My beloved son

Hi Anne Marie, it’s been nearly 9 weeks since James died. He too was cleared at the end of May, after headache and sickness 24th June it had invaded his brain! It was so rapid and what we thought was 6 months turned out to be 10 weeks! :sleepy: it’s just a wicked, wicked disease and seems to take fit, healthy, good people with everything you live for. My son us James Rush on fb if you have access to it. He was a fireman and tree surgeon.
I don’t feel any less sad 9 weeks later , in fact have been in the depths of despair. I do, however, take comfort from conversations on these posts, somehow it helps to talk about our amazing children.
I had a tattoo in his memory, totally out of character as I hate tattoos! However, small sacrifice as I have my little starfish on my wrist as a constant reminder of my boy on the beach at Tenby when he was about 8 years old. Seems like yesterday! We have to hold on to the lovely times we were lucky enough to have. I do hope you can feel a bit better Anne Marie, it’s not easy. I’ve asked myself what’s the point of everything but I have to think of my daughter, granddaughters, daughter in law, my husband etc etc.
I had my last message from him on 13th July then he wasn’t able to use his phone and I was with him from then. So cruel, so unfair, :sleepy: sending love :heart:


Lovely photos of Joey Anne Marie. X


How are you this morning Annemarie? Had a message from my long time friend this morning who was my babysitter for James! Of course, it caused much weeping!! She has been totally invested in James’s journey and was so pleased he was beating it . He raised quite a good sum for the Melanoma charity who he designed posters for which were used in service stations up and down the country. He was a graphic designer as a younger man. He was also talented in so many ways but so modest. Like your Joey he was just an all round good egg and rejoiced in being alive. I get very bitter when I see others who just waste their lives and are unkind. I do find it hard to believe there is a God, what are your thoughts on that? Hope you managed some sleep but I didn’t get much. Can’t stop my head reliving the last 2.5 years. I live in Yorkshire, not quite as glamorous as Switzerland. My son lived in beautiful North Wales. Do you have other children? We have to take baby steps. Xx


Hi Suzie,

Had a short night despite wine last night and a tamest. Still woke my at 5 am and all I could do was look at pictures and text messages from Joey - and I even watched the celebration of his life ceremony again. We had it videotaped for family in Canada, Australia and elsewhere. The eulogies were beautiful - his friends and his older brother and even I gave him one I was able to keep myself OK for. It was the next day it t all started hitting me so much because I’d had to keep it all together for 16 months - and especially the last 5 or 6 had been atrocious. He was in hospital for a good pat of it and I was there every day. He as my raison d’être. But now that is gone.

I feel absolutely miserable but someone on one of the other threads I follow and post on said something about although grief I found rather poignant_

Grief never eds…
But it changes.
It’s a passage
not a place to stay.
Grief is not a sign of weakness or
lack of faith.
It is the price of love.

Lovely, isn’t it?

I just want to stay in bed all day again, but a very good friend of mine, who lost her son 5 years ago, called me last night. She understands exactly how I feel. The day Joey died two weeks ago my elder son Kevin and my husband packed up all Joey’s stuff, but it turns out one small bag was missing - his toilet bag. No big deal, just his toothbrush, toothpaste, and an electric razor. We’d called the hospital lost and found and reception but they said it wasn’t there. The friend who I spoke to last night lives in the town where the hospital is, just 30 minutes drive up the mountain from me. She went over this morning and found it, as she went into the rom where Joey had died - I would NEVER have the courage to do that oc course, seeing other patients in there now. Anyway, I’m going to muster up all my courage and drive up there and she’ll meet me at the door. All I have to do is go to reception. There was a carkey in the bag as well and the hospital refused to give it to my friend as she’s to family. Don’t how I’ll fare. If it’s too hard, I’ll turn around. I feel like such a useless person!

I’ve been t Yorkshire several times! Beautiful! Wish me strength, please, in my trip up the mountain.


