For Joseph on our 12th Christmas without you

Dear Joseph,

Last night we brought the tree down from the attic, the big box of decorations and the twinkling lights, and instantly I felt it, that clawing feeling in the back of my throat, the deep ache in the pit of my belly, the rising sense of panic as it hit me that another year has passed without you.

Every day is tough without you, every Monday, every Wednesday, every weekend that passes, and yet Christmas will always be particularly hard.

I remember our first Christmas without you and how, just five months after we’d said goodbye, we had simply gone through the motions to try and make Lewis’s Christmas as wonderful as possible despite the fact our hearts were breaking. I remember sitting in the bathroom after dinner and sobbing for the baby I did not hold, the ‘My First Christmas Babygro’ unworn in your wardrobe, the stocking which would never be filled. But most of all I remember wondering how we would ever find a way to ever enjoy Christmas again when everything we had planned for had been destroyed.

By the time our third Christmas without you came around, your Dad and I had already separated, too consumed by our grief to find a way forward, too caught up in the past to even consider a future. And that was so hard, to know that the family I had longed for was now down to just two, and I genuinely don’t know how I survived that Christmas.

By our sixth Christmas without you I was engaged to Gaz, pregnant with Eva, and our Christmas was wonderful in so many ways. But I still struggled that year, fraught with worry about the baby who kicked in my tummy, wracked with guilt that for the first time in six long years our Christmas had been filled with love and laughter.

And as Christmas came round each year, first with two, then three, then four beautiful children, rather than feeling that things were getting easier, I actually found it harder. Seeing Lewis tearing open his presents, Eva’s excitement over her first stocking, Megan in her Christmas romper, Harry propped up in a Santa suit, they simply reminded me of all the Christmas’s we never got to spend with you.

We never got the chance to take you and Lewis to see Santa, to pay an obscene amount to queue in a freezing cold grotto, to receive a colouring book and crayons from a man with a polyester beard. We never got the chance to watch you in your first nativity, an angel in a cut out bedsheet, a wreath of tinsel in your hair, singing Jingle Bells at the top of your voice. We never got the chance to snuggle up with a Christmas movie, to wrap you and Lewis in my arms, drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream, toasty and warm as the snow fell outside.

We never got the chance to write your Christmas wish list, to see you and Lewis circling every single item in the Argos catalogue, fighting it out over who would get which Transformer, debating the pros and cons of Bumblebee or Optimus Prime. We never got to tuck you into bed on Christmas Eve, to have you throw your arms around my neck and tell me that you would stay awake all night listening out for those reindeer bells. We never got to kiss you goodnight just moments later as you slept.

We never got to see your face on Christmas morning, to see you and Lewis comparing stockings, prising action figures from their boxes, wielding bullet slinging Nerf guns around the house. We never got to see your face at the dinner table, to pull a cracker, put on your party hat, shovel down chocolate yule log and disappear with Lewis for your next Power Ranger Battle. We never got to put you to bed on Christmas day, to tell you how very much we love you, to thank you for making our lives so incredibly wonderful.

And in that way, as our 12th Christmas without you approaches, my heart aches for all of those things, all of those moments, and all of those years without you.

And I guess it’s because of that loss why I try so hard to make our Christmas perfect. It’s the reason why I exhaust myself with days out and Christmas crafts, baking gingerbread and making salt dough Santa’s, trailing the shops for the perfect gifts for your siblings. It’s the reason why I over compensate on Christmas morning, why our home will be filled with festive tunes and extravagant presents, why I allow the children to eat chocolate for breakfast and stay up as late as they like.

It’s the reason why I make sure that our day is filled with smiles and laughter, why we put on our party hats, play silly games and pull party poppers like there’s no tomorrow. It’s the reason why I take a hundred photos, make a thousand memories, overlook their tantrums a little more, worry about them eating their vegetables a little less, hold each and every one of them that little bit tighter.

It’s the reason why I do everything I can to give your siblings the best Christmas you’ll never have, to create the memories that you and I will never make, to fill our days with magical moments so there are fewer moments for my heart to break.

And although our Christmas’s are undoubtedly a time for love and laughter, for spending time as a family and feeling so very grateful at just how lucky we have been,  I hope you know that beneath that smile is a Mummy, missing her son, who would do just about anything to have you here with us.

