Tilda’s Ashes at Coombe Mill

She is gone.

And while it is fresh in my mind I want to write the story of her final journey down.

I have asked David if he minds if I blog our goodbye.

He says that I can.

For which I am so grateful as blogging is what I know to do.

It is how I process things and make sense of my world.

Try to make sense of my world.

If pictures of Tilda’s ashes will upset you

If setting her sail will upset you

Then please please stop reading now

Thank you x

Today was Baby Tilda’s first birthday

We celebrated for her here on Earth

And we hope she partied in heaven with the angels.

At the end of a longer than usual day

We waited for Esther and William to fall asleep

Before heading out to our chosen spot on the river

Here at Coombe Mill

We took with us Tilda’s boat, her ashes and pink and purple stars.

David and I went down to the waters edge

Where we carefully transferred Tilda

From a paper bag to her boat

We rinsed out the bag to make sure that all of Tilda would be in the water

Heading for the sea

Her ashes spilled out into the water

Leaving a haze of white in the water

Like stardust

On top of her ashes we lay balsa wood kindling

And balsa wood stars

Before lighting the boat and setting it sail

We put a trail of stars into the water

They created a shimmering, sparkling pathway

For Tilda’s boat to follow

We set the boat on fire

And let our baby go.

She followed the stars

As they lead her down river

Leading her into the night

The boat blazed as it travelled

David and I walked behind and beside Baby Tilda

As she made her final journey to the stars

The boat was perfect

The setting was perfect

David told me that Tilda is everywhere now

Not only in the rivers and the sea

But also in the rain

Our baby girl will be with us everywhere

Tilda will be with us for always

And every year we will come back to Coombe Mill

To sail wooden boats on the river

And blow bubbles by the shore

We will come back with family and with friends

To retell the story of Tilda’s goodbye

Rest in peace Baby Tilda

We love you x

I hope our bubble kisses reached you in the sky x

126 thoughts on “Tilda’s Ashes at Coombe Mill

  1. I’m so glad it was the goodbye you’d planned so beautifully, Jennie. It looks and sounds perfect – just like Tilda. She is most definitely everywhere. Sending you love, as always xx

  2. It sounds like it was beautiful. I’m so glad that it went as perfectly as it possibly could. And I think David is right, she will be everywhere now, and I hope that is a comfort to you.
    Always in my thoughts… x

  3. Sending you much love. I am so grateful that you have been able to give Matilda Mae the goodbye you took so much time and love in preparing. You have truly honoured her time on earth and represented her beauty. x

  4. You and David really did Tilda proud. I’m so glad this day turned out as you hoped it would. I love the thought of her being everywhere now, even in the rain.

    Thank you for sharing this with us xx

  5. She is with you always, she made today beautiful for everyone – the sun shone and then set pink & purple. Then you made the most perfect memories of her, for her – she will always be remembered by so many. When my children blow bubbles I think of your Tilda – I hope she catches them all xxx

  6. Perfect x x x x

    David is very talented. The boat is beautiful.

    You are both so very brave. I think David is right, Tilda is everywhere with you x x x x x

    Happy birthday little one, sweet dreams x x

  7. So beautiful. My heart breaks for you and your family. I have never met you but I have thought about you all throughout the day. I hope today brought you some little peace and you feel Matilda’s presence when the wind blows your hair and the rain falls softly on your cheek. Rest in perfect peace Matilda Mae x

  8. What a beautiful way to say goodbye. So touching to read and thank you for sharing your beautiful daughters final journey. I’m sure your bubble kisses will have reached her. Thinking about you all. xx

  9. I feel so privileged to read your words Jennie. You and David have more courage in your little fingers than most armies. Wishing your beautiful daughter peace and love from up high in the sky and down low on the ground with us all. xx

  10. This is so heartbreaking but so beautiful. You have sent Matilda Mae off in such a perfect way. David and you have such incredible courage – borne of your immense love for Baby Tilda. I am so glad that your plans went as you hoped. She is truly all around you – and within you – always. She will be in the rain that waters her memory garden too. I hope you feel some measure of peace now this last part of Baby Tilda’s journey is done. And I hope you manage some healing sleep xxx

