25 weeks gestation
I’m Lynda, a full-time mummy to Chloë Eleannah Jayne (born August 1998), Phoebe Grace Emily (born August 2001), Angel Scott Ian (born sleeping 23 October 1992 - Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome) and Angel Elliott David (born sleeping January 14, 2000 - Potter‘s Syndrome). I’m married to David, and we live in a small mining community in West Yorkshire, England. Here is the story of Elliott’s pregnancy:
David and I had been trying for another baby for a few months, but got to the stage of thinking “it’ll happen when it wants to”. In August 1999, two days after my daughter Chloë’s first birthday, I had the feeling that I could be pregnant. I did a stick-test straight after lunchtime and, racing downstairs from the bathroom, bounced into the Lounge declaring with glee “I’m pregnant!!”
My first booking-in appointment with one of my Community Midwives was on September 17, 1999. Everything seemed well. I didn’t wish to use the local hospital, Pontefract General Infirmary, as I did not like the facilities there. (I had Chloë at Barnsley District General Hospital in the adjoining County to where we lived, and wished to return there to deliver my next baby. The level of care I received at Barnsley was excellent and I had already built up a level of trust with the team there). However, I was persuaded not to do this; I was informed that the facilities at Pontefract had improved and, accepting the advice given, I booked to deliver my next baby there.
The following week, at 11 weeks pregnant, I was at the hospital for my routine appointment to see the Consultant, under whose care I would be for my pregnancy. My Consultant was not available, and so I was seen by one of the doctors on his team. I went through my obstetric history and no notes of concern were made (although I had already experienced losing Scott in 1992 and also experienced an early miscarriage in 1996). I was told to make an appointment for March 2000, when I would be 36 weeks pregnant. This would be to discuss birth plans and make any other necessary arrangements. I thought that, as they did not make any other arrangements for the handling of my pregnancy, then they must be confident that all seemed well. I therefore put my trust completely in their abilities.
Everything was going really well during Elliott’s pregnancy; the usual morning sickness was there (though it lasted all day), my boobs became these two enormous missiles on my chest, and my tummy got more rounded and maternal. My baby was starting to kick and roll around in my tummy - a wonderful feeling as any mother-to-be will tell you. The baby absolutely loved bath-times; splashing the water on my bulging tummy would set the baby off kicking like mad! I was really looking forward to the following Easter, when my baby would arrive. I attended all my ante-natal appointments at the clinic and was really starting to ‘bloom’. Being pregnant really ‘suited’ me. I was radiant with admiration for this little life growing inside me.
I went to Pontefract General Infirmary for my first anomaly scan when I was 20 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I was told that all appeared ‘fine’, but that I should return in two weeks’ time, “just to have another look“. Two anxious weeks passed. I was now 22 weeks and 3 days pregnant. On this occasion, I was told that the amniotic fluid was ‘reduced’ (although it was not stressed to be of any importance). Additionally, a proper view could not be obtained of the baby’s heart. In view of my previous obstetric history (Scott Ian died in-utero of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome in 1992), I was told to return in another two weeks’ time for another scan.
Before we knew it, Christmas was fast approaching. We would have to be making decisions soon as to when to move Chloë out of her cot and into a junior bed in her new bedroom, so as to leave the nursery free for the new baby. We wanted to make the transition as smooth a transition for Chloë, so that she wouldn‘t feel ‘left out‘ when the baby arrived. We planned to start renovating a new bedroom for Chloë in February 2000, thus giving her two months to get used to her new room before the baby arrived.
January 3, 2000 came. I was now 25 weeks pregnant. David, Chloë and myself again returned to Pontefract General Infirmary for the ultrasound scan. We left the hospital very disappointed. The baby had moved to a transverse position, which made viewing the baby’s heart difficult. We were told that I would have to go back to see the Midwife, who would then have to go through the formal referral process and speak with the Consultant at Pontefract General Infirmary about the possibility of my being referred to Leeds General Infirmary. At Leeds, they would be able to get a more accurate view of the baby’s heart by carrying out a fetal cardiac scan. Other than that, we were informed that everything else was fine with the baby. The Midwife contacted the Consultant and we were to see him on the following Wednesday, January 5, 2000.