You are so missed Joseph, today and every day, and I feel both happy and sad, both proud and heartbroken, that your memory lives on in your siblings, that your name is spoken daily, and that you are shining, the brightest star in the sky, on all of us this Christmas.

I love you,

Mum

xxxxx

 

 

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130 Comments

  1. November 30, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    This is really such a lovely letter and a lovely post for others to read who might be suffering too

    • Laura Dove
      November 30, 2017 / 5:11 pm

      Thank you Sonia, I hope it does help someone feel a little less alone. xx

  2. November 30, 2017 / 1:16 pm

    Oh my goodness, this is so beautiful and I’m sat here with tears rolling down my cheeks. I’m so sorry you have to live with this loss and that you never got to make those beautiful memories together. I believe that those who have left us are in a special, perfect place and when it is our time we will join them, while we wait for those we left to join us and eventually we will all be together. Sending you and your family my love xx

    • Laura Dove
      November 30, 2017 / 7:22 pm

      Thank you Emma. It’s incredibly hard at this time of year as Christmas is all about family and when one of your family is missing, whoever that is, it’s always going to hurt. Thank you so much for reading. xxx

  3. November 30, 2017 / 7:46 pm

    It must be so hard at times for you,Laura. I remember right after I moved my whole life to Michigan and Lori,one night she awoke with such pain I had to rush her to the ER at 2 AM. It turned it that it was something the doctors could fix right away and get her painfree. We thought we were the only ones there until we saw a young couple walking as well,the girl has miscarried and they had gotten the bad news. The husband was so loving and he held very close as they walked by us. I have thought of the couple through the years and always hoped they stayed together and end up having a loving family. It’s been 17 years since that night and it has always stayed with me.

    This is why I get angry and I guess as some clueless people would put it,”mean”,whenever they feel like telling people like us that “time heals” and “don’t dwell on the past” and other crap like that. We have hearts and souls,we have lived through some unspeakably sad times and we don’t always heal. Even now,remarried and with a lovely family,your heart is still broken. I have no children so I can’t understand what you are feeling but I do understand…..what you are feeling. Gaz,you are a lucky man……

    • Laura Dove
      November 30, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      Thank you so much Patrick for such lovely words. The fact that you still think of that couple seventeen years later is just another reminder of what a wonderful, kind hearted person you are. I too hope that they were blessed with a precious rainbow. I totally agree with you on the hurtful things that people say, to say time heals may come from a place of wanting to comfort, but actually it’s quite insulting to us missing a loved one. Christmas is so hard for so many of us, for a thousand different reasons, but waking up without someone we love on Christmas morning is the saddest feeling of all. You give that cheetah an extra squeeze from me you lovely, lovely man. xxx

  4. November 30, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    So much of this is all too familiar. We were bought some beautiful tree memory decorations the year we lost Nell, and we put the Christmas tree up that year straight after her funeral. That christmas was undoubtedly the ghost of Christmas past, and there will always be elements of Christmas tradition that take me back to that dark place. Although life goes on without them, they will always be the ones missing at Christmas time, but never missing from our thoughts.
    Lots of love to you Laura xx
    Thanks for sharing

    • Laura Dove
      November 30, 2017 / 8:49 pm

      I think Christmas is the most magical time of year and yet at the same time, the absolute hardest for those missing a loved one. When you look around that dinner table on Christmas day, that loss feels even bigger than ever before. I’m so sorry that you can relate to this lovely and I know that Christmas is equally bittersweet for you. Much love to you as always. xxx

  5. November 30, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    This is so beautifully written, I can’t imagine how you found the strength to write it. You’ve made me realise how fortunate I am to have three healthy children, I can’t imagine the difficult times you must have been through.

    • Laura Dove
      November 30, 2017 / 9:44 pm

      Thank you Clare, I really appreciate that. I think Christmas is hard for anyone missing a loved one, it’s a really wonderful, but incredibly tough time of year. xxx

  6. November 30, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    This is such a touching letter and I am sorry for your loss. You will always have a special space in your heart for your angel that has gone to heaven but god had given you the happiness to share with his siblings. I hope that this Christmas your pain eases in knowing that he is never forgotten and will always remain with you, looking down and happy that you are thinking of him always.