Absolutely good luck with that. One foot in front of the other. Yes I couldn’t have loved James more, he had his faults like we all do, but he was my son. When you’ve given birth it’s just something special between a mother and child. I wake up around 1am every morning and move into the bedroom he and his wife slept on visits. I have photos of him at every stage in his life and I just cry most if the rest of the night. I get up at 7am and make cuppa for us . Every day is the same, I wonder how long it will take for my husband to get fed up with me!! I don’t really care, would be quite happy in a little flat on my own with my dog! I have an elderly neighbour who I help, this will make you chuckle, she microwaved her mobile so I had to sort it out. It occupied me for a few hours.
Good luck with today I’m going to a meeting of bereaved parents tonight so I’ll let you know how that goes.
Sue x

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I do wish you strength, Annemarie. I am so glad you have a friend who understands your grief.
Take care on your journey.
Suzie, I’m also glad to hear that you have a friend who cared about James and keeps in touch with you.
You asked if we believe there is a God. Well, I don’t have any religious faith, but I respect the fact that some people find comfort in thinking there is a divine being watching over us all.
For myself, I believe in love and kindness and helping each other. I believe in sending warm wishes, kind thoughts, good vibes, out into the world. Which I guess is a type of prayer.
Whether you are in beautiful Switzerland or lovely Yorkshire or anywhere else, I hope all of you bereaved parents out there get through the day with some peace of mind.
(I am a Yorkshire girl at heart - my parents came from Hull and I spent all my childhood summers in that wonderful county, although I live in the south.)
Keep posting - SusanJ :broken_heart:

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Aww Susan, I live in Driffield not far from Hull. Yes thats my religion too, to be kind to everyone, I don’t discriminate anyone, take everyone as I find them and try to help anyone. My son was the same, when I was in Wales caring for him I took my bike and would go to town shopping. People would stop me and say James was a credit to me, a lovely, friendly, helpful, polite young man. They have lived there 7 years and made such an impact on so many people. I’m very proud of him and the fight he put up and the way he was a lovely Daddy to little Jess. She is 3 in January and says Daddy is in her head and he flies around as a bumble bee!:kissing_heart: he paints the sunrises! I just want the impossible and want him back.:sleepy:
At this moment I’m struggling but I know it’s the same for so many others. So cruel.
Sue x


Thank you Sue and Susan,

Well, I made it. To get to La Chaux-de-Fonds, the town which is above where I live in Neuchâtel, you take a long tunnel. On October 7 Joey went up by ambulance from the hospital below to the other one in order to get scanned in view of radiotherapy, which they specialise in up there. I was with him in the ambulance. It was sunny and there were still golden larch trees in the hills next to the road before we entered the tunnel. I’d told Joey about them as he couldn’t see them from his position on the stretcher. Driving up there today I could only think of how I’d stroked his arm and held his hand in the ambulance. He knew the radiotherapy wouldn’t cure the cancer but we were hoping that the 10 short treatments would cauterise the tumours a little and maybe give him a few more months - painless months. But no, he died 6 days later before they could even start.

Anyway, I made it up there this morning , my friend met me, I got Joey’s things and I survived. Who would have thought that was so tough, but it was. I even had a coffee with my friend on a sunny terrace on the edge of the forest. Until I started thinking: this isn’t right. It’s only two weeks - how can I be “enjoying” a coffee! So now I’m back home in my dark room.

You mentioned people in Wales complimenting you on your James. Doesn’t that feel wonderful and make your heart soar when you hear how highly regarded he was by others!! I was blown away last Thursday at the Celebration of Joey’s life. So very many people, over 400, of all ages, some totally distraught. He was/is doing loved.

And in answer to a question above: no, I’m not a believer, neither was my Joey. But I envy those who are - how lucky they are to believe they’ll see their son or daughter again. I can’t believe that. But my son will live on in my heart forever! He’s been in my heart since the moment I found out I was pregnant with him.

Right now i’d so like to give him a call or send him a text! And it breaks my heart that he won’t pick up or text me back. Thank goodness my elder son Kevin is coming to spend the day with us tomorrow. Please keep writing!:broken_heart::broken_heart:


You did well Anne-Marie. I’ve just been shopping and broke down in Lidl because there was no milk left!! It’s crazy, I’m just a mess. I was better the days after James died than I am now. I think he had been in so much discomfort it was a relief when he died, I couldn’t bear him suffering. After the funeral I felt like I’d been hit by a bus and have been the same since. I’m at a meeting of bereaved mums tonight so I’ll see how I feel, it’s a newly set up gathering. I think I’ve aged ten years in my appearance, I’ve always been really young at heart and got on well with young people. I’m 70 next year and James would have been 40.
Yes, I agree I wish I had faith but people from all religions think they are right so how does that work?:thinking::unamused:
The methodist ministers were all praying for him but it didn’t work. How do you find the positives in this situation?
I do find getting out in the fresh air helps so please don’t lock yourself away Anne-Marie.
:heart: Sue x

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I can identify totally with your breaking down when there was no milk! :cry: Such a small thing but I had a similar freak-out when I couldn’t open the mailbox yesterday. I ripped the thing apart when the key didn’t fit. It was the wrong key.

