, and I am so thankful for you, for every moment of you, then, now, always.

And so on your 10th birthday, we shall remember you, in the same way that we do every day, and we will remind ourselves how very blessed we were to have you and the legacy you left behind. You will always be my sweetest hello and my hardest goodbye, and I wouldn’t change it, not one moment of it, ever.

Love and miss you all the stars in the sky.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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155 Comments

  1. July 19, 2016 / 8:26 am

    Oh Laura.
    You couldn’t have written something anymore perfect.
    Well done.
    Sending you all the love today and be proud of yourself, I’m sure Joseph would be.xxx

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:48 pm

      Thanks Gem, that means a lot to me. I am so proud of what we achieved this weekend, not just in the money we raised or how well the night went, but also in the fact that we gave Joseph the recognition he deserved and honoured his name together, the whole family. xxx

  2. July 19, 2016 / 8:44 am

    What an amazing post, we need more voices like yours to help others who are struggling. Thank you for sharing. #DreamTeam

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:47 pm

      Thank you, I hope that it helps even one person to find a way forward. xx

  3. July 19, 2016 / 8:56 am

    Beautifully written. I’m so glad your event went well. Your doing a wonderful thing, keeping Joseph’s memory and raising awareness for SANDS. 😊 #dreamteam

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:47 pm

      Thank you. I think hosting our event really helped give us something to focus on this year, it was something very positive amongst all of the sadness. xx

  4. July 19, 2016 / 10:47 am

    Such a beautiful and moving post. Thinking of you and your family as you mark Joseph’s 10th birthday xx #twinklytuesday

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:46 pm

      Thank you Louise, it was actually a lovely day for our family remembering a very special little boy. xxx

  5. Mrs Morgan Plus 3
    July 19, 2016 / 10:49 am

    Oh my I’m sat crying in my back garden! What a beautiful post. #bigpinklink

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:45 pm

      Ahh bless you, thank you so much. xxx

  6. July 19, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    Such a sad post, but so heartwarming. Your story is such an inspiration! I love how after all those years of tears, heartbreak and disappointment, you finally have your dream family 🙂

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:45 pm

      Thank you, it really has been a long time coming and yet you are so right, we have been very blessed that’s for sure. xx

  7. VaiChin
    July 19, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    Oh, hun! I’ve got goosebumps and a lump in my throat reading this. xxx

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:45 pm

      Ahh thank you for reading, much appreciated. xx

  8. reimerandruby
    July 19, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    What a very touching post…a lovely way of celebrating someone so dear and special. I still remember his beautiful face in your previous post and I have to say, he’s one sweet angel. #mg

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:44 pm

      Ahh thank you lovely, he really is the most special little boy. xxx

  9. July 19, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    What a beautiful post! Lots of hugs to you and your family xxx

  10. July 19, 2016 / 8:40 pm

    Oh my goodness what an absolutely thoroughly beautiful post. I have tears in my eyes reading this. The power of love is so strong. What a beautiful post and a beautiful event to hold in Josephs memory #KCACOLS

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:43 pm

      Ahh thank you. He is so loved, always, and yesterday was actually a very special day for us all remembering our Joseph who I’m sure is never far away. xxx

  11. July 19, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    A beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. #DreamTeam

  12. July 20, 2016 / 8:04 am

    Your words are always so touching and beautifully written. Such a lovely tribute and birthday message to your boy. He would be so proud of his mummy x

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:41 pm

      Thank you, I do hope so. xxx

  13. July 20, 2016 / 12:27 pm

    Ah what a lovely post. Happy Birthday little angel and shining star Joseph, who seems so very present today.
    #KCACOLS

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Thank you, he was definitely shining down on us yesterday. xxx

  14. Holly Miller
    July 20, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    So beautifully written as always Laus. Thinking of you and your special angel boy in the sky. Love you lots xxx

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Thanks lovely, ten years, it doesn’t seem possible does it? xxx

  15. July 20, 2016 / 2:55 pm

    Oh Laura, this is just beautiful. I’m sitting here with my eyes brimming with tears for everything you have been through. You are so inspiring, to be so positive…this is the perfect tribute to your darling Joseph. Thank you for sharing it with the #dreamteam xxx

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:39 pm

      Thank you, it’s important for me that I share the fact that there IS happiness after tragedy, even though life is changed irreversibly, it doesn’t mean that it is over. For such a long time I was scared to allow myself to be happy, and although I would love more than anything for Joseph to be here, I think finally, after ten long years, I have finally accepted that won’t ever happen. Bitter sweet to say the least. xxx