    • Laura Dove
      November 30, 2017 / 9:43 pm

      Thank you Nayna. You are so right, I am sure he is never far away, only today the children spoke of him and how he flies in through the window to play with their toys. Its lovely that he is such a part of our family still, at Christmas and every day. xxx

  7. Tina
    November 30, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    Such beautiful words for your precious Joseph. I can only imagine how hard it must be to feel the intense sadness and loss even more keenly and yet the wonder and magic of Christmas too. I can understand why you try to fill each moment with making new memories but take a little time for yourself if you feel you need it, to reflect and remember or to stand beneath the starry winter sky and look up towards your brightest star. 🌟 You are the best mum, my lovely friend, never forget that. Thinking of you, as always, and sending all my love. Txx

    • Laura Dove
      November 30, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      Thank you so much Tina, I really needed to hear that today. You are so right, every year I try to fill every moment and bury away my grief at the back of my mind and yet it’s always there and perhaps, even at Christmas, it’s okay to face it. Thank you my lovely xxx

  8. December 1, 2017 / 12:32 am

    Oh bless you Laura this is beautiful and so poignant. There is so much regret in life sometimes and it’s so hard. I totally get that need to make everything perfect for your family, for different reasons, but with similar motivations. I’m up super late tonight, but I’m going to make time to go kiss my kids on my way to bed, because at the end of the day those moments are what matter so much. Wishing you a peaceful and happy Christmas x

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Thank you so much Helen, I really appreciate you reading. I am so grateful to Joseph for reminding me of the special moments, even when life is hard. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas. xx

  9. December 1, 2017 / 12:42 am

    I had enough goosebumps reading this post, my heart goes out to you and indeed the child you miss so much who was never able to see the Christmas with your lovely family. I could so very well understand the grief which took over all your personal relations! But all I can say is be strong, you have lovely kids to love you all through your life.

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 10:18 am

      Thank you Jhilmil, I really appreciate that. I have been so lucky to have four healthy children, I will be taking comfort in them this Christmas. xx

  10. December 1, 2017 / 6:47 am

    What a very heartfelt letter for your dear Joseph. I know it is hard and always be part of you everyday life. Just think that you had him as your guardian angel and that he is always with you and your family.

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 10:17 am

      Thank you Anosa, that’s such a lovely way to look at it. I’m sure he is looking over all of us. xx

  11. December 1, 2017 / 8:09 am

    Laura, you made me cry! I am so thankful for my children and you have reminded me to hold them a little tighter every day. I can not imagine your grief still these years later and my heart aches for you and your family x

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 10:17 am

      Ahh thank you Sarah, although I’m sorry I made you cry. Time doesn’t take away that sense of loss, I really thought that it would. xx

  12. December 1, 2017 / 8:23 am

    Its really hard reading this, but in the same time I’m happy you’re so brave to share it.
    Between me and my brother, there are some 13 years difference and my mum had 3 miscarriages. It’s not something she speaks about often, but I know it had left a deep scar in her.

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 10:16 am

      I’m sorry to hear that Lubka, baby loss is far too common and I know Christmas is hard for so many parents missing a baby, a child or a loved one. xx

  13. December 1, 2017 / 9:03 am

    Beautifully written hun and I’m sure Joseph would be so proud of all of you. This must and probably always will be a difficult time. This year will definitely be harder for me so I can only image what you have been through. Sending lots of love and light xxx

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 10:15 am

      Thank you lovely, Christmas is hard for anyone missing someone they love, I don’t think that ever gets any easier. Much love to you Nadia. xxx

  14. December 1, 2017 / 9:24 am

    I just simply can’t imagine what you have been and continue to go through. These loving words you’ve shared are beautiful and heartfelt, I hope you found some comfort in writing them, that it helped ease the pain in just a small way. Keeping your son’s memory alive and is a stark reminder to cherish life as much as we can. Thank you for sharing such a personal post with us. #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 10:14 am

      Thank you so much Kirsty. It always brings me a huge comfort to write them down and share these thoughts with others, I’m sure many can relate who are missing a loved one this Christmas. xx

  15. December 1, 2017 / 10:00 am

    Such a moving beautifully written post-Laura. I am trying to see as I write this comment. Thinking of you and what you have been through 🙁 xx

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 10:14 am

      Ahh thank you so much Claire, I really appreciate you reading. xxx

  16. December 1, 2017 / 10:36 am

    I can’t even begin to imagine how you must feel and I bet no amount of years will ever make it easy x

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 11:58 am

      Thank you Rhian, you’re right. It never gets any easier but we do learn to live with it, there’s no other choice? xx

  17. Dannii
    December 1, 2017 / 11:02 am

    I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you, and every Christmas as a reminder. But it’s good that you can still find some joy and celebrate it with your family.

