On Sunday, it’s my son Charlie’s eighth birthday. We’re having a party with friends round and their children, lots of party food, a cake and even some cards and presents. Nothing odd there? It sounds like any normal party for any normal eight year old. The difference is that Charlie died when he was three months old, in October 2010.
We’ve always celebrated his birthday, every single year since he died. We’ve been to theme parks, adventure trails, had parties at home and treated it exactly as we would do as if he was here. You might think that weird. You might think we’re holding on to something that isn’t there and not letting go of the past. In truth, it helps us and our other children, deal with our grief and our emotions.
Charlie is still very much part of our family and by ignoring his birthday we would be going against everything we’ve fought for. We’ve tried many ways to keep his memory alive with fundraisers and awareness campaigns. We include him in family photos, in our Christmas traditions and every way we can. His memory lives on with all our family and friends.