The photo of Daniel was taken at Rustler's Valley. We were walking back to our camp site when he suddenly stopped to sit down in the middle of the road, to play with the small stones and the sand. I took the photo looking at the small piece of orange in this big wide world and my heart overflowed with love.
Rustler's Valley in the eastern Free State is one of the most beautiful places in South Africa, nestled in a valley and surrounded by mountains.

It is a sacred space. A place where we can connect with our loved ones, friends, the Universe, God and nature. You can feel the magic, peace and powerful energy, hear the drum beats and fall in love with the night sky.

It was my most favourite place in the world but I might not ever go back because what used to be my biggest pleasures bring the most pain.

The happy things and places that I shared with Daniel create a prominent awareness within me that Daniel can now only exist as a memory, that he is from my past, never to be part of my present or my future again.

And the harshness of this realisation rips through my heart and soul.

Guardian Angel

I received this email the day after Daniel died, from someone very special. She has been Daniel's guardian angel since we first met, nearly 3 years ago. I find comfort and peace in her loyalty to Daniel and sincere care.

My dearest Alison

No words can describe my heartfelt sorrow for the loss of your beautiful angel Daniel. I really believe that he was an angel sent by God to touch your life with love and joy. I found a beautiful poem which I think is very appropriate and want to share it with you.

I know its too hard to imagine but you need to be strong for your other children and find comfort in the fact that an angel touched your life. I am always only a phone call away so please let me know if you need anything or if I can do anything for you even if you just need to chat.

Warmest wishes with love,C

I carry it in my heart
I am never without it,
Anywhere I ho you go, and whatever is done
By only me is your doing

I fear no fate for you are my fate, my sweet angel
I want no world
For beautiful you are my world
And you are whatever a moon has always meant
And whatever a sun will always sing is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
And the sky of a tree called life
Which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide

And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart

I say these words for Daniel because that is how it always will be for me and him.

Dreams And Wishes

Today is a week before Daniel's birthday. Next week Monday he would have turned 4.

He was so excited about his birthday and about having a birthday party. For no specific reason other than wanting to spend some alone time with him, I took Daniel for an Friday afternoon drive on the 2nd of January. We listened to music, he later slept for a while and when he woke up I stopped to buy ice cream, "green" chippies and cold drink before heading back home.

We spoke about going back to school after the holidays and then, once again recited the sequence of birthdays shared between his 2 families:

First was Hendri's birthday in May - the day on which this photo was taken;

then at the end of December was Alecia's birthday;

coming up would be my birthday in January;

his Dad's birthday in February;

and finally…Daniel's birthday in March!

He was so excited about about having a party. He asked for a Spiderman cake and named all the friends to be invited.

When I asked what he wanted for his birthday present, he said that he wanted a small camera - to take photos of animals.

His father is a professional photographer and it touched my heart that Daniel's real wish was not so much about getting a camera. It was to be like his Dad.

Close To My Heart

This is the very first photo of Daniel, taken with my mobile phone when he was 1 day old.

He was born on the 2nd of March 2005.

I was only 35 weeks pregnant I drove myself to hospital that morning, believing that what I felt was just a false alarm but my doctor confirmed that I actually went into labour. Arrangements were made for Daniel to be delivered by Cesarean section a few hours later. I remember the miracle of his first cry and how content we both were when he was given back to me.

A tiny most beautiful baby in the world with black spiky hair. He only weighed 2.5kg but strong, healthy and without any need to be in an incubator. I thanked God for this perfect little blessing, given to me. My Daniel.

I was so in love with my baby and found it impossible to leave him in the baby room with the other new born babies. The nurses would come to take him so that I can sleep and recover. They promised and assured me that they would take good care of him but it would only be minutes before I would get up to fetch Daniel. We slept together as I held him in my arms, on my chest, close to my heart - there where he always will be.

Close to my heart.

Where’s Daniel

Like most toddlers Daniel loved to hide himself – in the cupboard, behind the curtains, under the covers and then we had to look for him saying "Where's Daniel? Where's Daniel?" until he decided to reveal himself and then we had to say "oh there's Daniel" followed by laughter and happy feelings for having found him. Over and over we had to play this.