      • July 20, 2016 / 8:17 pm

        Oh that was the part that made me tear up, that you were scared to allow yourself to move on. You are such a remarkable person, and as you say the memories will never fade xxx

  16. July 20, 2016 / 3:05 pm

    Oh this is just so beautiful. I always enjoy reading your posts, you are so emotive in the way you write. Thankyou as always for linking up something so personal with the #bestandworst

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      Thank you, I had a good cry writing this for him, it’s always sad when this is all there is, but so important to me at the same time. Thank you for reading. xxx

  17. July 20, 2016 / 3:49 pm

    Every single word is written to perfection and you couldn’t have touched my heart any better than you have done in this post! A massive happy birthday to Joseph! Many many happy returns to him on the special day the universe dedicates to him!

    http://www.shewillneverlose.com

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:37 pm

      Thank you so much, these letters are all I have so it’s so important to me that they are just right. Thank you for reading. xxx

  18. reimerandruby
    July 20, 2016 / 6:40 pm

    visiting again from #sharewithme

  19. thefrenchiemummy
    July 20, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    I am a puddle of tears so I can’t say thanks! I knew that it would happen as soon as I saw your post because I read the previous one you wrote before the party. And the last picture you put on of him as a baby is so moving. You are a very strong person for celebrating it this way as I am sure you are missing him every single day. Bravo! Off to share it on twitter but i will warn people lol. Still crying by the way….#LifeLovingLinkie

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:49 pm

      Thank you so much, and I’m so sorry I made you cry. These letters are so important to me and actually hugely therapeutic. Ten years is such a huge milestone and whilst I am so proud of Joseph and all he has achieved in his short life, I am so proud of myself and his Dad for surviving it. xx

  20. July 20, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    What a beautiful post, I cannot imagine for a moment what you went through ten years ago, but you pulled through, you have an amazing family and you’re using your experience to do amazing work to help others, you’re an inspiration and so strong. I’m sending a big hug out to you.

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:47 pm

      Thank you so much. I think it is so important to stress that although we were so unlucky, we were also very lucky in other ways. I suppose it gets to where you realise that life does go on, and as hard as it is, you pave a new path and you go with it. xx

  21. July 20, 2016 / 9:29 pm

    I couldn’t finish without wetting my keyboard, thanks for sharing your letter/post. I am sure he is very proud of how far you’ve come.

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:47 pm

      Aww bless you, thank you so much for reading. xxx

  22. July 20, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    What beautiful words. I met another mother during my last pregnancy whose first baby was born sleeping. She was pregnant with her second and had a difficult time when he was born. Thankfully he is now a happy baby boy about to celebrate his first birthday. Your words remind me of her strength which regularly floors me. I have never had to endure what either if you have but her story and yours inspire me to be better for my three monkeys every day. Thank you x

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:46 pm

      Ahh thank you. It’s devastating to hear of other parents in the same situation, it breaks my heart to think that this is happening far too often every single day. I never considered myself strong until we lost Joseph, and yet in leaving us he left us with such strength and determination and here we are, still surviving. xx

  23. leannelc
    July 21, 2016 / 1:58 am

    that was beautiful and such a tribute to Joseph (and to his siblings) I’m so glad you had a happy ending and you include him in your family celebrations and memories. He must smile every time he looks down on you from heaven x

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:42 pm

      Thank you. Ahh I hope he does, he has so many people down here who love and miss him and his siblings are growing up safe in the knowledge that he is watching over them and keeping them safe. xx

  24. July 21, 2016 / 3:24 am

    What a beautiful post. I admire your strength to carry on, I don’t think I could go through such repeated heartache. Happy 10th birthday Joseph!