  11. Matilda Mae is so proud of you both, her Mummy & Daddy. My prayer for you tonight is that when the sunshine of the coming weeks meet with the pain & sorrow of your tears……that a beautiful little rainbow will appear xx sleep well xx you must both be exhausted xx

  12. I wish with all my heart you werent going through this but you did her proud! What a beautiful perfect send off you gave her. Happy birthday Matilda Mae. Gone but never never forgotten. Your name will be remembered by so many mummies forever xxx Lots of love to you all Jennie xxx

  13. You are very brave parents to Matilda Mae, as you sent her off to sail on her forever journey to be free and be everywhere and always with you … As i lit a candle for her and went outside to blow bubbles up to the first bright stars this evening, thinking of you , there was such a lovely and loud sound around me. Birds were singing beautifully, it was perhaps a lullaby for Matilda Mae.

  14. A heart breakingly beautiful goodbye.

    Lost for words… I am so very very sorry that this has happened to you, and for all that you have gone through and continue to endure.

    You have been in my thoughts and my heart all day.

    Rest in peace, baby girl.

  15. What an absolutely beautiful send off, you are such loving, caring amazing parents and my heart goes out to you tonight. I hope to be able to go to Coombe Mill one day soon and will make sure to pay my respects when I do. Happy Birthday Matilda Mae, I hope you are having a party full of angel babies xxx

  16. Oh Jennie it looks so beautiful. What a beautiful way to say goodbye.

    Steph, Jenny, Tom and I blew bubbles today for Matilda Mae a d thought of you all.

    Lots of love

  17. I am so absolutely heartbroken for your family… What a beautiful way to say good bye! I was blowing bubbles with my toddler today and thinking of you and wishing baby Tilda the most magical 1st Birthday in the sky. xxx

  18. so beautiful jennie.a beautiful goodbye to baby Tilda. you have done her proud. Happy birthday baby Tilda. i love the idea that she is now everywhere even in the rain. we have been thinking of you all today xxx

  19. I awoke this morning, drew my curtains back and saw a beautiful sunrise. My first thought was for your daughter, Matilda Mae. Happy birthday to a very special little girl. She will always be with you in your heart and all around you. Thank you for sharing her story, I will never forget her. My thoughts are with you and your family, I hope this day was special for you all even if tinged with sadness xx

  20. The love you have all put in to saying your goodbye is so very moving and beautiful. I’m so so sorry that this has happened. Thank you for sharing with us all. We blew bubbles for Matilda Mae by the pool in Bangkok, children from all over the world chased them and played. Sending love and light far and wide. I wish you all peace xx

  21. Absolutely beautiful!
    The two of you created the perfection that was Matilda Mae and together you have given her a perfect goodbye in an imperfect world from where she was taken away.
    Soul in Heaven, ashes back to Mother Earth… soar high Matilda Mae, for you have created waves with your short journey here beyond what could be imagined. Rest in His arms knowing you will be remembered by many. Bubble kisses to you birthday girl!

  22. You did her proud – every day of her little life and you did her proud today. It looks and sounds perfect in the cruelest interpretation of the word. I love that David said she is everywhere, even in the rain. I think that must be true as how could anyone so very loved every truly be gone? I am so pleased you have found Coombe Mill, I think it will be the perfect spot to return to year on year as the twins grow. Thank you so much for sharing this final goodbye. We have grown to love you and your family. Ultimately that has been Tilda’s gift to us all. May she rest in peace till you hold her again. Sending much love for today and all future days, Helen xxx

  23. I am so do glad that this went as you hoped it would and that you are happy with it all. The pictures are beautiful. The ashes look like star dust, they are glittering with love. Thank you so so much for sharing this with us. Baby Tilda truly is everywhere.

