80 mourners for a 4 year-old and going out with a dance!

So, on the morning of our four-year old grandson’s funeral my car parking abilities were at their absolute best. Unbeknown to me, my brother-in-law had watched it all from the car behind me. I had it right at one point and then ended up partly on the grass verge and partly on the road. Oh sod it!  At least I wasn’t blocking the hearse that carried our grandson’s white coffin.

In my defence, I had been somewhat distracted by the sea of people who rolled towards us and the entrance of the crematorium’s chapel, like a huge wave.

“Are these people all for Daniel?” I asked the funeral director who walked along side us and the vicar.

” They are,” she gently replied.

” Wow,” I said. ” So many people for him.”

Daniel arrived and we, the immediate family followed his coffin in. I was worried about crying. I always try to get a tight grip of myself at funerals. The room was quickly filled with heavy sobs and I joined in.

The vicar led us in a beautiful celebration of Daniel’s life. We cried, we laughed and we smiled at the memories. We saw photos of him and outside, a bubble machine reminded us of his love of bubbles. This grandma still has tubs of bubble mix all over the house.

A blue Thomas The Train floral wreath adorned his coffin and elsewhere yellow ( his favourite colour)  flowers had been made into a teddy bear.

Julie, the vicar told me that there had in fact been 80 mourners at the funeral. In his short life our grandson had touched quite a few folk.

We  left the funeral service to the sound of Meghan Trainor. Daniel loved to dance.

And he had some rather cool moves.

Julie’s closing words to Daniel were :

” We love you. We miss you. We want you to be happy. 

Go safely. Go dancing. Go running home.” 

Those words and this song will remain with me forever and I’m sure Daniel did dance his way home.

I will be writing some more about Daniel, in the future.

 

Thanks for reading.

Dorne x

 

 

 

A tribute to Daniel, our youngest grandson.

 

Sometimes life deals you a tragic blow and you are catapulted into a nightmarish existence.

A week ago our youngest grandson, Daniel, who was four, was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, from our local hospital. At 11.30 the previous evening his parents, our daughter and her partner, had been informed that he had Leukaemia. He had been admitted to the hospital  for complications with chickenpox.

Basically, what followed over the next two and half days was like being in a twilight zone. He eventually had a machine working away for just about every major organ in his body. Daniel fought a brave battle for his life. But, on Sunday morning his parents were told that he was dying and they took the tremendously brave decision to let him slip away peacefully in their arms, rather than risk him having a heart attack and a violent passing.

 

This afternoon, with a hell of a lot of trepidation and shaking legs, I went to the Chapel of Rest to see Daniel. I needed to replace the image of him lying in the Intensive Care Unit after he had passed, with something more peaceful. I am glad to say I found my peace. I spent some time holding his hand, stroking his lovely brown hair and chatting to him. He may well have been listening in from somewhere thinking please shut up grandma! I talked about the many happy things we did together and fun times we had – such as counting our stairs to make sure that one hadn’t gone missing, making dens under tables, generally turning our lounge into a tip, walking the Daisy Dog and running around the house like lunatics!

I left the Chapel of Rest a changed person… no longer deranged with grief.

This isn’t to say that the grief won’t return. As anyone who has experienced a bereavement (and I’m guessing that is a lot of us) knows, it hits you in waves doesn’t it? You think you have it all under control and then that one little thing can reduce you to tears… yes?

As for Daniel’s parents… they are being so brave and strong. They have a rather dark and scary road to travel down. But we, the family will be with them all the way. And we are gathering some HUGE torches to light our way.

So Daniel my little sweetheart, next week your funeral will be a celebration of your life… with colours,  balloons and some pop star called Megan Trainer ( yeah, grandma has that wrong again) who you rather liked. You had a few cool moves when you danced to her tracks. Not for you a dark and dreary event. 

 

My daughter and her partner have surprised and filled me with hope with their take on the cruel event that  wrenched their beautiful son away from them. His dad told me :

” We were all on a journey together. Now Daniel has had to go on a journey of his own and we must find ourselves another journey. But, he will always be with us. We carry him in our hearts and we wouldn’t have missed our journey with him for anything.”

Are not our children brilliant? Do they not make us proud? Do they not inspire us?