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:41 pm

      Thank you. I think everyone thinks that until it happens to them, and faced with the choice of sink or swim, you just do what you have to do. xx

      • July 22, 2016 / 3:46 am

        Oh definitely. Alot of people said the same to us when our son was really poorly, but you just have to get on with it don’t you? Xx

        • July 22, 2016 / 11:18 am

          Absolutely, because the alternative is too awful to even think about. Us parents are pretty amazing aren’t we? Xxx

  25. July 21, 2016 / 8:39 am

    I am glad to hear that the fundraising went well and I am sure Joseph was there watching and smiling over you all x

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:39 pm

      Thank you, I’m sure that he was and I hope that we made him proud. xxx

  26. Mouse, Moo and Me Too
    July 21, 2016 / 8:54 am

    Absolutely beautiful post to read – it sounds like it was very cathartic to write, too. A lovely way to preserve your feelings. Xxx #stayclassymama

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:38 pm

      Thank you, yes it was hugely cathartic. I didn’t realise just how far we had come until I wrote this. We have been very blessed. xxx

  27. July 21, 2016 / 9:47 am

    I have no real words, because honestly what can I say. You’ve written it all down so perfectly and so beautifully. Xx #coolmumclub

  28. July 21, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Such an inspirational story and it’s lovely to see that despite the heartache and tears you and your family have been able to not only keep Joseph’s memory very much alive but also go on to raise awareness and money for SANDS and celebrate his 10th birthday in such a positive, optimistic way. You always write so openly about your experience, which I believe must be a comfort to anyone who has suffered the loss of a child, so to be able to show others in a similar situation that happiness is still very much possible is a wonderful thing. x #fartglitter

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:37 pm

      Thank you. I think for such a long time I was only able to focus on the negatives, this last year has really been a turning point for me in accepting that life DOES go on. I think it is impossible to believe that in those early days, and also it seems like a betrayal to be happy and to move on? We have been so unlucky in so many ways, but so, SO very lucky in others. I’m in a really good place right now, long may it last. xxx

      • July 21, 2016 / 2:27 pm

        I completely understand what you mean, like you should feel guilty for being happy but it’s really good to hear that you are able to move forward now in a more positive frame of mind- absolutely, long may it continue. You have such a gorgeous family, hard work no doubt but worth it (most days!) 😀 x

        • July 22, 2016 / 11:24 am

          Haha yes most days!! Ask me again next week after ten days away with the crew, I’ll probably be completely insane!!! Xx

  29. July 21, 2016 / 11:49 am

    Just popping in from #brillblogposts – forgot to say, that ‘toes’ photo is so adorable 🙂 x

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:35 pm

      Thank you. It’s my favourite photo. xxx

  30. July 21, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    Oh Laura, I cried reading this, but do you know what, when I saw the post title, I knew exactly who you were talking about, I know who Joseph is, me, a stranger to you, knows your baby boy, you have kept him alive and you are continuing his story and sharing it with so many others, (I saw these headlines being shared and I didn’t even know it was you! You’re famous!), people know Joseph. I want to say more but the screen is all blurry so I’ll just tell you that I’m thinking of you and your beautiful children. All of them.xxx Thanks for being a #bigpinklinker

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:35 pm

      Oh gosh, this made me cry too! Thank you so much, you have no idea how much that means to me. It has been the biggest comfort to me to know that Josephs story has been shared and that he is known, that’s all I have ever wanted. I am such a proud mummy, of all five of my children, and it’s amazing how many people know my son and have taken him into their hearts. Thanks again, so much appreciated. xxx

      • July 23, 2016 / 8:41 pm

        I’m sorry I made you cry too! I’m so glad that your fundraiser went well. you are doing a phenomenal job of raising awareness and reaching out to people at the worst times in their lives. You write so beautifully and come across as such a lovely Mama. I so hope to meet you in person one day. 🙂 xx

        • August 3, 2016 / 3:38 pm

          I would love that! Definitely one day! xxx

  31. July 21, 2016 / 12:05 pm

    An amazing, beautifully written post. #babyformula

  32. July 21, 2016 / 12:40 pm

    Oh Laura – this is just beautiful and what a fitting tribute to your beautiful boy. I was in tears when I read the angel kisses part. So glad the fundraising went well too. #KCACOLS

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:34 pm

      Ahh thank you so much. xxx

  33. July 21, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful. I’m so glad the fundraising went well. Sending lots of love xx #KCACOLS

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:33 pm

      Thank you, we couldn’t have asked for it to go any better, lots of tears yes, but so much happiness and love for our little boy. xxx

  34. mackenzieglanville
    July 21, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    Aspen asks me sometimes if she would be here if I hadn’t had the miscarriages before her, the truth is she would not be here, so how can I wish to change the outcome. I do though, I wish I could have those babies and Aspen, but it is not possible, it never could have been. I am truly blessed. As are you and all your beautiful, vibrant children. I am so proud of you!!! You are an inspiration to more peel than you know. Happy Birthday Joseph xx #mg

