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499 Days – Wednesday October 5th 2016

Tomorrow marks another milestone for our family. Oscar lived for 499 days. Tomorrow Barney will be 500 days old. I met a bereaved mother once who told me she had an image of her daughter in a boat out at sea, slowly bobbing further and further away from her and I can recognise that painful but true inevitability. Oscar dying was so inconceivable, so unlikely and so sudden. We have had incredible support from many different sources since he died, and one of those has been Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. They have a genetics study underway. It’s an expensive process and they have to put together a business case for each family that they put through the study. They have to believe that they will prove a positive outcome – that is to say, that they can prove that there is a generic reason behind whatever the situation is that they are exploring for that family. They took us into the programme for a different reason. Nobody believed that Oscar had a genetic flaw or disposition that meant that his life was at risk. But the team wanted to be able to rule it out for us. That was a really kind gesture for them to make.

Where this leaves us now is in the great unknown. But one of the many things that Oscar’s death has taught us it is that you truly have no idea what is round the corner. This particular collection of images was put together by an artist called Susan O’Malley but you see posters like these all across Facebook, Pinterest and in Home Furnishings shops. At face value some of them could seem a bit naff but, for me, the more time goes by the more truth I can see in some of them. We were told soon after Oscar died that grief is a mirror of love, so the deeper your love for someone the deeper your grief, which made total sense. But I see that reflection in life as well. Our heartbreak of living each day without Oscar accentuates on a daily basis how lucky we are to have Holly and Barney, and for that we are thankful.

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