I wasn’t sure if I would write anymore, keep the blog going, but here I find myself in the early hours of a Sunday morning after a sleepless night, it is ice cold out and the log fire is lit, it is cozy, and I’m missing you. I’ve kind of lost my mojo since you have been gone, so I’m surprised I guess to be back here.

The first year your dad and I told ourselves you would want us to get up in the morning, and so we did, even if it was the last thing we wanted to do, in our heads we heard you say for us to carry on and live life, I think shock and wanting to be here for your brothers and sisters and feeling like you were always about to walk through the door helped us to do that.

On that day, the day the policemen came to our house and said ‘we found your son in the bath’, I told them it wasn’t us they wanted, it was a mistake, they had the wrong house, as you didn’t have a bath in your flat, so it couldn’t be you, you only had a small shower room. I think that initial ‘its all been a terrible mistake’ and feeling so sorry to the depths of my heart for that other poor mother that was going to be told the news that day that their child was gone, and yet so so grateful that you were safe, it wasn’t you, my Matthew, my youngest, my son who I’d seen just 48 hours before, I think that messed me up a little more than I realized.

Everyone who has lost a child will tell you that the second year is worse, and it is, I didn’t see how anything could be worse than waking up and realizing everyday you were gone, once again ravaging grief and the ripping of the heart.

In the second year the things we told ourselves wore out, the resolve to ‘be better’, ‘do it for Matthew’….. we grew tired. A gaping hole threatens to suck you in every breath you take that your child no longer takes, an empty chair, a call not coming, favourite foods, pot noodles and red liquorish, the ache these things trigger just become the weary in your bones. I know there are some that go on to do great things in their child’s name, raise awareness, start charities, but I just feel old and very tired and the only thing I want to do in Matthew’s name is be kind, be loving, be encouraging, be generous, all the beautiful things that our Matthew was in his life’s story on earth.

I’m making your favourite food on Tuesday, homemade burgers in a soft white bap with cheese and salad and relish and gherkin and a Betty Crocker chocolate cake. Last year the family were all round and we even sang Happy Birthday, this year in lockdown its just your dad and me and we will kiss your ashes and say ‘Happy Birthday lovely’.

You will be 25 this year, and I am thinking you are getting spoilt by grandma and other family over there, mum always loved a party and cake and candles.

Usually I would chat to my friend over messenger about you, but she has also flown from earth, two weeks ago now. After you had passed she messaged me and we have chatted ever since, she would always encourage me to speak about you, she said she wished she had known you better because you were an amazing young man, perhaps she is blowing out candles with you this year too.

I don’t want to leave this post saying how the second year has been worse even though that is the truth, I want to tell you about how quickly your new nephew is growing up, that he smiles like a dolphin and imparts joy just being around him, how your oldest nephew and niece are doing so well at college and now have a little car between them and are learning to drive, how your next nephew is already choosing his options at school and the next is acing school and loves reading like you did and is a brilliant goalie and got scouted like you did and your little niece is shooting up and not so little and is a whizz with I.T.

If I start to tell you about your brothers and sister, sisters and brother in law I get too chocked up, knowing how very much they all miss you, I know you haven’t really left at all, you watch over each and everyone of them. We all love you so very much.

Happy Birthday my lovely Xxx