• These photos were taken a year ago on Christmas morning. We loved how Daniel had grown and developed from the year before. It was pure pleasure to share in his belief, anticipation and joy.
    (It is pure hell to know that he died only 12 days after this perfect morning)
  •  It doesn’t work for us (Henry, Alecia and I) to try and do things in the way we did when we had Daniel, but now without him. It just creates a painful awareness of our loss. We find it easiest when life happens differently and in new environments. So Henry and Alecia spent Christmas with their father and his family and I went to visit a friend in Austria where I attended the Christmas Mass in a beautiful cathedral in Vienna. Tears were streaming down my face, like rivers of sorrow and I was touched by the kindness of a stranger, who reached out and held my hand throughout the service.
  • I bought the most beautiful Christmas decorations I could get to send to Daniel’s grave. Crystal stars and silver bells with little soldiers to stand guard. I believed the gesture to be minute and meaningless in comparison to the reality but I did it nevertheless.
  • I didn’t send any Happy Christmas sms messages to my friends – I really didn’t know what to say. For the same token I know many friends didn’t know what to say to me which is really okay, I understand the dilemma but I was touched by everyone who still included me as a “normal” person on their sms list. My heart was warmed by your messages.
  • The 3 penguins was part of a Christmas display outside a shop in Vienna. It was possible for me to buy them and I like to think that it came from Daniel to Henry, Alecia and to his Mama.


Painting of a woman with her dead child by: Käthe Kollwitz
Words from: Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children)

Now I see well, why with such dark flames
in many glances you flash upon me
O Eyes: as if in one look
to draw all your strength together

I didn't realise, because a mist surrounded me
woven of tangled destinies
that your beam was already returning homewards to the place
from which all rays emanate.

You would tell me with your brightness:
We would gladly stay with you!
Now that is denied to us by Fate.

Look at us, soon we will be far away!
What are only eyes to you in these days,
in the coming night shall be your stars.
Nun seh' ich wohl, warum so dunkle Flammen
Ihr sprühtet mir in manchem Augenblicke.
O Augen, gleichsam, um in einem Blicke
Zu drängen eure ganze Macht zusammen.

Doch ahnt' ich nicht, weil Nebel mich umschwammen,
Gewoben vom verblendenden Geschicke,
Daß sich der Strahl bereits zur Heimkehr schicke,
Dorthin, von wannen alle Strahlen stammen.

Ihr wolltet mir mit eurem Leuchten sagen:
Wir möchten nah dir immer bleiben gerne!
Doch ist uns das vom Schicksal abgeschlagen.

Sieh' recht uns an, denn bald sind wir dir ferne!
Was dir noch Augen sind in diesen Tagen:
In künft'gen Nächten sind es dir nur Sterne.

The original Kindertotenlieder were a group of 428 poems written by Friedrich Rückert in 1833–34 in reaction to the illness (scarlet fever) and death of his two children Luise and Ernst. These poems became singular, almost manic documents of the psychological endeavor to cope with such loss. In ever new variations Rückert's poems attempt a poetic resuscitation of the children that is punctuated by anguished outbursts. But above all the poems show a quiet acquiescence to fate and to a peaceful world of solace.These poems were never intended for publication.

The composer Gustav Mahler selected five of Rückert's poems to set as Lieder, which he composed between 1901 and 1904. The songs are written in Mahler's late-romantic idiom, and like the texts reflect a mixture of feelings: anguish, fantasy resuscitation of the children, resignation. The final song ends in a major key and a mood of transcendence.

The poignancy of the cycle is increased by the fact that four years after he wrote it, Mahler lost his daughter, Maria, aged four, to scarlet fever. He wrote to Guido Adler: "When I wrote the music I placed myself in the situation that a child of mine had died. When I really lost my daughter, I could not have written these songs any more."

Remembering Daniel

Dearest Daniel

I spent today, 11 months after you left our world, looking through your photos, remembering how wonderful everything was with you...

The day that you were born....

And when you were 6 months old

When it was your first birthday (my Blue Bulls baby!)

And to love a messy 2 year old...

My cool dude 3 year old...

And the last photo that I have of you, taken 6 days before you died.....

You are so special, my Angel and I love you more than words can say.
I kiss you and hold you close, deep within my heart
and connected to my soul. As always.

Without Our Children

Our months, become weeks and then we will be counting days, before the hours, minutes and finally seconds until a year is reached without our children.

In one month and one day I will be without Daniel for a year. For my online friend Denise, there are only a few more days left before being a year without her daughter Angie.

I wish I knew what to say to a mother who suffered through her first year of loss and agony. She who knows just like I do, that this pain is not going to end soon. I can only hold her in my thoughts and I pray that she will be surrounded by love and peace but most of all may she feel her Angie closest to her heart.
The words are from the song Tattva by Kula Shaker, for Angie and her Ma…and as always, for Daniel:

Tattva, acintya bheda abheda tattva

Like the flower and the scent of summer, like the sun and the shine
Well the truth may come in strange disguises, send a message to your mind

At the moment that you wake from sleeping, and you know it's all a dream
Well the truth may come in strange disguises, never knowing what it means

For you shall be tomorrow, like you have been today