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:59 pm

      That’s how I feel about my miscarriages Mac, I wouldn’t have had 20 babies so I can’t live with regret over them. And it’s the same with Joseph, would my marriage have ended had we not been faced with such tragedy? Even if it had, would I have wanted more children had I had the two already? I won’t ever know the answer to that, and I wish I could have Lewis, Joseph and the youngest three, but like you say, it wasn’t possible and you just have to find a way to live with that and carry on with life the best you can. Thank you so much for such lovely words, means ever so much. Xxx

  35. July 21, 2016 / 6:12 pm

    This is just beautiful, really emotional to read. I can understand that guilt about moving on, but that’s life isn’t it, you have to go on. But that doesn’t mean you forget. I think it’s beautiful how you’re keeping his memory alive. x #KCACOLS

    • July 22, 2016 / 11:23 am

      Thank you. It’s taken a long time to let go of that guilt, I think anyone who has suffered a loss feels that way at first but it’s true what everyone says, I’m sure Joseph would want us to be happy and to enjoy his siblings. Xxx

  36. July 21, 2016 / 6:40 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss. You’ve brought a tear to my eye. #KCACOLS

    • July 22, 2016 / 11:22 am

      Ahh thank you Helena. Xxx

  37. July 21, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    Beautiful and moving post. I hope you can take some pride in all the good your doing and everything you’ve achieved despite a devastating loss.
    #fartglitter

    • July 22, 2016 / 11:22 am

      Thank you. Super proud of ourselves, and I hope Joseph feels the same. Xxx

  38. July 21, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    Oh hun I never knew you had had such a traumatic struggle to conceive, so sorry that you lost Joseph but like you said he is watching over you and is so proud of his mum. You wrote so beautifully and eloquently, I could feel your heartbreak in every word and my heart bled for you. Stay strong hun xxx

    • July 22, 2016 / 11:21 am

      Ahh thank you. I think the majority of people assume that we simply fell pregnant very easily where as really it was a long, hard journey. We have been SO lucky though, much more than most, and that definitely helps keep us smiling. Xxx

  39. July 21, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    You have written so beautifully about your son. It was hard but great to read at the same time. You have been through so much and have a beautiful family and are so rightly a proud mum. Thank you for sharing such personal feelings, I hope other people can also feel comforted by what you have written. Great work raising awareness and funds for SANDS too. #KCACOLS

    • July 22, 2016 / 11:19 am

      Thank you. I always feel so grateful that others read this posts as I know they aren’t easy to read. Joseph deserves to be known, and have his story told, and that has been a huge comfort on his tenth birthday. Xxx

  40. July 22, 2016 / 10:47 am

    So beautifully written. I can’t imagine how you must feel, thank you for sharing and it’s so important to raise awareness x

    • July 22, 2016 / 11:17 am

      Thank you so much. Yes it’s so important, it’s actually a huge comfort to us to do that. Xx

  41. July 22, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    Oh Laura, your writing is just beautiful – honest, heartfelt and a perfect tribute to Joseph. And you are just such an inspirational person – I’m sure Joseph is so proud of you all and I’m sure that your words will be a help and a comfort to anyone going through something similar. I’m so pleased that the event was such a success and you raised so much money for such a wonderful charity. Thanks for sharing this with us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • July 22, 2016 / 3:03 pm

      Thank you so much. It’s been so lovely to hear so many people tell me that Joseph would be proud of us, that’s the best we could hope for isn’t it? xxx

  42. July 22, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    This is so moving and beautifully written. Your beautiful boy would be so proud of you and what you achieved. To get everyone together and celebrate Joseph is the perfect tribute to him. I am so pleased it was a success and you raised money for a brilliant charity. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x

    • July 22, 2016 / 3:03 pm

      Thank you so much, all we ever wanted to do was make him proud and I’m so glad that we could do that together, all of us, as a family. xx

  43. min1980
    July 22, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    Oh, I had tears in my eyes at the bit about your children’s stories of Joseph flying in at night and giving them angel kisses. The toes photo is lovely and so glad the birthday event for SANDS was such a success. They are a fab charity. #coolmumclub

    • July 22, 2016 / 3:02 pm

      Ahh bless you, it’s amazing what children say isn’t it? I so hope that there is some truth to it. Yes it was such a fab night and an amazing success, it was lovely to give something back. xx

  44. July 22, 2016 / 3:16 pm

    What a beautiful letter but it is very hard to read through my tears. I am so glad that you have found happiness. We are only here for a very short time and should saviour every moment. Love to you and your family

