365 Happy Days – A smile a day – Part 26

In a bid to spread my thoughts on life and loss I’ve joined a couple of Facebook pages; reading those pages today it makes me so sad to see so many people, especially mothers struggling to cope.  To read it feels as if their lives virtually ended with the loss of their child.  I would say now I have no idea how a parent copes with losing an only child, but I do know that the child who can’t be here anymore would never want those left behind to feel only pain.


Perhaps some of the life experiences I’d had before Luke died were some sort of preparation; it has sometimes almost felt that way, as if Luke wasn’t meant to make old bones.  He was such a character both in good and bad ways maybe he wasn’t going to be here for too long.

The view I try to take when I think about my first born is that we were lucky to have him for 21 years; I do believe that with his life experiences he would have been a really good man who would have wanted to be a positive example to people.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned his penchant for words, philosophy?  I imagine I probably have as getting his notebooks back rom Thailand was so important to me.


Rather than do my usual rambling on I want to share with you some of the things he wrote down, and share some of my own thoughts on life – it almost feels like he’s left messages for those of us living the life he can’t.  I do understand that there are so many positive sayings online these days, but this 21 year old who’d had what can only be said was a troubled life at times truly believed these ones.  I would add that he picked them up from all sorts of places, books, films and the odd one of his own.

If It Wasn’t For The Pain I Felt Yesterday

I Wouldn’t Be The Person I Am Today

How incredibly true that is, I honestly believe I’m more positive now than I’ve ever been!  I want to live my life in a way that would have made Luke proud.  In spite of his troubles he was a warm, kind and loving young man.  and goodness he enjoyed lots of things in life!

Life is Not The Amount of Breaths You Take

It’s The Moments That Take Your Breath Away

I think that saying in particular is in my mind every single day; it’s some of the reason I do my Twitter #365HappyDays.  In spite of the deep pain that will always be a part of my being I never go a day without a smile.  I look for things to make me smile, it’s almost a case of going back to basics.


Seeing wonder in the simplest of things, whether that’s hearing early morning birdsong, exchanging a smile with a passing stranger, seeing a glorious sky, hearing a new song…..  The list can be endless, but these things have to be found, you have to be in a position to want to see the joy around you.

There’s More To Life Than Watching Others Live It

Those of you who know me personally or via Twitter just know I’ve grabbed that one with both hands!  I’ll put a rider here, I accept that you have to be lucky enough to be able to afford to pursue some interest.  My biggest passion after my kids is sport.  If I want to go to a game whether it be rugby union, rugby league, cricket or even football I go.  I do that mostly on my own and I meet lovely people wherever I go.


I make myself aware of when tickets are going to be available and I make sure I,m in the queue.  For the Rugby Union 6 Nations Tournament in 2015 I’m watching 5 games in 5 countries, a fact I’m more than slightly excited about as February and March will see me in Paris, Twickenham, Dublin, Cardiff and Edinburgh.  I’ll see all of the 6 teams play at least once and only miss out on Rome; but do you know what?  In 2016 I’ll go there!

Every Person I Meet Is Part Of My World

If They’re Hurting, I’m Hurting

I’d Always Save a Stranger

Unless we know someone really well none of us can know what someone may have gone through or may well be going through; I possibly know more than many that life can be very hard.  It’s amazing how many people are happy to chat if they’re given a chance, we’re sociable creatures by nature, passing the time of day can bring sunshine to both parties.

Tragedy, Sadness, Loneliness and Despair

Taught Me That Life Is Really A Beautiful Thing

If It Wasn’t I wouldn’t Be Able To Recognise

That Anything Was Wrong

When Luke was born he was this incredibly gorgeous (A mother’s eye I know!) blond blue eyed thing; I discovered what true and unconditional love really was.  Losing him has been the most dreadful thing, but I can honestly say that it has never entered my mind to stop living, to stop functioning.  I almost feel I owe it to Luke to live my life to the full, to share my positivity with as many people as I can.  When I laugh or smile both are 100% genuine, never false or forced.  I think bereaved parents have to know that’s ok, it is ok to be happy.

The Greatest Weakness Of Most Humans Is Their

Hesitancy To Tell Others Ho Much They Love Them

While They’re Still Alive

We really don’t know what’s waiting round the corner for us on any given day; yet how many fall out with some of those we love the most.  Being part of a family can be really hard; the saying ‘We Can Pick Our Friends, Not Our Family’, is so incredibly true.  There will be some connections that just can’t be if say an abusive situation is likely, but in general don’t put yourself in a position where you don’t communicate with someone important to you over petty things.  You never know what may happen.  The last words exchanged between Luke and I were ‘I Love You’, I am eternally grateful for that.

Poignant, but so Beautiful

Last but one is a particularly poignant scribbling by Luke, no idea where he got this from, but goodness it was as if he knew!

Losing A Loved One Is The Hardest Thing

A Human Being Can Have Happen To Them Yet

There is only one thing in life that is a certainty and that is death.  As hard as it is death is a part of life, the hope is that things follow a natural order.  A child of any age should never die before a parent, it really is one of the hardest things in life.  But it isn’t the end of our lives; we have to find our New Normal.  Things don’t get easier, they get different.  It is ok to be happy, it’s also ok to cry, but they wouldn’t want that to be often, I laugh a lot when I think of Luke, life was never dull!

The final one for this evening are definitely words written by Luke

I Want To Make My Life Better

And After That Point Help Everyone

Luke Howard – Philospher

I truly believe Luke would have fulfilled those words, he was well on the way when his life was taken away.  One of the things I’m running out of are photos of Luke so I’ve included some of the things other than my beautiful children that make me happy as I sign off.

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