A Party for an Angel

Tonight will be exactly 10 weeks since we found Baby Tilda sleeping.

I cannot believe she has been gone so long yet it feels like such a long time ago that I held my baby in my arms.

The countdown to her first birthday, on the 2nd of May, is crippling me.

I feel physically sick as I write this.

I cannot stop crying.

It is getting harder each day not to just curl up on the sofa and cry.

But I cannot do that.

I have Esther and William who need me.

Who need their world to go on.

To have any hope of making it to and through Matilda’s birthday.

I have to try and turn it into something positive.

And so here I am.


A party for an angel.

A party where the guest of honour cannot be there.

Where I will try my hardest to celebrate my daughter though inside I will be breaking.

As I know that Matilda is not nor never will be here.

So, how do you start planning a party for an angel?

What would we have done if Matilda were alive?

We bought her main first birthday present on Christmas Day.

We booked her first holiday to the farm at Coombe Mill.

I had hoped she would be walking by now and would love toddling around the farm getting to know the animals.

Those eyes and that smile charming every stranger we met.

It was, and still will be, her holiday.

We are still going in memory of her.

Our Baby Tiger, Matilda Mae.

For Christmas Matilda got this beautiful pink floral horse. It was the first thing I bought that was going to be in her nursery. She would have moved into a room on her own on her birthday. She was still sleeping with us the night she died.

To go with the horse I had planned to buy this pink floral wigwam and I was going to hide all her presents inside.

She would have loved sitting in the tent, protected from Esther and William, ripping all the paper from her presents.

It would have been magical and I know she would have been beaming with happiness and pride.

She would have loved all the attention that a first birthday brings.

That is what makes this so hard.

Knowing how much she would have adored every pink and purple detail, I cannot bear to leave the day unmarked.

I also do not want to use the ideas that I had when she was alive.

Her party was going to be a barn dance with hay bales and bunting.

Just like our wedding.

A real family affair.

But she is not here.

My beautiful starry daughter is not here.

It will be a very different party.

Just the four of us and our angel in the sky.

I have the day pictured in my head.

We will all have special birthday outfits. Pink and purple. Glittering stars.

I want us to all wake up and have breakfast then go on the feed run at Coombe Mill in the tractor.

When Esther and William wake up they will know it is a special day as the cottage will be decorated.

Pink and purple balloons, pink and purple stars, pink and purple flowers.

After the tractor ride we will come back to the house and Esther and William will have some presents to open, all wrapped in pink and purple stars.

I want Esther and William to have presents to keep them busy at times when Mummy and Daddy might be sad on this day.

This very special, but very sad day.

After a little play we are going to go and find the sea.

I picture a sandy beach where we can write Matilda’s name in the sand and blow her giant bubble kisses to the sky.

I want us to have lunch out, I am thinking fish and chips.

Baby Tilda had a sneaky chip once and she loved sucking on it. I remember that so well.

Chips should feature in her day.

After lots of playing on the beach we would return to the farm.

Play some more and then have a party tea.

Pink and purple party plates.

Pink and purple party cups.

Pink and purple napkins.

A pink and purple cake.

One candle to take turns blowing out.

Taking turns to wish our angel in the sky a very happy first birthday.

Happy Birthday Baby Tilda in the sky.

And once Esther and William are in bed then I picture David and I just cuddling up together and having a good old cry.

Before having a meal together and remembering all the wonderful things Baby Tilda has brought and is bringing to our life.

I have a very special party to plan.

A very special first birthday.

A party for an angel.

Happy Birthday Baby Tilda in the sky x

21 thoughts on “A Party for an Angel

  1. I don’t know why, but this is the hardest post for me to read so far. Maybe it’s because it feels like it’s getting harder for you in the run up to her birthday, I don’t know, but I’m sobbing for you and even, SO selfishly for me! that I’ll never get to meet beautiful baby Tilda because the more photos I see of her the more I sense what a special, beautiful little girl she was and I can’t believe she’s not here and you’re going through what you are. My chest feels crushed with sorrow for you and David. But I love your plans for her very special day. Because it is a special day and always will be, even if it’s sad, and I’m so encouraged by your ability to allow the pain and the beauty to co-exist and make everything sparkle the way you do. I think it honours her life and her memory so perfectly and I have a sense in the long run, year after year, to honour her this way will make your life lighter and brighter even with it’s grief than it might otherwise be. I am working with BBC Concert Orchestra on her birthday but I promise to honour and celebrate her in whatever little ways I can. I will definitely be including pink and purple and stars in my day somewhere… Much love to you Jennie.