    • July 22, 2016 / 3:17 pm

      Ahh thank you so much. It’s so important to remember that isn’t it? I think it would be very easy to allow our tragedies to define us and yet really, we have to make sure that we live our lives even fuller, to fill them with as much love and happiness to combat all that sadness. Thank you for reading. Xxx

  45. July 22, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    A beautiful letter which I read through my tears. What a lovely tribute to your son. #FabFridayPost

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:40 pm

      Ahh thank you Lucy. xxx

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:40 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah. xxx

  46. July 22, 2016 / 6:57 pm

    A beautifully written post. You and your family are an inspiration. The work you do with SANDs is fantastic and I am sure there are so many grateful families out there receiving help due to your continued dedication x #stayclassy

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:40 pm

      Thank you so much. Much appreciated. xxx

  47. July 22, 2016 / 7:56 pm

    What an incredibly moving post Laura. Your honesty and openness has really touched me, and so many others.
    Happy Birthday Joseph. xxx
    Thank you for sharing with #coolmumclub

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:39 pm

      Thank you so much lovely, much appreciated that you take the time to read each week. xxx

  48. July 22, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    Happy Birthday, Joseph.
    I lost my little boy in July. He would have been 30 this year. I know every word of your post.
    Sending hugs to you and your family.
    #BloggerClubUK

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:39 pm

      Oh Suz I am so sorry. How awful for you and your family, it never gets easier does it? Much love to you all. xxx

  49. July 23, 2016 / 8:29 am

    Well done for speaking out and raising awareness, and all that money for Sands. I’m sure it will help lots of people xxxx #bestandworst

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:38 pm

      Thanks lovely, I do hope so. xxx

  50. July 23, 2016 / 9:18 am

    This moved me to tears, lots of love xx

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:38 pm

      Ahh I’m sorry! Thank you for reading. xxx

  51. July 23, 2016 / 11:20 am

    Oh, how beautiful. So deep, touching, and heartbreaking all at once.
    Happy Birthday to your little boy, Joseph. xo #KCACOLS

  52. mummyfever
    July 23, 2016 / 10:57 pm

    A very happy birthday little man – what a very special and brave mummy you have.
    Thank you for sharing this amazing story on #sharewithme this week

  53. July 24, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    This is just beautiful. You are so brave to share your story with the world. My older sister passed away at 8 months old. I never knew her. I think about her often. What would she have looked like as an adult? What would she be interested in? Would we be best friends? I think this is such a wonderful way to honor and remember your son. Thank you for sharing. #MomstersLink

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:37 pm

      Oh I am so sorry to hear that about your sister, how utterly devastating for you and your family. It’s those what if’s isn’t it? Wondering what they would be like, all of the things that you have missed out on together? I see it so much through Lewis, it breaks my heart. Lots of love to you and thank you so much for reading. xxx

  54. Nige
    July 24, 2016 / 5:57 pm

    What a beautiful and touching post thanks for sharing Thanks for linking to the #binkylinky please come back next week

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:36 pm

      Thanks Nige, will be back this week now we are finally home! xx

  55. July 25, 2016 / 11:56 am

    What a beautiful post. So beautifully written with so much love and heartbreak. Happy birthday Joseph. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:31 pm

      Thank you for reading. xxx

  56. thebrightnessofthesedays
    July 26, 2016 / 7:41 am

    This is so beautiful and moving. You couldn’t have done more to honour his memory & raise awareness. Happy Birthday Joseph xxx #coolmumclub

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:31 pm

      Thank you, that means so much. xxx

  57. July 26, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    What a lovely post and so touching. Happy Birthday Joseph.
    Thanks for linking up to #TheBabyFormula x

  58. July 27, 2016 / 3:03 am

    Oh… Laura you have me crying in such a mess again. Such a beautiful written post. Happy Birthday to your dear Joseph. You are an amazing women who have shown and inspired others about Joseph story. Thank you so much for sharing your emotional post with us on #FabFridayPost Love & Big Hugs XXX

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:31 pm

      Oh I’m so sorry! Thank you so much for reading though, much appreciated. xxx

  59. July 27, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    My thoughts are with you Laura. I can’t imagine how tough it must be, but I’m glad you can take comfort knowing that your story and your bravery will help others through dark times.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:30 pm

      Thank you Sally. Much appreciated. xxx

  60. carolcliffe
    July 28, 2016 / 11:17 am

    So moving, so beautifully written.Thank you for being brave enough to share your very heartfelt thoughts, and in doing so, helping so many others. #SharingtheBlogLove

  61. July 28, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    So beautifully written. Hugs to you mama and so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such personal feelings.

