I am sitting at the airport waiting to go back to Cape Town after spending the past few days with my children. Most of the time with Henry and Alecia and only a short while with Daniel, weeping at his grave, desperate to have him back.

Henry and Alecia are making me so proud, like they always have. They are so positive and strong, loving and compassionate, coping with life after losing Daniel in many ways better than I do. We went shopping, listened to music, talked, laughed, remembered Daniel and telling each other that we will be okay.

Daniel is buried in a town two hours drive away from the nearest airport and from where Henry and Alecia stay and I went alone this morning to visit his grave. I have no words to say how it feels to start a two hour journey that will end at the children's section of a cemetery, where Daniel is only one of the many small heaps of ground.

It doesn't make sense for me to go to Daniel's grave because I feel nothing but sorrow being there and I will leave feeling hollow and empty because yet again, there was nothing more of Daniel to be found than any other time before. I know so well that death can't change but still my heart forces me to keep on going back - to the place where my time on earth with Daniel has stopped.

Our gifts for Daniel today were three pebble stones and small plant.

The stones are from a garden where Daniel loved to play. It belongs to one of my friends and whenever we visited his house it was with great pleasure that Daniel emptied the flower pots of all the pebbles. He threw them in the swimming pool or else he packed them on the paving to make interesting patterns. Blessings to our friend (who doesn't like to be named) for all the times that he patiently dived out stones from his pool and for never minding the disruption of his landscaped garden.

I bought the plant from a nursery. They asked me what type of plant I wanted and my request was that it be hardened enough to endure sun and wind and for it to have white flowers. I didn't say that it was for my child's grave and that it would be watered by my tears. Just thanked them for helping me.

That was today.

Silent Screams

I scream when I am alone in my car driving or when there is no one around, I would put my face in my pillow and scream….until my voice is hoarse and my throat is sore and my face wet from the tears; all with the hope that it will relieve the hurt inside me, to lessen the cropped up pain so suffocating and constantly burning.

Oh, my dearest dearest Danny boy.

Turtle Love

Daniel made this picture end October 2008.

How precious are these artworks from Daniel and how strong the knowledge that the little I have is all that there ever will be.

It was another one of the daily Daniel highlights when I would fetch him from school and before leaving we would first detour through the Noddy classroom so that he could proudly show me what he had created earlier that day.

I love anything that any of my children make and I carefully date it at the back not to forget but with Daniel this wasn't necessary. There was only 3 months of school in which he brought back his beautiful pictures.

I can imagine the concentration on his face as he worked and the little hands still developing the finer motor skills. I softly touch the picture knowing that Daniel's presence still lingers on the paper.


Please say a special prayer for Henry and Alecia. Similar to my own experience, does the reality that Daniel will never return becoming a cruel certainty to them, prominent in their minds and heart.

We all miss him, as always, more than words can say and it hurt me deep inside to read Alecia's words on Thursday:
" today I miss you so much, today all I want to do is to hold you hand, but reality crumbles like hardened sand today. There is an aching emptiness in my soul, a simple darkness, an irreplaceable hole forever in my head and in my heart. Your laughter is with me, it is all I hear "
My reply to her:

My dearest Lecia child, how I wish with all my heart to bring him back or to ease your longing. My love is with you and Danny will always be part of each one of us. Mom x x x


I sorted through some paperwork this morning and found in between the folder holding all the sympathy cards given to us when Daniel died. I opened and read some of them and my entire being filled with pain. There it was in writing, not only the harsh reality of our loss but also many confirmations of how special and precious Daniel (was) is.

I still go weekly to a therapist for counseling. My wonderful therapist is also concerned about intensity and depth of my sadness but how could it be anything easier or better? The bond between me and Daniel has always been extremely close and my soul is deeply wounded by the trauma of our physical separation combined with the cruelty of the betrayal that cost Daniel his life.

It is my will and my commitment to walk this path with courage and hope and to be the best mother I can be for Henry and Alecia. People often say to me that I must be happy because that is what Daniel would want and that Daniel wouldn't like to see me so sad and although I appreciate the intention and kindness behind those ideas, that is not really all that Daniel would want for me.

I know Daniel will completely understand and accept my pain and my tears. Yes, he would want me to be happy, but more to be a true person and most of all to live out my life as is just so difficult and draining to endure this constant all consuming pain. No cure. No relief. Just pain.

