A young widowed father opening up about living with loss
This is a letter written on behalf of my son, Jackson, to mark his first Mother’s Day without his mum. I plan to write such letters and place them in his memory box each year until he is able to draft them himself. This Mother’s Day, Jackson and I are supporting the BBC Radio 4 appeal for Winston’s Wish, the charity for bereaved children, which has helped us both through the difficult months since Desreen was killed. Click here for more information or to make a donation. You can also hear the appeal on BBC Radio 4 at 7.55am & 9.26pm today.
I just wanted to say hello. I want to say it to you person but I know that I can’t. I miss you lots and I think about you every day. I know you used to write letters and cards to people all the time so I’m going to start doing the same.
Things have been pretty busy here, lots of guests have been round. Nanny is looking after me more than ever. I sometimes give her a little whack or one of those looks that only you and I know how to give because she keeps that cloth you hate hanging in the shower. She does lots of cooking and cleaning but someone still needs to keep her in check now that you’re not around.
Granddad comes over every week. He’s as chatty as ever. He knows a lot about trains and he’s bought me a track that we play with at his house.
Uncle Ant is watching out for me too. Not sure what’s going on there though because he comes round with toothbrushes as gifts and then eats all my sweets. I’ve got my eye on him.
Grandma and Keef have been staying too. Keef keeps calling himself Granddad but I like Keef best. They both looked after me while Daddy went off on his run. Keef makes bath time fun and I like squeezing Grandma’s nose.
All of your friends are looking after me too. Maz is fun at soft play and Olly gives me ice cream and helps me count motorbikes. Caz makes chocolate cake and is having twins and Lee has got cool trains. Annie makes us our dinner and Paul gives me fun stuff to play with. Cathy has introduced me to dinosaurs. Zac and Laura bought me my first remote control car the other day, which is yellow. I know all my colours now too and I can count to ten in Spanish. My favourite numbers are finco, ocho and di-EF!
We’ve been on holiday as well. I wasn’t well but had a nice time with Albie. Olive, Lee, Woody (silly Woody) and Katy helped look after me while I was poorly and we all missed you being there. Olive dyed my pyjamas pink in the wash. You’d probably like them because you like boys in pink but I’m pretty sure you’d have said that she wasn’t allowed near my clothes again.
Uncle Mat, Auntie Michelle, Sophie and Lucy have been here too. We had a nice time in the park and I ate more ice cream. Uncle Nick came too and we played with my trains. Lots of other people have been round with presents and cards and flowers. There have been almost as many deliveries arriving as when you still lived here!
Nursery is going well. It’s nice to get out the house and play with all my friends. I’ve got my review in a couple of weeks. I hope I get a pay rise! I need a new spring/summer wardrobe, Mummy!
Scooting’s going well, I’m faster than ever, and I’ve got more trains than I know what to do with. James is my new favourite, I’ve gone off Thomas a bit and I can’t decide if I like the old TV series more than the new, but I’m two-years-old so I can change my mind as often as I like.
Daddy and I went to the aquarium the other day to see some fish. I wanted to get in the tank with the big ones with fins but Daddy wouldn’t let me so I went to sleep soon after we got there. He made me walk over this thing where we could see big fish swimming underneath. There was no other way in and it was a bit scary – we’d never have got you into the building!
I went to Annalise’s birthday party yesterday and played all day. I still don’t like fruit or veg unless they come in squeezy pouches so I just ate chocolate buttons, chips and cake. Arlo’s birthday is coming up soon too and I think it’s fancy dress.
Anyway Mummy, I love you. I wish you could be here with us today. I wish you could be with us every day.
Big kisses and cuddles from your favourite boy.