  24. Beautifully heartbreaking. Looks like the perfect send off for a beautiful little girl.

    We blew bubbles for baby Tilda also yesterday.

  25. Beautiful post, even Matilda’s ashes look beautiful all sparkly, everytime I see the sea or a river shimmering I will think of Matilda x I have never met you but I will always be thinking of you and your family everytime I blow bubbles or one of the kids sing twinkle twinkle or when I see a star. So many lovely things that make mm come to mind x x x

  26. That was such a heart breakingly beautiful way to say goodbye to your little Matilda Mae. We blew bubbles too yesterday for her. Thank you for sharing this with us. Sending lots of love to you all xxx.

  27. So beautiful, and David is right Matilda Mae will be in all the waters and all the stars too, shining with pride and love for you all. x x x x x

  28. Tears streaming. A perfect goodbye and wonderful photos. You looked so beautiful in your purple and lovely starry scarf. She’d be so proud to have such a beautiful Mummy. I love that you have sent Matilda’s ashes back into nature. The atoms and particles which make up our bodies here on earth originated from the stars and now her body has gone back into the earth and her soul back to the stars which seems right. David’s right, she is everywhere and always with you. Love. xxx

  29. This is upsetting but so beautiful and a fitting tribute to your gorgeous daughter, I have never met you Jenny but my thoughts and love go out to your family x x

  30. oh Jennie, this is so beautiful and painful. I’m glad your goodbyes went as planned and I think my family will always think of Tilda when bedtime comes and we settle to watch In the Night Garden. Every time I come here the main thought in my mind is; no mum should ever have to go through all this. It seems to me; it was even less fair on you as you are such an amazing mum and person.
    I should have listen to your advise though, and stop reading as I am now, as usual, in no stopping tears.
    Goodbye Matilda Mae, I hope you had fun at your party in the sky.

  31. A beautiful, beautiful send off for a perfect, beautiful baby. My thoughts were constantly with you and David yesterday evening, and I am so happy to read this post to see that everything went as it should have for your final goodbye to her, just the three of you. Big love and hugs to you all, you have been an amazing source of strength, and I hope that we all have earned a place to be your virtual friend here. Much love.

  32. That song will forever remind me of Matilda, I am so glad for you that her send off was perfect for you both, such a lovely way to set her free, I love the the pink and purple stars making her path to follow. She will be forever with you all, she is everywhere, looking down and looking after you all in that you do. I am pleased you’ve found peace at Coombe Mill, a place to treasure in your hearts forever. Wishing you all well, you are all so brave, strong and full of courage. These blue skies are for her xx

  33. Oh Jennie – this is so, so beautiful. I was thinking about you all yesterday. I read it through tears but what a truly perfect way to say goodbye in such a serene setting. You and David are so courageous and strong. I’m glad you have such a special place you can return to each year to mark your beautiful daughter’s birthday. xxx

  34. Your goodbye to Tilda is heartbreakingly beautiful. As a page for angel parents i have seen and heard how angels have left the earth. This is suck a lovely way to do so. Especially the stars in the water and her boat. Perfect. x

  35. Jennie and David, this is utterly perfect. What a beautiful way to say goodbye, I am taken back by how strong you both are, and how perfect you have made things for Matilda and all your family. we will be walking in memory next Saturday as promised. X

  36. I just read this at work and I had to physically stop myself from crying.

    We don’t know each other. Though I feel like I know you Jennie. But ever since I found out about Tilda, I have struggled so much to accept it. I didn’t understand why such a beautiful baby girl wasn’t with her mother anymore. My head and my heart would fight daily over it. “It can’t be.”

    I am so sorry. I think you are beyond one of the most inspirational, wonderful and truly loving mothers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing (in the roundabout way that I do).

    I think Matilda Mae is the luckiest girl in the world. She’s eternal and will be your star, as you have always been hers. xxx

  37. Such a beautiful goodbye for a beautiful girl. You are both amazing and couldn’t have made it any more perfect. So glad you have such a lovely special place to go every year to celebrate her birthday xxx

  38. May you find peace with this closure ceremony. I have read a lot of your posts since baby Matilda Mae died and it broke my heart for you and your little family. Rest assured, she is well where she is. Now all of you need to be well for her here on earth.

