Blessings and Pain

Thankyou so much to all of you who are still praying, thinking of us lots, and sending messages to remind us of this. We are currently away from home, having our socks blessed off by many wonderful people - family, friends and complete strangers - who have provided many places for us to stay and opportunities for us to experience while we take time out of everything and regroup together as family. We have been in Bradford, Central Scotland, North Wales, Hereford and now Somerset, all of which has included: visiting a castle, farms, a Bronze Age roundhouse, the beach and more; sleeping in a tipi; two of the boys learning how to swim; a treasure hunt; and winning an award at a conference which means we have new furniture and a home makeover!

Most of the time we haven't had internet or phone signal, so our communication with the outside world has been hazy (this is my apology for all the messages I haven't yet replied to...), but also helpful as we concentrate on being together. Obviously with all the above, there have been many wonder-filled and exciting moments, something we could never have imagined a few short weeks ago. 

We have also had many days where grief has been completely overwhelming and we haven't been able to communicate without tears because we miss him so much. It still seems unbelievable that the thing we fought so long and hard to prevent has actually happened, and that he is no longer part of our physical family unit experiencing life on this earth - that we use the words 'memories', 'death' and 'grave' when we talk about our eight-year-old son. The waves of grief come hard and strong and without prediction, reducing us to wrecks just a few minutes after everything seemed okay. But they are waves, and they do pass. Sometimes it takes a few moments, other times about three days. At this stage, we are in no hurry to rush them, because we know that they are part of what we have to go through, and they are reminders of the depth of our love for him. I do understand why some people who go through loss just stop living the rest of their lives and camp around the past, Miss-Haversham-style, setting up shrines to their loved ones and talking to them constantly as though they were still there. There are moments I want to do that. But I also understand why some people put their grief and their memories in a box, get rid of every reminder, and move away from anything that resembles their old life in order to try and shut out and control the grief. There are times I want to do that too, because I tell myself that if I don't think about it, it won't hurt.

I have no idea how we continue to balance between those two extremes for the rest of our lives, but I know it's something we will have to do. We have so much to live for and so much to be grateful for, both in the past and the present. We would give anything for this to be different - to be spending this summer turning our lives upside down, moving to a wheelchair-accessible house and spending every waking hour caring for the extensive needs of our rehabilitating child, without holidays and sunshine and going out together as a family - if it meant we could still have him. But it isn't different. So while we will continue to have moments, days or weeks where we cry out with everything in us because we cannot believe he is gone and the pain is too much to cope with, we will also have moments, days and weeks where we will soak up our new-found time together and these incredible experiences people are blessing us with, and let gratitude for the past and the present overwhelm us too.


  1. Love you all as a family. No idea what else to write.

  2. I feel privileged that you share this time with us Esther my love. Always in my prayers.

    Mars xx

  3. You describe the feelings, after the death of a child, so feels like you have got inside my head and read my mind. I can only promise that the edges of the searing grief and pain you feel now, do soften - its a slow process with many setbacks, but it does happen.

    How are the children? I often think about Daniels twin brother and try to imagine how he is feeling. Please give them all a hug from me. xxx

    Please remember I will be here for you whenever you need me - if only to shout, rant, scream, cry, laugh or just talk. If I can help in any way whatsoever I will be here.

    Take care my dear friend, take care.

    Love Shabbs xxxx

  4. still praying and thinking of all of you x

  5. You are constantly prayed for, deeply loved and always in my heart and mind xxxxx

  6. Praying on for you all.

  7. The Lord has used Daniel and you to touch many lives, more than you know. We have a Bible study group here in Romania that has been praying for you, and we continue to. Your faith has been very encouraging and, though we also wanted you to keep Daniel here longer, your faith in trusting God's will has moved many hearts. Praying for you!

  8. Praying for you all still and think of you all frequently. Grief is so tough, a long journey. Much love to you all, Laura

  9. Hi Esther
    You don't know me, but I feel like I've seen glimpses of you and your remarkable family here.
    Reading about having the opportunity to be together and have new experiences together whilst adjusting to the togetherness, has prompted me to offer your family time in our garden flat in Germany.
    It's in a small town in Northern Bavaria and we have 4 children that live pretty "free range" in the garden.
    If you think you'd like a getaway in Germany, we can get in touch somehow.
    Till then, I am often reminded of your family and pray for you to continue experiencing God in it all.

  10. I continue to pray for you all.

  11. You are very much in our thoughts and prayers - you write so honestly and so openly - every time I read your blog it just amazes me. May you continue to experience God's continued presence, peace, love and healing each day xx

  12. Esther, your strength of character and strength of faith has been a real inspiration to me and I'm sure for many others. Your ability to find God in the most horrendous of situations is truely a witness to His amazing power. I continue to pray for you and your family and you are all never far from my thoughts. God Bless

    Michelle Murphy

  13. You all remain in my prayers. Cx


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