It always takes me a while to let bad news sink in.  It’s the initial belly-drop when I find out, then numbness for a while, and then before I know it, I’m a hot mess.  But this post is not about me.  It’s about the death of a child.

Widow. Orphan. Have you ever thought about why there’s no word for a parent who’s buried their child? Because it’s not natural, fair or sensible. Today my heart breaks for family friends who have lost their Nathan, a little boy who struggled against all odds to prove he could. A boy who loved Superman, cars and his dad who was his hero. It’s not fair. It’s not just. It just is.

And with Nathan’s recent passing, it’s brought up feelings that I’ve long ignored.  I don’t want to make this post about me, so I’m going to keep it short.  I am simply heartbroken for Nathan’s family.

People tend to focus on the parents primarily in their mourning, but what I’d like to point out here is that where children are concerned, it takes the whole family to raise them.  My thoughts are with Nathan’s entire family.  His aunties Angel, Candy & Bridget.  His cousin Damien.  His uncles Dean & Neels.  His grandparents Glen & Duck.  His daddy, Gareth.  His mom & her family.  And the friends who fell in love with Nathan along the way.

He was a marvel to anyone who met him, and stole the hearts of even the most unfeeling.  Does this death make sense?  Of course not.  Does Nathan accomplishing so many things despite his physical challenges make sense now that it all ended in a car crash?  No.  And it probably never will, either.

To the family: having buried my own child, I can say with confidence, peace does eventually come.  It’s a long, hard, painful process, and every one deals with it in their own way – but I promise you, peace does eventually come.  Until then.  Don’t try and make sense of it, you won’t be able to.

Tell people to go away when you don’t feel like company.  Accept help from those who offer it, it’s the one way of letting people feel useful in some way.  Don’t search for answers, and don’t obsess on the 5 stages of grief like most people tend to do.  You’ll oscillate between Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Acceptance and Depression often.  You’ll digress and progress and stay put intermittently.  Whatever you feel, allow yourself to feel it.  You’re human and you’re dealing with something so awful and vile, you’re allowed.

But find peace in the fact that Nathan gave you joy.  He made you all smile.  He loved everyone and taught you how to love others too.  In the meantime, love each other and be there for each other.  And let those who are there for you now, be the shoulders you lean on and the ears you whisper into.

I’m so sorry this has happened.  I’m so sorry that precious Nathan is no longer with you.  I’m so sorry.


  1. Twanet Kirkby says:

    Geeeez Sheen….no words……but tears….my heart goes out to his loved ones!! Thank you Sheen for this…im going to share it if you dont mind….our family lost an angel last year (my brother lost his eldest daughter Yasmine she was only14) – I think they will need to read this as it comes from someone who has gone through this….You are such an amazing woman Sheen thanks again!!


  2. karen says:

    heartbroken. such a fitting post – so well written. raw, and honest. this little champion certainly left an impression on all who crossed his path.

    sincerest condolences to all.

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