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 11:56 am

      Thank you Dannii, keeping busy definitely helps but it can be exhausting! xx

  18. December 1, 2017 / 11:37 am

    I can’t begin to imagine how hard this experience has been for you, but I am sure that your words will be comforting other mothers who have sadly come to be in this position as well. I hope you enjoy Christmas the best you can with your family <3

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 11:55 am

      Thank you Kacie. I’m sure we will have a wonderful Christmas, it’s just so hard when one is missing. xx

  19. December 1, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    Ah, Laura. I know I’ve said it before but you have such a beautiful way with words. I feel your pain (well, a tiny, tiny part of it) every time I read your posts about Joseph. I can’t imagine how it feels to live your life without one of your precious babies, I really can’t, but through your words I have the faintest inkling. You are an inspiration. You kept on going when many others would fall by the wayside and I am sure your words will help others who find themselves where you are x

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 1:33 pm

      Thank you so much Tracy, I really appreciate that. I know it’s never easy to read a post so full of emotion, especially as a parent who can’t even bear to imagine losing a child, but I think it’s important to share. Sadly there are too many parents spending another Christmas without a baby and I hope that perhaps we can support each other, whether it has been one year or twenty. Time doesn’t heal, I think that’s a real misconception isn’t it? As always thank you for your lovely comment. xxx

  20. December 1, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    I can not even begin to imagine just how hard it is for you. This is such a tender and heartfelt post and I am sure it will bring comfort to a lot of people in the same situation as you. Happy 12th Christmas Joesph I am sure he will be with you always x

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 1:32 pm

      Thank you Kirsty, that’s so kind of you to say. I know I’m not alone in missing a loved one this year. xx

  21. December 1, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    Huge hugs for you and your family. Christmas can often bring up so many strong emotions in people; it’s not always a happy occasion.

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 5:31 pm

      Thank you Elizabeth, I think that’s the crux of it, we need to remember that not everyone is celebrating this Christmas, it’s actually a really hard and isolating time of year for many. I plan on enjoying it with my four little miracles, I have been incredibly lucky. xx

  22. December 1, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    It isn’t normal for a parent to bury a child so I commend you for your strength to move on and start again. I can only express my sympathy. I don’t know and I will never know what it feels like to lose a child. You’ll never forget. I hope your holidays are wonderful for your family. I hope you will always do something to remember this little angel.

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 5:29 pm

      Thank you Jacqueline, you are so right. It’s maybe the hardest thing in all the world to say goodbye to a child, but I feel incredibly lucky that he was ours. xx

  23. December 1, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    What a beautiful letter. I can feel every word and what a struggle it is for you at this time of year.

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 5:28 pm

      Thank you Zena, I appreciate you reading. xx

  24. December 1, 2017 / 4:32 pm

    Such a touching letter to Joseph, I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like.
    Its easy to forget Christmas can be a difficult time of year for many, thank you for bringing such a difficult and personal issue to the fore. My thoughts are with you.

    • Laura Dove
      December 1, 2017 / 5:28 pm

      Thank you Rachel, I really appreciate that. I think Christmas is hard for far too many of us. xx

  25. December 1, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    Oh what a beautiful post – I cannot imagine how you must feel. Sharing your experience will definitely help others who suffer too. Huge hugs, Kaz x

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 4:26 pm

      Thank you Kaz, I appreciate you reading. xx

  26. December 1, 2017 / 11:56 pm

    Oh such a lovely post. My heart goes out to you lovely lady. You’re doing such a wonderful job! Please have a totally amazing Christmas and thank you for writing when it’s tricky xxxx

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Thank you Jemma, I really appreciate that. xxx

  27. December 2, 2017 / 1:36 am

    Very heart wrenching letter to the lovely Joseph. I can’t imagine the anguish you must feel at the constant feeling of loss especially at Christmas. All I can say is that you seem to be a very dedicated mother to your other children and judging by their happy faces they think so too. This is making little Joseph very happy indeed to see his brother and sisters so content. Have a great xmas. x

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Ahh thank yo so much Kathryn. I try very hard to make our life a happy one, even when we have been through so much sadness. Christmas is always a huge celebration in our house. xx

  28. December 2, 2017 / 1:32 pm

    So beautifully written, I cannot imagine the strength it must’ve taken to put this into words. I’m so sorry for your loss, Joseph will be very proud of his mum and siblings x

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 4:18 pm

      Thank you so much Jemma, I really hope so. We do our best to make him proud and to live our lives to the fullest. xx

  29. December 2, 2017 / 3:16 pm

    I lost my daughter’s twin at 12 weeks. I can’t bear to think about it most of the time. Wishing you strength.