January 5, 2000: Again, the three of us (David, Chloë and myself), trundled in the freezing cold weather to Pontefract General Infirmary for our early appointment. After waiting what seemed like an eternity, we got to see the Consultant. He agreed to refer us to Leeds General Infirmary, some 9 miles away, so that a proper view could be obtained of the baby‘s heart. We were to be seen as an emergency case that afternoon.
As soon as we arrived, I was called into the ultrasound scanning room. Immediately, I was asked if I had been losing any fluid. I said most definitely not. Indeed, I naïvely stated that the only time I lost any fluid was when I suffered some stress incontinence after a long and difficult labour/delivery of my daughter, Chloë! With the scan completed, we were told to wait outside in a room opposite the Waiting Room.
Some time later, we were joined by a Consultant. She said that she had some good news and some bad news. First the good news; the baby’s heart was perfectly formed and in fine working order. Then came the bad news - she told us that the lack of fluid surrounding the baby gave her some cause for concern, and that it raised questions about the development or functioning of the baby’s renal system. We were totally shocked at this news; completely knocked off balance. We were advised to have an ‘amnio-infusion‘. This is the reverse of an amniocentesis - fluid is introduced (by a long needle inserted into the womb) into the amniotic sac in which the baby is floating in order to obtain a clearer ultrasound image. We asked what the risk would be to our baby with this procedure and were informed that it would be around 1%; the same as with amniocentesis. After some consideration, we went ahead with the procedure, just so that we could be sure our baby was OK.
After the amnio-infusion, I returned to the ultrasound room for a re-scan. An extremely detailed scan ensued. I was so happy to see my baby so clearly on screen. Fingers, toes, a rounded bottom, a ribcage so clearly highlighted like a xylophone; I was admiring my baby and thought that it looked perfectly fine. Then the scan ended...
The Consultant put down the transducer and quietly said “I’m so sorry”. I got up and leaned on the edge of the bed. Her words didn’t register. Again, she said “Lynda, I’m so desperately sorry.” And then it hit me... I collapsed at the end of the bed and crumpled up into a heap of tears. I remember saying to her, “And I suppose you’re going to insult me by telling me I’m losing another son!” She gently nodded her head. Walking towards me, she embraced me tightly and got me to my feet; her bright blue eyes pricked with tears...
I was led back to the room where David and Chloë were waiting for me. David took one look at me and knew things were not looking good. We were sat down with the obligatory box of paper tissues and told that our son, Elliott (we had chosen this name before he was conceived), did not have any kidneys or bladder. We were mortified. Devastated. Completely and utterly bereft. We wondered how this could be? We had been told (and had scan reports to verify this) by Pontefract General Infirmary that everything else was OK with the baby and that we were only here in Leeds for confirmation that all was OK with his heart. Surely there should be some mistake?
We thought aloud and stated that Elliott could have surgery after he was born. A kidney transplant perhaps? However, the Consultant continued to tell us that this condition, called ‘bilateral renal agenesis’ or, as it also known, ‘Potter’s Syndrome’, was fatal. Without kidneys, he could not urinate to create further fluid in the womb, and without fluid, Elliott’s lungs had not developed. He would most probably die because of this secondary condition, called ‘pulmonary hypoplasia‘. This took several attempts to register with us. Elliott would die. This was too much to deal with. With the rug well and truly pulled from under our feet, David and I were completely numb.
The Consultant was at a complete loss as to how I could have got to 25 weeks and 2 days without being vigilantly monitored, in view of my previous history. We were given various options as to what to do. Either way, Elliott would not live. He was, as they coldly and clinically say, ‘incompatible with life’. We were asked what we would want to do. David and I could not digest the diagnosis of our son’s ‘condition’, let alone make a decision as to what to do. We said that we would need time to deal with this, and to take it all in. The journey home from Leeds that evening seemed the longest car drive ever.
On Friday January 7 2000, we requested a visit from our vicar (the local Preacher - Peter Holwell) to discuss the heartbreaking situation. We were completely lost as to why God could allow this to happen. Unfortunately for us, Peter couldn’t even answer us on this one. It seemed horrifyingly cruel to be discussing Elliott’s funeral, whilst all the time he was still inside me, listening to voices, kicking, rolling around and having his usual ‘silly half-hour’. We chose the hymns ‘All Things Bright And Beautiful’ and ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’ and a reading from Chapter 18 of St Matthew’s Gospel. Peter also made a note of our requests for Elliott’s funeral, such that we did not wish to cast a handful of soil onto his casket at the interment, and that the interment and committal itself was to be a private affair, with only himself and us as Elliott’s parent there at the graveside. It tore me apart, feeling Elliott inside me, yet knowing his life was soon to end...