  39. Though the tears are racing each other down my cheeks, I cannot be sad because there is so much love in this post, and every post since that terrible night when you found your precious girl sleeping. I hope that the overwhelming tide of love and support lifts you all as it carries Matilda Mae across the world over sea and sky.

  40. A lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I can’t imagine how hard this must have been but you have truly given her the most beautiful send off. You are both amazing.

  41. I have been following your story Jennie, but have never really known what to say – I still don’t.

    But this post is so heartbreakingly beautiful that I simply had to comment.

    It’s so so wrong that you’ve found yourself here, but you have done something amazing for your daughter. Matilda Mae would be very proud of her brave mummy and daddy – I’m sure she loved playing with the bubbles as they reached her too. x

  42. I’m so glad you got to say goodbye the way that you had planned. It looked so peaceful and she will be everywhere with you. Lots of love to you all xxxxx

  43. Jennie we don’t know one another but I have read your blog for a long time and I feel like I know you through your wonderful words.
    What a beautiful goodbye you are both so very strong and brave xxx

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  45. Every post you write about your beautiful daughter has me in tears yet through those tears comes a smile because I know Matilda Mae, Esther & William have amazing parents, the love in your family shines in every post. I have said it before that I think you all as a family must be amazingly close & strong. I am pleased that the beautiful way you chose to send Matilda Mae on her final journey went perfectly as it could. The sun shone beautifully all day & your husband is right, she will be all around you but I am sure you already know that. x x x

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  47. Wow! When E & W grow up and read this blog, they will say “Have we not got the most amazing parents!?! There couldn’t be a more beautiful and special mother! And how loving and wonderful is our dad making those gorgeous boats!?!”

  48. Jennie this is such a beautiful way to say goodbye to Matilda. The last couple of months I have read your blog and your tweets, since the day you found your baby girl and have really struggled with the ‘whys?’ And the complete injustice of it all. You have inspired me in so many ways, and I have been blown away by all the little details you have thought of to celebrate Matilda’s life and to say goodbye to her. One thing is for sure, I, and I am sure hundreds of other people, will never ever forget your little girl. That’s the legacy you have created for her. You are truly an incredible lady. I will continue to think of your family, you are often in my thoughts. You did and will continue to do Matilda proud, and your other children too. Xx

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  50. So perfect and fitting for your so, so beautiful Matilda Mae. I have only seen your blog this week and feel so touched by your strength and spirit as a family. There is no doubt that Matilda’s short time with you was just perfect. All the wonderful experiences you gave her she knew that she was the most cared for, loved baby in the world. My heart goes out to you.

  51. What a beautiful goodbye to your beautiful little girl. Your posts always bring tears to my eyes. You are so, so strong. It’s a privilege that you share this with us. x

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  55. Such a beautiful, touching way to say goodbye, but how I wish you had never had to say goodbye to your sweet girl. Thank you for sharing this with us. xxx

  56. What a wonderful last journey you gave her, so thoughtful and beautiful. Matilda Mae’s earthly body will be wending her way all over the world, sharing her love with all of us. While her heavenly soul will be bursting with love and pride for having you as her parents. Matilda Mae will always know and feel the love you give her.

    Thank you so much for sharing your Love, It will help so many.

    Love always grows, when shared with others.

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  58. Wow, so beautiful. You are so incredibly brave, my heart goes out to you and your family. Beautiful, just like baby Tilda x

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  61. One year later reading this post still makes me cry. Such a beautiful idea, the stars and her boat. I still can never think of what to say, which makes me feel like a bad friend. But know I am here. Reading, thinking, caring. xxx

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  64. What a beautiful way to remember your little Tilda. The image of the stars flouting with Tilda following will stay with me.

    From Conor’s Mummy (Conor was born sleeping at 41 weeks in August 14)

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