Daniel added a little twist to this game. After asking "where's Daniel" a few times, I first had to "cry" because my child was gone. So I faked crying about my lost child and once he decided I cried enough he would come out for the happy reunion.

Now my child is really gone and unlike the game we so often played Daniel would not be found again in this life.
Today I packed away his red car chair, the bounce ball I gave him for a Christmas present, his little slide (wiiieeeee), the Lego blocks that were Hendri and Alecia's kept for Daniel for when he would be old enough, his spider man chair and his little blue bicycle still with the training wheels on the side.

Danny Boy

...my Danny boy, I miss you. I ache for you even when I sleep and I sing for you "our song" to make you smile.
Oh Danny Boy the pipes, the pipes are calling
from glen to glen and down the mountain side
The summer's gone and all the roses dying
'tis you 'tis you must go and I must bide

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
or when the valley's hushed and white whith snow
'Tis I'll be there in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny Boy, Oh Danny Boy I love you so

And when ye come and all the flowers are dying
If I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an Ave there for me

And I shall hear tho' soft you tread above me
And all my grave will warmer sweeter be
If you will bend and tell me that you love me
Then I shall sleep in peace until you come to me
I put two trunks filled with your things in storage today. The trunks are decorated with stickers, painted with stars and with your name on it. Everything that was yours is precious and to let go of the life that I had with you is very painful and very difficult.

I look for you everywhere, at your school, at your graveside, at the hospital where you were already so cold when I arrived. I call your name and tell you that I am here and finally I will curl up in a bundle to cry because I know you will never come back. That I will never see you again in this world. In 6 weeks I have learned what sorrow and longing really feels like. I love you so...

...my Danny boy.

Crystal Child

Daniel was a crystal child. Crystal children have large expressive eyes, an intense stare, wise beyond their years. Their eyes lock on and hypnotize you, while you realize your soul is being laid bare for the child to see.

The following list are the attributes that could be identifying of a crystal child and from the book Crystal Children by Dr. Doreen Virtue. These characteristics are all true to who Daniel was but some just far more typical of him than others. I have noted the ones describing him best, warming our hearts with the fond memories of how super special he was.

Crystal children:

  • Are open only to those who warrant trust (very much Daniel)
  • Begin speaking later in life, but often use telepathy to communicate (very much Daniel)
  • Love music and may even sing before talking
  • Are extremely connected to animals and nature
  • Are often very interested in rocks, crystals and stones (very much Daniel)
  • Are highly empathic and sensitive
  • Are loving forgiving and generous to others
  • Blissful tempered
  • Fearless (very much Daniel)
  • Love water (very much Daniel)
  • Often have an amazing sense of balance and are unafraid when exploring high places (very much Daniel)
  • Often see or hear angels and spirit guides (very much Daniel)
  • Dislike high-stress environments with many distractions (very much Daniel)
  • Dislike loud/sharp sounds (very much Daniel)
  • Dislike bright, unnatural lights (very much Daniel)
  • Very fussy about the food they eat (very much Daniel)
  • Often show strength in telekinesis
  • Sometimes seem ‘clingy’ to their parents until 4 or 5 (very much Daniel)
  • Can throw tantrums if they cannot create a reality that is good for them (very much Daniel)
  • Are easily over stimulated and need to meditate often to replenish themselves (very much Daniel)
Daniel had beautiful eyes, very dark brown, at times nearly black ( when Alecia would say to him "pikke-swarte-ogies" ) and for nearly 4 years we had the privilege to see the world through Daniel's eyes and that was the most addictive pleasure ever.
Sleep well my little angel.I pray that you were in peace and unafraid when you closed your eyes for the final time. I am so sorry that I was not there to hold you close, to give you my life, my breath, my warmth. Know that my love will always be with you, that our souls are connected and free to go beyond the boundaries of life and death and in our hearts we will always be together. My love for you will never fade or die, Pikkewyntjie and I miss you more than words can ever tell.