On Monday January 10 2000, David telephoned the Consultant to inform her that we had arrived at the painful decision to induce our pregnancy; we did not want Elliott to suffer and it was not fair on ourselves to carry on and try to give ourselves ‘false hope‘. Elliott was going to be an Angel and, somehow in the middle of all this chaos, we had to make decisions and try to deal with the enormity of it all.
The following day, I had to go to Leeds General Infirmary for a pill of mifepristone; a drug to reverse the effects of the pregnancy and prepare my body for birth. I stalled for as long as I could before taking the tablet. I asked the Consultant again and again if she was completely sure of her diagnosis of Elliott’s condition. She even offered to scan me again, just to prove what she was saying was true. I accepted her word, as I did not wish to go through another episode of agony in that ultrasound scanning room. I therefore conceded that I should take the medication. I had to return to the hospital 48 hours later to have my son.
On the evening of January 12, 2000, I saw to my daughter’s usual bathtime routine and got her ready for bed. As the night drew in, I cuddled up to Chloë on the bed to get her off to sleep; knowing only too well that this would be the last time that the ‘three’ of us would be together (on this earth, anyway). Chloë snuggled up close to me and the resonance of her heartbeat against my tummy would make Elliott roll around inside me. I found this very upsetting but, in a very strange way, very comforting too...as if Elliott had already bonded with Chloë without even meeting her. Later that night, I took a bath and sang Elliott his favourite song, ‘Brahm’s Lullaby’. Elliott would love to kick ferociously when I sang this to him; along with splashing my tummy with bathwater, he would go absolutely mad. I savoured this bathtime like no other - even topping up the water when it got cold because I didn’t want to get out. Eventually, there came the time when my skin started to ache because it was so shrivelled with the water, and I had to get out of the bath and get ready for bed. That night, I cried myself to sleep, clinging onto David for dear life.
I arrived at Leeds General Infirmary on the morning of January 13, 2000. Horrifyingly, I could hear the cries of babies as I entered the hospital wing where I would have my son. Not being able to handle this, I cowered into a corner in hysterical tears. I was gently helped to my feet and myself and David were ushered to Rosemary Suite - a homely cluster of two wards at the end of the Delivery Suite, where mums could go and deliver in peace and quiet in such tragic circumstances such as ours. Amidst the entire pine furnishings and chintz interior, it seemed sorrowful that a hospital suite had been specifically created and designed for this purpose. The Midwives managed to calm me down (as I was really wanting to die at that time; I felt so bad) and the first of what would be four doses of misoprostol was administered that morning. All I could do now was wait to meet my son...
David brought Chloë into the hospital that afternoon to see me. It was a comfort to hold her close and feel some security amidst the fear and devastation that was to follow. Later that day, I started to feel moderately painful contractions starting and, not wanting to frighten Chloë, I asked David to take her home, saying that I would be OK. Although I was absolutely terrified, I thought that if I appeared calm, then it would be less for David to worry about. Amazingly, I was concerned about retaining some sense of ‘normality’ for Chloë, so that she would not sense that something was wrong with Mummy.
In the early evening, I placed a request for the Chaplain to visit me, which he did. I spoke about my faith and why I had felt abandoned by God. I was angry that God had done this to my child and wanted some answers. Unfortunately, I did not get any - but then again, I didn’t really expect to. I firmly believe that this test from God challenged my faith and belief in Him. I know that he meant Elliott no harm and tried to put myself at ease by thinking that perhaps God had a purpose for Elliott in His eternal garden. Anyway, in my mind, Elliott would definitely be the prettiest flower ever to bloom there!
At around 8.45pm the pains got worse. I telephoned David to tell him that I was still OK and asked him to take care of Chloë and himself, and that I would see him the next day. At 9.00pm I was using gas and air. The contractions started coming thick and fast. I was petrified and shaking like a leaf. By 9.30pm I was almost climbing the walls with the pain and had some diamorphine. Unfortunately, this had little effect; I admit I felt rather drunk, but could feel the pain all the same.