The only way I was able to sit on that sunny terrace today was because my friend is also a member of our exclusive club of grieving mothers, the club to which we’ve been given a very much unwanted lifetime membership: she lost her 25 year old son 5 years ago.

I hope you get on at your meeting tonight. Please let me know how it went. So, we’re of a similar age, Sue, and so were our sons. I turned 70 nine days before Joey died two weeks ago. He was 41. I’ve thought not just a few times since then how lucky I am that I’m 70 and not 50. I’d have to miss him and grieve for him so much longer. :broken_heart:


Yes I thought the same. I walk with my friend who lost her son 4 years ago. He was a police man, 52. Was hit by a criminal and injured his spleen, when he went to hospital they discovered cancer and died in weeks! My daughter, she’s 34, lost her best friend at 25 with a mouth ulcer which turned out to be tongue cancer and died in 8 months. I remember praying at her funeral, please God don’t ever let me have to go through this! No God I’m afraid!!:unamused: Her mum is friend and has asked me to go to hers for the night and have a bottle of wine, she’s an amazing woman and so kind. Another lovely person lost with this wicked disease. Obviously she has moved on after 9 years and loves to talk about Catherine now, I hope I will be able to talk about James one day without crying.
I’ll let you know how I get on tonight.
Sue xx


I’m so pleased to read the above messages, to know what you are doing.
Well done for going out today, Annemarie. You are allowed to enjoy a coffee and feel the sun on your face. May you have more calm moments like that in the weeks ahead.
I am of a similar age to you and Suzie - a bit older, in fact. I am 72. My Oliver would have been 50 this year, but he died before his birthday. I was 22 the week he was born. I was overjoyed to have such a beautiful baby. He was a wonderful son, an absolute ray of sunshine.
I have another son, two years younger than Oli, and a daughter who was born after quite a large gap. She always adored her big brothers. I have grandchildren, too. I love them all dearly and I know I’m lucky - but oh, there is such a chasm in my heart. We all miss Oliver terribly.
Losing a child is simply the worst thing.
Wishing you well - SusanJ :broken_heart:


Have you had any total freaking flip-outs? I sure had one a few hours ago and am still shaking and crying.

Joey was given a very simple bracelet of small brown wooden beads when he was diagnosed last year. The friend who gave it to him said it had healing powers. He didn’t believe her but wore it every single day anyway. When he died two weeks ago, I was holding him and I slipped it off his wrist and onto mine. I haven’t taken it off since - except when I shower.

I had it on today when I met my friend for coffee after we went to the hospital. I was wearing my Having a Ball hoodie (Joey and his friend have a web store where all proceeds go to testicular cancer awareness), which I took off in the sun. When I got home after this first ‘outing’ since his funeral, I went straight to bed, exhausted. Several hours later I noticed I wasn’t wearing the bracelet! I completely imploded!! Looked all over the house but I’d not been anywhere since that coffee. Two friends who live up there are going up at 10 in the morning when it opens to see whether they can find it - whether it slipped off my wrist when I took off my hoodie. But in the meantime I have been going totally crazy. It’s worth nothing, just wooden beads, but it has so much sentimental value for me I’d give £1000 reward if I got it back.