  2. Just had to say that I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through and really admire the strength that you show in your posts. My 1st born son will be 5 years old on the 2nd of May. I will think of you and Tilda xx

  3. It’s heartbreaking Jennie. That you have to even think about doing this, having Tilda’ s Birthday without having Tilda here to enjoy it with you. You are right to still mark the day, there are so many wonderful memories that you will be able to sit and recall on Tilda’s big day. I really hope you can enjoy it, as much as possible anyway. Thinking of you as always x

  4. So lovely to connect with you in recent days and to be reminded that for you and yours the pain continues. Weirdly, I saw your tweet about party stuff and looked at Party Pieces and found fish and chip bowls and thought of star of the sea so as I started to read this was going to say how about the sea and fish and chips and then you mentioned them.
    My Dad passed away in September last. Although it is so very different and less tragic, I do get that bit about the real pain being the thought of never seeing the loved one again. You could perhaps cope if it was a day or a week but nope, this is a forever deal. And it is hard which is why amongst all your great work doing charity stuff and caring for your family, please also do what you need to do for yourself to handle such a challenging time (words can’t convey what an understatement that is I know). You have a plan – that is good. If it goes awry, that is OK today. You are not a perfect mum (none of us are) and you don’t have to be perfect on that tough day either. Hoping somehow the groundswell of support you are getting from people can carry you through another part of the rocky journey. Keep reaching out to those who have travelled the path and can perhaps shine a light on the way.

  5. This is one the hardest posts you’ve written and it’s one of the hardest to read, the wrenching feeling I have and the amount of tears that are falling are immense – but I know it’s absolutely nothing in comparison to how you are feeling and that just makes it even more painful to read. You write and plan so beautifully, Jennie. You show so much love and devotion to your beautiful baby girl. As I’ve said before, I just wish that I was closer over the next few weeks to give you support and a physical shoulder to cry on. I know these next few weeks will be some of the hardest of your life and I will be here for you, all your friends will support you as much as we can xx

  6. What you are dealing with is unimaginable, yet you find it in you to plan such a beautiful day for your daughter. You are so amazing and a true inspiration. Prayers for you and baby Tilda xx

  7. I feel sick reading this jennie. I am always so emotional as the kids’ birthdays come up and I know this is going to hit you so hard. I will of course be thinking of you. Heather, lisa and I will be having a bubble blowing picnic. I don’t know what else to say.

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  9. I don’t think I have ever cried so much at a post before in my life, tears are pouring down my face, I can’t imagine just how unbearable this must all be for you and David (as well as the rest of your family). I hope you find strength to get past this extremely hard time. It must be a blessing to have the twins to keep you going throughout the days, as much as you may want to just curl up and cry.

    The day sounds perfect apart from one special person missing :'(

    We found quite a secluded beach in Feb in Cornwall called Trevone bay which might be quieter than some beaches, plenty of space for the twins to run about too, also only 5 mins from Padstow to get some yummy fish and chips.

    Literally feeling sick to the stomach with upset, I seriously don’t know how you make it through the day, sending lots of love x

  10. Oh Jennie. Its not fair. I will never understand it. I am glad you are on holiday to make Matilda’s birthday extra special, but it makes me cry to think that this was booked on Christmas day. My heart breaks over that. And so many things. I want to say that I am sure she is always with you, will always stay close. But how can that be any comfort at all – when she should be here and growing up xxx

  11. I’ve had tears in my eyes reading this. The injustice of it all, it is all so unfair. I wish with all my heart this was just a blog post about a planning a normal birthday party for a special little girl. I wish with all my heart this hadn’t happened. I wish I could take some of your pain away. I don’t know what else to say but I didn’t want to read and run. xxx

  12. It is absolutely right and fitting that you’re planning a special party for your birthday girl. I know Danielle at 2point4children blog always has celebrations for her angel son, too – I’m sure she will agree wholeheartedly with the plans you have for beautiful Matilda.

  13. Dear Jennie, I just found your blog via your beautiful Messy Play link up idea. This is the first post I have read and I am astounded by the clarity of your words and your grace in sharing a little of what you are going through in this tragic time. I don’t know what to say but I couldn’t just click on through without saying someting, so… just know that I am thinking of you, feeling for you, and sending you as much love and strength as possible to get through this.

  14. I’m still absolutely gutted for you – you are so brave, and I’m guessing she would be proud of her Mum for what you are planning. I’m sure the lovely Coombe Mill will be a wonderful place to spend such a sad day x

  15. That’s what we did http://www.patchofpuddles.co.uk/archives/5001/sunshine-in-april
    It was the only thing to do really; it didn’t feel like it would be right (for me) to do it more than that once, though we always spend his birthday out and together. I celebrate that day to remember him because goodness knows, I don’t want to look the day of his death in the face.

    I think it is just right to have her first birthday. It’s going to be hell for you but I hope it brings the peace it did me. I know it can’t be the same, because 1 year old meant we had lived (almost) the whole first year and time does help – but perhaps it will be a start in giving your heart so relief.

    Many kisses and love and hugs (((xxxx))) as ever.

  16. It is so heartbreaking that you are even having to think about this Jennie. I’m sure that you will make it an extra special day. Lots of love to you all xxxx

  17. Jennie, you are a true planner. I hope the day goes as you hope, being a beautiful day in memory of Tilda. I hope you manage to laugh at happy memories as much as the tears you shed. I hope that Tilda can make her presence felt and lift your hearts just a little bit. And I hope all that you do for Tilda and her legacy helps you find some peace. Love to you all!

  18. My heart aches for you and my eyes are full of tears. I’m so sorry – this should not be. Your beautiful baby should be in your arms on the anniversary of the day you gave birth to her. xxxx

  19. My heart breaks for you and your family Jennie. I can feel your raw pain through your writing and can also feel the immense love you have for your baby girl. I hope you feel her love that day as her spirit blows in the wind during her special day and twinkles in the stars at night x

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