I persevered with the gas and air and at 1.12am on January 14, 2000, my beautiful son, Elliott David Beaumont slipped quietly into this world, peacefully sleeping in God’s loving hands. I scooped Elliott into my arms and held him. I was completely in awe of this little bundle of love snuggled up in my arms. Inside, my heart was screaming, but strangely, I felt extremely calm. The silence in the room wasn’t eerie at all. I felt a comforting warmness ‘wash over me’ as I laid back and comforted my son. Elliott looked perfect - his skin was as soft as the ripest peach imaginable and his furry nap of dark brown hair was like the softest velvet ever. I nuzzled into him as I lay with him, savouring his smell to imprint in my mind forever. His smell was delicious; I couldn’t stop kissing and stroking my little boy. He was astonishingly gorgeous - the complete likeness of his sister Chloë. Just like her, he had long ‘pianist‘s fingers‘, as I call them, and long legs that seemed to go on forever. Elliott was 26 weeks and 4 days gestation at birth, 1lbz 15ozs in weight and 14 inches long.
After being weighed and measured, he was bathed and dressed in his white romper suit with blue cardigan and bonnet. I took plenty of photographs of Elliott and laid on the bed with my son beside me, gazing at his perfect features and holding his tiny fingers. During that night, I endlessly paced the room with Elliott safe and snug in my arms, hugging and comforting him and singing his favourite lullaby time and again - ‘Brahm‘s Lullaby‘. I gazed out of the window many times overlooking Leeds City Centre, and watched the stillness of the night - it was so calm, quiet and peaceful - as if to reflect the mood inside my room that night. I never wanted that night to end. If I could have pressed a ‘pause’ button on life itself, I would have done so there and then. Elliott looked (and I believe was) so much at peace. I felt immensely proud of my son, and I still do.
The following morning, the Chaplain visited as promised and we discussed Elliott’s Blessing. It was important for me to have Elliott accepted into God‘s faith before he left us. I wanted God to validate my son, just as much as his Daddy and I did. Again, I held Elliott in my arms and looked out of the window at the view. I sang Elliott his favourite lullaby and took some more photographs of my beautiful baby boy. David arrived with Chloë and his Mother just before lunchtime. In the company of the Chaplain and his Mummy and Daddy, Elliott was blessed and named and we said our ‘farewell’ to him. I wrapped him up all nice and cosy in his Moses Basket and kissed his forehead before making the agonising departure from the hospital. David and I had refused permission for a post-mortem to be carried out on Elliott. We did not wish for our little boy to be disturbed and so only gave permission for an MRI scan. This would back-up the ultrasound evidence of his Potter‘s Syndrome. The next time we saw him was in his little white casket at the Chapel of Rest.
On arriving home, I slumped on the sofa and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. My arms (and my heart) were empty, MY SON WAS DEAD. I felt like I couldn’t breathe - I went completely to pieces...
It wasn’t until three days after Elliott’s death that my GP and Midwife called to see me. The GP made no mention of Elliott at all. He promptly stood in a forthright manner in my front living room and informed me that ‘it would be better if I had a coil fitted!’ I did not even attempt to proffer an answer to that one; I just sat on the sofa and looked in utter amazement at David! (I found out much later from the Midwife that he was initially going to suggest that I should be sterilised, but was talked out of saying this to me by the Midwife). Unbelievable attitude isn’t it?!
At around this time, my milk came. I hadn’t really expected it to happen because of Elliott’s early gestation, and didn’t receive any advice on how to cope with this if it happened. The emergency doctor came during the night as I was running a fever and I was prescribed some bromocryptine and some other medication to dry up my milk and to fight the infection. I had developed mastitis and was in a lot of pain. The experience of my milk starting was really mentally hard for me; it felt that my body was betraying me. ‘My body didn‘t know that my baby had died, did it? My body simply knows that I‘ve given birth and therefore I should produce milk to feed my infant.’ I thought. All the same, it‘s a devastating experience. (It would be a full six weeks before my milk ceased completely).