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 4:18 pm

      Oh I’m so sorry to hear that, much love to you this Christmas. xx

  30. December 2, 2017 / 3:44 pm

    What a beautiful letter ❤ had big tears my my eyes the whole time. Sending you hugs and good vibes

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      Ahh thank you so much for reading Denni. xxx

  31. December 2, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    A beautiful and lovely letter, Joseph is looking down and shining his light and love over you all this Christmas.

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      Thank you so much, I’m sure he is. xx

  32. December 2, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must be. You are an incredible mummy, and I know that even with the pain you will make this an incredible Christmas.

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 4:12 pm

      Thank you my lovely, we will indeed have a wonderful Christmas and, although we will miss Joseph just as much as we do every day, I know how lucky I am to have four children to celebrate it with. xx

  33. December 3, 2017 / 2:34 am

    I am so sorry. I don’t have any children of my own, so I can only imagine what you’re going through. This is such a beautifully written letter. You sound like an amazing mother, I have so much respect for your love for your children and your desire to make their holiday special. I know there is nothing I could possibly say to make it better, but my heart and thoughts are with you.

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 4:06 pm

      Thank you much Liz, I really appreciate that. I’m sure we will have a wonderful Christmas, it’s just always sad to be missing someone. xx

  34. December 3, 2017 / 3:13 am

    Such a touching and heartfelt story. As hard as it is I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 4:04 pm

      Thank you Michael, you too! xx

  35. December 3, 2017 / 3:42 am

    Wow. This is incredibly touching. I can’t even imagine what you must be going through. You have spoken such beautiful words. May you have a peace filled Christmas.

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 4:04 pm

      Thank you Alexis, I will be holding my four beautiful babies tight and enjoying every moment. Life is too short isn’t it? xx

  36. Stephanie Sherlock
    December 3, 2017 / 6:36 am

    Heartbreaking. I was thinking about a dear friend who lost their 3 year old son suddenly this year. My heart goes out to both of you.

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 3:59 pm

      Oh Stephanie I am so sorry to hear that, much love to all of you this Christmas, life is just so cruel at times isn’t it? xx

  37. December 3, 2017 / 8:31 am

    Oh Laura I cannot imagine the pain you feel, loss of a child at any age is so traumatic. I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas xx

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Thank you Cathy, it’s so hard at times but these beautiful babies of mine keep me going. xx

  38. December 3, 2017 / 11:34 am

    This post is so beautifully written and so touching! I feel your pain and I am so sorry for your loss. If it is at all possible to convince yourself that Joseph is in fact in a much better place and waiting to reunite with you when the time comes. He is smiling upon you and he wants to see you happy and let go off the past and focus on your present and your future with 4 beautiful children.
    Sending love and hugs to you!
    Stay strong!

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 3:52 pm

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. You are so right, I am incredibly lucky to have four beautiful children here this Christmas, we always make our day a huge celebration but there will always be that sadness that one of them is missing. xx

  39. Joanna
    December 3, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    It’s so hard to move on after we loose someone so dear. And I understand what you are going through because I lost a part of my soul 7 years ago and since then I stopped celebrating Christmas all together. It’s not the same without her in my life, it’s not the same when we have always been together for Christmas. You are so strong! I am not, I just run away from this holiday….

    • Laura Dove
      December 3, 2017 / 3:48 pm

      Oh Joanna I’m so sorry that you lost someone special. Christmas can be so hard without a loved one, I think many of us struggle. Sending you much love this Christmas. xx

  40. December 3, 2017 / 5:14 pm

    What a beautiful letter! I had tears in my eyes while reading it! I felt your pain and no one can replace it! Sending some hugs this Christmas!