Rest in peace Daniel Christopher. You were a one-off. And your mummy and daddy although broken-hearted will be just fine given the passage of time, because they made a promise to you as you passed. They understood that your journey together was over, but they promised you that they would somehow find a new way – in time. The better for having had you in their lives, albeit it for four short years. Mummies and daddies don’t break promises.

We all benefited from knowing you… our special, gorgeous little man.

Enjoy your journey sweetheart and don’t forget to come back and haunt us all on a regular basis. Particularly at the dead of night when we all can’t sleep.

And this grandma of yours will continue to talk to you… you don’t get away with it that easily!

This post is not written to depress or disturb you, nor to draw sympathy. On Write Dorne I write about all aspects of my life. 
Death is a part of life and we can not escape it. But, I think as we face up to it, it becomes less scary – well that’s the plan anyway.

I plan to write about Daniel a bit more. In fact a lot more… he was a large part of my life.

 

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What it means to be a mum/grandma – on my daughter’s birthday..

janines-birthday-post

Monday will be my daughter’s birthday. At 5.34 pm she will be 36 years old. (Gosh, I feel old. But, in a warm fuzzy kind of way.) This post is by way of saying Happy Birthday to her.

Here’s what I remember.

She made her screaming entrance into the 80’s world on a snowy, Friday tea time. We were in a rather traditional, old hospital ( we had an extremely efficient and quite frankly scary matron! Think Hatty Jacques in the Carry on movies!) in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

I still vividly recall studying the tiny baby/ living doll in the crib at the bottom of the bed that I , YES  ME ! had just delivered.

I’d waited so long for her to arrive. She’d made me sick just about every day of my pregnancy and as is often the norm, had performed gymnastics – whenever I’d tried to rest. I’d been pretty sure I was about to give birth to a football team.

We’d had a dress rehearsal with the first labour pains… when I was up a step-ladder, painting her nursery in neutral colours. ( We didn’t know what we were getting back in my day.)

We’d  got the baby stuff together and had three of everything. One on, one in the wash and one ready. Generous folk had knitted me a huge collection of cardigans and booties in an assortment of colours. They’d made me bedding sets for her pram and cot and our tiny house was full of all things baby.

Favourite memories.

I loved pegging out her brilliant white terry nappies on the washing line. (In fact I made it my mission to get them the brightest white I could and soft… as, and for my baby’s bottom!)  I could have watched that beautiful statement to the world that I was now a mum,  blow in the breeze all day; except I had a few other things to do.

As she grew.

Sadly things didn’t work out between her dad and I and we went our separate ways. As a single parent there was  challenges to be met and overcome. Money was tight and very carefully budgeted. We had a house that was well lived in. It suited us and our numerous pets. She once wrote about our magical house.  I couldn’t have had a better compliment and I like to think that I got something right…though not everything. Does anyone?

Found on despicablememinions.org
Found on despicablememinions.org

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I remarried and through the rebellious, teenage years we battled on. Aliens abducted her and left us with an argumentative. very messy and hormonal clone for quite a few years. They returned a more grown up, calmer version of her and peace returned.

Then she flew the nest.

” You see much more of your children once they leave home. “
   Lucille Ball (1911 – 1989)

 

Now she is grown.

With a four-year old son of her own, she is a brilliant, working mum and partner.

Next September my grandson will go to school and I hope I will get to stand outside school with the other mums and grandmas, as I collect him from school.

I love my grandson to bits.  My baby has a baby . I still find that amazing, even after four years. I’ll say it again… my baby has a baby!  Because, as parents our children grow up, but they’re still our babies, aren’t they? They have their own children and we get to watch them from a different angle, as they parent their children. Feeling proud of them does not even start to describe how you feel.

I peered into another crib and saw a familiar tiny baby/doll with perfect little fingers and toes. Two beautiful blue eyes looked back at me. Seeing my grandson for the first time was the most amazing experience. I won’t forget it.

“There came a moment quite suddenly a mother realized that a child was no longer  hers…without bothering  to ask or even give notice, her daughter had just grown up.”
Alice Hoffman

 

And so the cycle goes on.

Found on etsy.com
Found on etsy.com

Happy Birthday to my beautiful, clever and loving daughter. I will never be able to  thank you enough for making me a mum and grandma.

 

So, how about you? How do feel about being a parent/ grandparent? Do you remember how you felt when they were born? Do they continue to surprise you? (I’m guessing they do.)

Thanks for reading.

 

Dorne x