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:30 pm

      Thank you for reading. xxx

  62. July 28, 2016 / 2:10 pm

    Oh my goodness, this brought a tear to my eye. Such a beautiful, heartfelt post x #sharingthebloglove

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:30 pm

      Ahh thank you so much. xxx

  63. July 28, 2016 / 6:45 pm

    Wow what a beautiful post, made me cry. Such a special little boy, happy birthday! Thanks for linking to #picknmix

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:30 pm

      Ahh thank you, and sorry for making you cry! xxx

  64. Penny Plain Fit (@pennyplainfit)
    July 29, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    I don’t want to say much more than “Happy Birthday, Joseph”. And hugs for you xo –Andreea

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:29 pm

      Thank you. Much appreciated. xxx

  65. July 31, 2016 / 11:20 pm

    This is such a heartfelt post, it brought me to tears. Sorry for you loss, you are truly an inspiration Laura. Happy birthday to Joseph.
    Sending you loads of love and hugs
    #SharingtheBlogLove

    • August 3, 2016 / 3:29 pm

      Thank you, and thank you for reading. xxx

  66. August 6, 2016 / 9:11 am

    Laura, I have to say, your honesty and willingness to share this story that has not only touched you and your family, but it is touching others as well. I know because of Joseph, and his story, you just made me a better Mom too. You are a very strong woman who has overcome so much. Some woudl say too much to bear. But I look at you, your family, your smiles, and I know that somehow you have managed to be not just okay, but better than that. Joseph helped you, changed you, and you are using that tohelp all of us. That is someting to be commended. Brave lady, I send you (hugs) and wish Joseph, who is still so very much with you, a happy birthday. #momsterlink #fartglitter #bigpinklink #mg <3 <3 <3

    • August 6, 2016 / 9:20 am

      Oh gosh this comment just made me tear up, what an utterly lovely thing to say. It is an absolute honour to share my story, more so when I see that it is helping others in the same situation or simply as you say, making others a better Mummy too. I am so proud of Joseph and all that he has achieved, I hope that, wherever he is, he can see just how many people have taken him into their hearts and are taking his memory forward every single day. Thank you so, so much you lovely lady. Xxxxxxx

  67. August 6, 2016 / 10:40 pm

    So beautifully written. And I absolutely love all the pictures but especially the one of those tiny little precious feet and the black and white of your beautiful kids. You should be so proud of yourself for accomplishing what you have. For how far you have come and believe me I am sure there are some days that are harder than others but you shine through it so well. Thank you so much for sharing Joseph’s birthday with #momsterslink.

    • August 7, 2016 / 12:29 pm

      Ahh thank you lovely. His little toes were so utterly perfect. I am so proud of all of us, of Joseph, of our family and friends and the way in which Josephs Dad and I were able to come together and celebrate our son. That meant a lot to me, to have everyone there all in one room who loves and misses him just as much as we do. xxx

      • August 7, 2016 / 4:15 pm

        That is wonderful. I know that each and everyone around you missed him. No parent should ever have to bury their child but at least you have turned a negative absence into a positive way of remembering him. ((Hugs))

  68. Kimberly (Media Mummy)
    November 19, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    Laura I have tears in my eyes. I have just come across your blog and it’s beautiful!
    This post is so honest and pure and simple, and a wonderful way to keep the memory of your son alive. What you endured was so awful. I look forward to reading more lovely posts by you x

    • Laura Dove
      November 20, 2016 / 3:54 pm

      Oh thank you so much. It’s always a real honour to share Joseph with somebody new, to think that one more person has learned of his story and holds him in the heart, even if just for a moment, is such a lovely feeling. Thank you so, so much. xxxx

  69. January 28, 2017 / 9:35 am

    Laura I’ve just seen this via twitter. I found your blog recently and I can’t stop reading. I just wanted to let you know how beautiful and powerful your writing is. I’m sure Joseph would be so so proud of what you’ve achieved and where you’ve come xxx

    • Laura Dove
      January 29, 2017 / 9:11 pm

      Ahh Susie thank you so much. That’s so lovely of you to say and I’m touched by your comment, I so hope that Joseph would be proud of me, that thought is what always gets me through those bad days. xxx

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