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 11:06 am

      Ahh thank you so much Ana, I really appreciate that. xxx

  41. December 3, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    I can only imagine what you feel each year. Reading your heartfelt words makes me wonder what my sister and brother in law feel – they lost their first baby – a daughter – at birth (and now have 2 boys)

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 11:03 am

      Ahh I’m so sorry to hear that Emma. It’s very hard to find a way to live a life after loss, I still don’t know how I manage it some days but having healthy children in your arms makes that pain a little more bearable that’s for sure. Love to you and your family this Christmas. xxx

  42. December 3, 2017 / 10:18 pm

    Sending all of my love to your family at Christmas. Reading your post made me teary eyed and I can only imagine what it must feel like you for. I think that remembering him and writing about it means the world

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 10:59 am

      Thank you so much Rachel. I really appreciate you reading, sharing my story is always helpful to me and hopefully others, xx

  43. The Mummy Bubble
    December 3, 2017 / 10:19 pm

    Such a beautiful letter to your son. I can’t even imagine what you must go through every Christmas. Wishing you a happy Christmas with your lovely kids xx #kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 10:58 am

      Thank you so much, and to you and yours. xx

  44. December 3, 2017 / 10:55 pm

    I always cry when i read your letters. Beautifully out as always. I hope you have a lovely Christmas although it’s hard xx

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 10:58 am

      Ahh bless you Jenni, I really appreciate that you still read them. xxx

  45. December 4, 2017 / 6:25 am

    This is so lovely and I’m sure it will help many other’s out there who are in the same position. Wishing you and your family a lovely Christmas x

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 10:45 am

      Thank you Hannah, and you too. xxx

  46. December 4, 2017 / 7:15 am

    Such a beautiful letter Laura . My heart goes out to you all ❤️

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 10:45 am

      Thank you Kira. xxx

  47. December 4, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss and think it’s lovely you continue to remember Joseph years later. It’s important for the whole family, other children included, to understand and remember those that have been lost.

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 9:33 pm

      Thank you Laura, that’s so true. My children speak about Joseph every single day, it warms my heart that they include him in their daily lives. xx

  48. December 4, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    Oh I am so sorry. I think it is so important for people to know that loss does not fade with time – people push on because they have to and life doesn’t wait for them, but the loss and and sadness is still there. #sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 9:33 pm

      Thank you Lucy, I think that’s the most important message I try to share. Life might appear to have gotten happier but that doesn’t mean that it has gotten easier. It’s always going to be hard to lose a child and Christmas will always be bitter sweet. xxx

  49. December 4, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    This post was so beautifully written that you made me cry. This year would be 19 years without our beloved Gabriel, so I have had moments exactly like this. Thank you for speaking from your heart, yet also speaking for thousands of people like me too. Sending you all love xx

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 9:32 pm

      Oh Tanya I’m sorry to hear that lovely, it doesn’t matter if its 1 year or 20, it’s still always going to hurt isn’t it? I think it’s taken me a long time to realise that its okay to still feel sad and to miss him, but it’s okay to be happy and to enjoy Christmas with our family. Much love to you this Christmas and holding Gabriel in my thoughts. xxx

  50. December 4, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    Wow! This is so touching. I felt every word in this post. And it totally made me cry. Maybe because i am a mother too so i can feel what you are feeling.

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Jake, I appreciate you reading. xx

  51. December 4, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    My eyes are red raw reading this – I can feel the emotion in every single word. I can only imagine how you feel x

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 9:29 pm

      Ahh thank you so much for reading Jazmin, I really appreciate that. xxx

  52. December 4, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    I cannot even start to imagine how hard this is for you :(, what a lovely post to Joseph.

    • Laura Dove
      December 4, 2017 / 9:24 pm

      Thank you Sarah. xxx

  53. December 4, 2017 / 9:47 pm

    Oh I’m so sorry, it must be so hard every day let alone eachChtistnad. Such beautiful words

    • Laura Dove
      December 5, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      Thank you Steph. xxx

  54. December 4, 2017 / 11:23 pm

    This is why I love reading your posts because your personal letters never fail to make me cry. The thing I love about you is how raw and honest your posts are, you bare your heart and your soul unflinchingly and that takes undeniable bravery. I have said to you how talented I think you are as a writer and one day your children all your children are going to read your posts and turn round to their mummy and say ‘ Joseph is and will always be proud of you’. He is always watching over you my love x