Two days before Elliott’s funeral, we visited the Chapel of Rest to spend some time with our son. We had already provided some clothes for him to be laid to rest in; a beautiful white velvet romper suit with matching bonnet. The suit had a rabbit logo on the breast pocket, and twinkly silver stars all over it. He looked absolutely stunning in his little outfit. We had also written a letter for him to read in Heaven. We put this into his casket, along with some photographs of his Mummy, Daddy and sister Chloë. We also put in Chloë’s favourite yellow Ted Bear, because she wanted ‘Eyyott (as she pronounced his name), to have something to play with in Heaven’, a gold crucifix coiled up over his chest, and David’s engagement ring of white Welsh Gold and yellow gold, which I had specially made for him years earlier. (Elliott would have had this ring anyway, so we thought he could take it with him, as a memento from his Daddy). David placed his engagement ring over Elliott’s heart, intertwined with his gold crucifix. My arms ached to hold my son once more, but it wasn’t to be.
Goodbye to Elliott:
Our darling son was a week old today. On the morning of Friday January 21, 2000, the weather seemed to echo our feelings. The cold North wind whistled around; rain stung your face as you walked outdoors. At 9.00am the Funeral Director arrived with our son. He carried our son in his little white casket into our home and gently placed it onto the small oak table in the living room. I wanted Elliott to spend at least a short amount of time in his home before we had to say goodbye. For half an hour, I stroked his tiny hands, kissed his beautiful little face and gazed continuously over his tiny little body. I wanted the world to stop. Right there and then. Oh, to have been able to scoop my son up into my arms and take him up to bed for a cuddle...
The flowers we had ordered for Elliott arrived. We had chosen a 4ft Teddy Bear in the colours of Leeds United - his Daddy’s favourite football team, and a floral platter from his sister Chloë. They were beautiful, absolutely stunning, but I could not concentrate properly on them as my eyes were firmly fixed on my son. Then the Funeral Director came back into the house and told us it was time to go...
Elliott’s funeral was at a Church, which has always been special to me - the Church of St Michael and Our Lady at Wragby, situated in the grounds of the beautiful stately home, Nostell Priory. Apart from worshipping there, I used to go there often to ‘sit and think’. Throughout many problems in my life, that Church was my ‘thinking place’ and it seemed the appropriate place for us to say ‘Goodbye’ to our son. David was exceedingly brave; he carried Elliott’s casket into the Church and then took his place beside me.
Apart from David’s Mother and a couple of his brothers and their wives, no-one else from our families came. This deeply hurt me, and still does. A couple of very close friends of mine came, though; Janet and Bernard Crapper. I was their next-door neighbour during my early childhood and they have known me all of my life. They have been like surrogate parents to me and I shall always be eternally grateful to them for the love and kindness they have shown me throughout my years.
We sang ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’, followed by ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’. A lovely reading was taken from Chapter 18 of the Gospel of Matthew:
“At that time, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” He called a child, whom he had put among them, sand said, “Truly, I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned to the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes! If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut if off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire. Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones, for, I will tell you, in Heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in Heaven.”
At Elliott’s interment, David and I clung onto each other as his little white casket was lowered into the ground. I couldn’t handle it - this seemed so final. I would not see my son again. As the vicar recited the Committal, I didn’t throw a handful of dirt on my son’s casket. Although this is traditional, along with saying ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust’, I could not (and still cannot) comprehend how people can throw dirt onto the ones they love. David and I requested that this part of the service be omitted and, thankfully, the vicar’s word was his bond.
The Committal service was soon over and David and I were left alone to gaze upon our son’s casket down that deep, dark abyss. I did not want to leave. I couldn’t leave my son alone. My heart was breaking in two. The wind had really strengthened that morning and we were being swayed this way and that with the gusts. My eyes were red, puffy and stinging with my continual crying and the driving rain. David turned to me and said it was time to go. We wanted to get back home to Chloë and so that’s what we did - turning to look over our shoulder with each and every step that we moved further away from our son. We knew in our hearts that it wasn’t ‘Goodbye forever’, just a case of ‘See you later’, which I’m most definitely sure it is.
Life After Elliott:
The first few days and weeks after losing Elliott were exceedingly challenging; it was hard enough coping with the grief and devastation over losing Elliott, but to have to deal with other people’s ignorance was just beyond belief sometimes.