A Treasured Space

When I think of this web page with my story about Losing Daniel and of a Facebook group named RIP Daniel Starbuck - I know that they are two of the things that I never ever wanted, not in a million years, but that wasn't for me to decide.

I also think of how much my blog and Daniel's group mean to me. They are "Daniel spaces" and much treasured because that is where Daniel can still be part of my ongoing life, also where people can meet Daniel, even get to know him and for us who love him so much somewhere we can be close to him.

Every person who is a member of Daniel's group on Facebook or who reads this blog is special as you keep the memory alive; and to find a new blog comment or an encouraging message is so often a lifeline, a gift of light and strength to help me through the next dark moment.

The past few weeks have really been difficult for me, feeling like a re-run of that early days, just after Daniel died, with my emotions and thoughts drenched in sorrow and longing but my heart is warm because love is all around me....

On a day, more sad than the other, my dear friend Denise, a sister in grief posted a poem for me in Daniel's group and then came the message from Angel, a mother who also knows the pain:

"This poem brought tears to my eyes and to know that it is all true and that we who have lost our children will see them again someday. I pray that I too learn my lessons so I may go home and see my son, sister and other loved ones who have passed on before me. I pray Ali that your pain will ease and become bearable because I know it will never go completely away. I pray that like me you will see your darling Daniel when you close your eyes and are able to talk to him and hold him in your arms in your dreams. God Bless You "

My Children

May the world treat Henry and Alecia well, now and in times to come, with kindness and good fortune because they are so undeserving of the sorrow, agony and pain unfairly bestowed upon them. They accepted Daniel into their world unconditionally, unselfishly and with the deepest of love, his needs always came first, he was their most loved, their pride and joy, more than precious.

I pray for my two children to heal, to find peace and for God to bless them with love and light.


About Henry and Daniel:
  • Henry was 12 when Daniel was born
  • The teachers at Henry's school commented that they had never seen a teenage boy so proud and caring over a baby
  • When Daniel started to talk he said "Neni" for Henry, we followed suit and to this day Henry is our Neni
  • Henry and Daniel loved to kick ball together and it was a daily ritual for them to play outside in the late afternoon before Daniel's bath time
  • Henry taught Daniel to play playstation, sometimes Daniel really played and sometimes he just sat on Henry's lap with the extra control not plugged in thinking that he (Daniel) also was busy playing
  • Daniel loved playing Monsters Inc or Yugioh with Henry on the PC, he also loved to play with Henry's Yugioh cards and to look at all the monsters and mermaids
  • Henry had a book with the collected fairy tales of the Grimm Brothers next to his bed so that he could read for Daniel. They lay together while Henry would read a story and then they would each choose a character and make up their own story.
  • Henry meticulously packed away all the special toys that he had outgrown, for when Daniel was older. Henry often said how much he looked forward to give and share the pleasure of all his boy treasures with Daniel; his collection of Lego Bionicles, computer and playstation games, books, an extensive and rare Yugioh card collection.
  • When Daniel woke up on weekends or during school holidays he went to fetch Henry so that they could snuggle on the couch and watch TV together, that is if Henry wasn't already on the couch.
  • On 13 January 2009 Henry carried the baby brother whom he loved more than anyone can imagine for the final time, not in his arms or on his shoulders like he used to do so often, as one of four men carrying a small white coffin...


Dearest Danny

I am sorry that I wrote so little last month, my pain was so deep and intense that I could not even come here to remember you or talk to you. Neni and Lecia came to visit me and it is so hard for us to be together without you. They love you with all their heart and soul and losing you is as devastating and painful for them as it for me .

Neni cannot even bear to talk about you, look at photos of you or listen to us talking about you and I feel so sad and worried about him carrying his pain so alone, deep deep inside his being. You were so close to each other and I made a list of things about you and your Neni to add to my post today.

Lecia longs for you in a way no 14 year old child should long for someone. You were her world, her everything and her life will also never be the same again. She asked to visit your grave a while ago and I took her to you and I will never forget how she curled up in a bundle on the ground, sobbing, hugging your tombstone, calling your name.

My heart is so broken, not only for you but just as much for Neni and Lecia.

We will never love you less my angel and we think of you every day, with the fondest of memories. You were really super super special.

I hold you in my arms and carry you in my heart.