    • Laura Dove
      December 5, 2017 / 1:13 pm

      Oh Ana, that made me cry, thank you. I sometimes wonder if I am doing the right thing by my children, or question my choices, but to think that one day they may be proud of me is a real motivation to keep going. I really do hope that they are proud of me, I try very hard to do Joseph’s memory justice. xxx

  55. December 5, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    Beautiful Laura. Whilst Christmas is a time for fun and happiness, it is also a time that brings so many people a lot of sadness. That person missing from fun, the photo and around the table. It’s a time that makes us think, be grateful for what we have and make the most of the people we do have to cuddle and laugh with. Lots of love my beautiful friend and thank you for sharing this with us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      December 5, 2017 / 1:07 pm

      Thank you Laura, you are so right. I think sometimes its even harder when you can see exactly what you are missing. There will always be an empty space at our table, and that’s always going to be hard. xxx

  56. December 5, 2017 / 9:19 pm

    You’re a born writer Laura, this is heartwrenching and beautiful too. Those times that are the happiest for us are so often the hardest for other reasons – it can’t help but bring into focus the people who aren’t there to share it with you. And that mixture of happiness and guilt is a really difficult one – I can only imagine how that must feel for you. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas together, with Joseph looking down on you all too. Thank you for sharing this with us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      December 5, 2017 / 10:39 pm

      Ahh thank you Katy, you’re so kind. I think that’s exactly it, learning to live a life where I feel both happy and sad, excited for the future but scared of moving forward, relieved to have found a life I never imagined I would live whilst feeling guilty for leaving behind the life I had wanted with all of my heart. It’s hard, every single day, and I think it’s so important to share that. Thank you for reading as always. xxxx

  57. December 5, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    This is beautiful, but I wish you didn’t have to write it. This is a wonderful tribute to your Joseph, and he will always be with you all. xox

    • Laura Dove
      December 5, 2017 / 10:38 pm

      Thank you so much Lorna, I really appreciate that. xx

  58. December 5, 2017 / 11:10 pm

    Oh Laura this honestly makes me heart ache for you and your whole family, each year that passes seems to get harder. Honestly your words are beautiful, I just wish you didnt have to write it. Sending virtual hugs and kisses your way. Thank you so much for linking up with #KCACOLS and hope to see you next time.

    • Laura Dove
      December 7, 2017 / 9:03 pm

      Thank you so much Kelly-Anne. Its always hard celebrating a family occasion when one is missing, whether that’s a child, a sibling, a parent. Christmas is so hard for a lot of us, but I know I’m very lucky that ours is also pretty wonderful. Some people don’t even have that. xxx

  59. Aziel Morte
    December 7, 2017 / 9:55 am

    What a beautiful letter and so touching story and I can feel the emotion in every word.

  60. Aziel Morte
    December 7, 2017 / 10:04 am

    What a beautiful letter and I love to read this so much even if I teary-eyed while reading this really touching.

    • Laura Dove
      December 7, 2017 / 12:31 pm

      Ahh thank you so much xx

  61. December 7, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    This is beautiful. Heartbreaking but so honest and raw. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and know that Joseph is watching over you with immense pride. #sharingthebloglove

    • Laura Dove
      December 7, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      Ah than you so much, I really do hope so. xxx

  62. December 7, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    I do hope it gets a little easier for you and I hope you at least enjoy Christmas. Take care. #kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      December 8, 2017 / 11:23 pm

      Thank you so much. xxx

  63. December 8, 2017 / 11:33 pm

    Such a beautiful post, I can’t imagine your pain. I lost baby #3 in December 2015 and my angel baby is always bound to be on my mind at this time of year. I hope that you are able to enjoy Christmas with your family, even with a missing part of the puzzle. Lots of love Laura x #SharingtheblogLove

  64. December 10, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    You really do have a way with words Laura. Such a beautifully written letter to your little angel Joseph. He would be very proud of his mummy x

    • Laura Dove
      December 11, 2017 / 6:36 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Fi, I really hope so. xxx

  65. December 12, 2017 / 11:00 am

    I can only just begin to imagine what you feel – it seems all consuming. Too precious for this earth. #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      Thank you Helena, much appreciated. xxx

  66. December 12, 2017 / 11:11 am

    Oh wow, what a beautiful, heartfelt post, I cannot imagine the pain you endured. I’m sure Joseph is somewhere looking down on you waiting for the time you all meet again.

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      Ahh thank you so much, I really appreciate that thought. xx

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