Life in our small village carried on. David and I are well-known in our village, having been born and brought up in this confined mining community. However, it didn’t stop us from being alienated...it was the usual thing that you read about in grief support booklets - we were being ignored in the street; people who knew us well would cross over to the other side of the street rather than look us directly in the face, or even talk to us. I even had the ‘pleasure’ of happening upon one of the village gossip-mongers at the bus-stop, who was proceeding to tell someone that “I had given birth to a freak, with no heart and no brain!” Little did she know that I was stood directly behind her whilst all this was going on and, not to put too fine a point on it, promptly set the record straight! That episode put an end to the evil rumour-machine prevalent in the village at that time. However, when I got to the security and comfort of my own home, I was emotionally shattered by the experience. At times like this, you find out who your friends and family really are.
I would visit Elliott’s grave on a daily basis, ensuring that he had fresh blooms of flowers on his grave and that they were well watered. It quickly became a daily routine, until the whole thing started to make me feel very depressed and quite ill. At one point, I went through a period of wanting to ‘dig Elliott up’; just to hold my son in my arms. It sounds crazy to someone who has never lost a child, but the pain is so raw, you can feel it tearing you apart. At one point, I thought I could ‘hear’ my son, crying. I really thought I was going mad. I had to get a ‘grip’ on myself, otherwise I would have ended up being of no use to either myself, my husband or my little daughter, Chloë.
Back home, in the Nursery, the cot seemed emptier than before. Even though I had not had the pleasure of my son using the oak cot, it seemed painfully empty; as if it would never be used again. This wasn’t to say that I wanted another baby straightaway; it was Elliott that I wanted in that cot. Now it would never be that way...
Life, or some sort of resemblance of it, carried on. Instead of coming to my home to see me, the GP would prescribe tranquillisers over the telephone and David, being the dutiful husband, would collect them from the pharmacy. I didn’t dare take them, though. The thought of being ‘out of my brains’ on drugs did not appeal to me at all, and despite the way I felt, I still had to be there for Chloë. I decided to change my GP as I wasn’t getting the support I needed at all. I wanted help, not drugging up!
Life without the feel of Elliott inside me took a lot of getting used to. After Elliott died, I felt barren; infertile; completely unfeminine. I really felt that my body had failed me, that I had failed Elliott and that I was a useless Mummy. I wondered if I had done something wrong in taking the ibuprofen for my migraine headaches during the early part of my pregnancy with Elliott; was it the egg mayonnaise that I used to have, (apparently, egg can host salmonella bacteria and in pregnant women, it can cause problems with the baby), or perhaps I had caught the listeria infection from the numerous chicken dishes I would eat. I almost became paranoid; trying to analyse the majority of the cooked meals I would have eaten during the early part of Elliott’s pregnancy. I had to stop torturing myself. I was getting nowhere with this cyclic obsession.
I contacted an old school-friend via the mail, to let her know about Elliott. I was hoping that she’d drop by and be able to offer some support. She was a Midwife and based at Pontefract General Infirmary (the hospital which had told me that Elliott’s other organs were OK). No visit, letter or phone call came. I came to the conclusion that she didn’t want to know. I had known her for over 20 years and this was the one time that I really needed her. She chose not to be there for me, so I have to live with that. At least I can stop pretending that there is something to that friendship and put some closure on it now.
A month after Elliott had been laid to rest, David and I felt strong enough to order his Memorial Headstone. We went to a Memorial Stonemason a couple of miles away from where we lived and set about designing a stone for Elliott. After we had decided on what we wanted, i.e. colour of stone/marble, size, pictures, fonts etc., the finished article was shown on the computer screen. I broke down in tears - it was absolutely stunning! I knew that this would be perfect for our little boy. Elliott’s Memorial Headstone would be ready in three months...
May 4, 2000 came. We got a phone call from the Stonemason to tell us that Elliott’s Memorial Headstone was ready and was being erected that day. We said that we would be along to Elliott’s grave later to see the finished item in-situ. Later that afternoon, David, Chloë and myself went to the Cemetery to see Elliott’s stone. Again, I broke down in tears - it is a real shock to the system to see your son’s Headstone there in front of you. It makes it all seem so real and so final. I hugged David and Chloë tightly. At least Elliott’s resting-place was now officially marked and no longer looked like a mound of earth with flowers resting on the top.
We knew you were too special,
To live with us today,
So when God called our little one,
He called you on your way.
They say the sun shines brightly,
On those He loves the best,
We know you’ll light up Heaven above,
As you’re peacefully called to rest.
So, fear not, Elliott, our darling son,
Please don’t feel sad or blue,
Because on your journey to eternal life,
Our love will walk with you.
Words by Elliott’s Mummy
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