Happy 18th birthday Jack

When your child becomes 18 it should be a happy event, birthday parties, balloons, getting so drunk they have to be carried home and getting that symbolic key into adulthood… However when your child is no longer with you, it is a day of reflection on what could have been…

Remembering that day on August 19th 1999 when Jack slipped quietly into this world will forever be etched in my mind.

The birth of a child should be a fantastic event where even though you are in pain, you know this pain will be all worth it…. Sadly when Jack was born, although they had promised to make me as comfortable as possible with gas and air and pethidine, I had to give birth in a room on the postnatal ward of the conquest hospital in Hastings because the midwives on the labour ward had said that I would upset the other mothers. Also as they knew that my son would die during labour or shortly afterwards they felt that I did not need to be on the labour ward… I was devastated because all I could hear were crying newborns all around me.. However when my son Jack entered the world, everything was silent… It was if the babies instinctively knew that Jack had died and they were being respectful. Not a single baby cried and all you could hear was the thunderstorm rumbling in the distance…

After spending some time with Jack, the midwives asked for his body to take to the mortuary and with that he was gone…. My only saving grace during this period were my 3 children, Neil, Hayden and Benjamin… They kept me strong….

The funeral directors (Hinkley’s funeral directors in Hastings) were amazing and they had a little white coffin made for Jack and allowed letters, photos and teddies to be put in his coffin… We had a funeral/cremation for Jack and my ex husband (Jacks daddy) was allowed to carry the coffin into the crematorium.. They did this all for free including the funeral service and cremation.

To this day I still have Jack’s ashes and my husband has been instructed that Jack is only to be buried when I am gone and his ashes mixed with mine… Jack’s ashes are in a forever friends box that my mother bought me and they are buried in this pot…


At night it all lights up spectacularly as if Jack is shining on me…



I thank Jack for coming into my life, however brief, because he gives me great strength and courage when I am feeling down or sad… I sometimes wonder if he sacrificed himself for his sister as Rhiannon was born at 25 weeks gestation, just a mere 9 months after Jack died….  There will always be the “What ifs” or the “Whys”, but for today Jack it is to say that I love you and I am always thinking about you….

Happy 18 birthday Jack 


If you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a baby, there is always help… You can email me at melaniebourner@gmail.com and I will always listen…..

There are also some great professional places that will help…





SANDS unofficial facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/187990577978245/


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