Does this make any sense?? Have any of you had a similar breakdown? Am I crazy? I don’t know how I can possibly sleep tonight, not even after a bottle of wine and my nightly Temesta :cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:


You’re not crazy (although we are all “mad with grief”.)
The bracelet symbolised something for you. It was a connection with Joey. Hopefully your friends will find it. If they don’t, please don’t let the loss of it overwhelm you.
You hold Joey in your heart - nothing can take that away. You will always be proud of him and your memories are very precious.
I’m so sorry you’ve mislaid something on your first outing since the funeral. You were brave to venture out - don’t let that stop you from going out again. Take deep breaths, hold onto something else that belonged to him. I wish you a peaceful night and send love xx :broken_heart:

Ann-Marie I hope you find it. You will have to have a tattoo like I did that you can’t lose. My family think I am mad but I don’t care. He’s my starfish on my wrist.
Try and have a peaceful night , be thinking of you.

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Morning Anne-Marie, how are you this morning? I’m just having a total meltdown! Internet has a fault, you can’t speak to anyone, using my mobile data but hard to type the words through tears. It’s pouring with rain, my husband at work, can’t get out with my dog, only me turned up at that meeting last night!:roll_eyes: my whole being is consumed with sadness. Only ones who are going through this can possibly know how we feel. Slept very badly, wine bottle is all too often out.
Our beloved boys!:broken_heart:

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Oh Suzie I’m so sorry!! Did you manage to talk at least to the grief counsellor or did you leave?

And with the computer, yes, when we’re feeling so miserable everything blows out of proportion. Little things that wouldn’t normally bother us totally floor us.

I know what you mean about the bottle of wine. I had one myself last night but still couldn’t sleep. Kept thinking of that little bracelet Joey wore all the time and then two weeks after I took it off his wrist, I lose it!!! My two friends went this morning and asked and looked everywhere but no. Couldn’t find it. Most likely someone stuck it in their pocket as it’s really got no value - just small brown wooden beads - but to me it has such huge sentimental value. My husband can’t understand but I was blubbering like a baby this morning. Luckily my son Kevin us coming in a couple of hours and he said he’d take me up there to look for myself. I’m so careless, so unmindful!! :cry::cry::cry:

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Good luck with the bracelet Anne-Marie. You will have a nice time with Kevin.
I stayed last night and spoke to a very nice lady who is trying her best to set up this group for bereaved mums. She lost her daughter suddenly at 23. She had 2 little boys , she fell down whilst walking in the countryside and died. Post mortem revealed a pea sized brain tumour which stopped her brain signal to her heart and her heart stopped. It was 2 years ago and she still cries like we do! :sleepy: her grandsons keep her focused but cries when she’s on her own. We had a really lovely chat though and we are both going to try get this thing going.
I hope you’ve had a good day with Kevin.
I’ve been told that crying is good and we just have to keep doing whatever is good for us.
Take care :heart: Sue x


No luck with the bracelet. I’m going to get a small tattoo - surely I won’t be able to lose that! Neither of my sons ever got a tattoo when so many of their peers did, but these last months Joey started talking about getting one when he was well again :cry: He was going to put a skeletal fish head and fishtail at either end of one of his scars! Always the joker. I won’t exactly do that, but I do I tend to get one:

———- :heart: JOEY :heart: ————-<. Small & discreet. From the time he was little he’d put that at the bottom of notes he’d write me, but instead of JOEY he’d put MOM. It meant - I love you this much, with outstretched arms. He still did it when he was an adult.

Trying to keep it together today but it’s not going very well. I went to Joey’s apartment with Kevin (he lived alone) and I had a major meltdown. On his bedside table was a letter from the hospital telling him to report for his next scan at 9 am on November 14. That was supposed to show if the latest chemo protocol had shrunk the tumours sufficiently for operation. He never made it! It’s now 16 days since he died.

I spent half the time apologising to Kevin for being such a misery but he’s so understanding. Of course he lost his brother but he understands it will take a lot longer for me to function again.

This is what I find so debilitating - and I’m 100% sure you can identify with this - the knowledge that although I may learn to cope with my son’s death, and probably even have some good days eventually down the road, I will never get over it, I’ll never be the same person with the same life. :cry::cry::cry: And that is heartbreaking.

I hope you manage to get into a group with other moms, Sue!

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I so understand I am at 20 days and feel worse if anything everyone is grief stricken and I can’t help anyone as I feel exactly like u do

My life feels over I will never be the same do not wa t a new normal want my son

I cannot believe this has happened although like u I watched the suffering the hope the dismay and being with him as he died
I feel as if o have died I can’t function
Don’t know what else to say possibly the greater the love the greater the grief