by Lesley Couzens
(Bishopstowe, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa)

My Dad was such a wonderful man, he was always there for us. We were five children, two boys and three girls. In 1988 my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, he began chemotherapy right away, but he became more ill. We were at his side in the good and bad times through his journey. Almost a year later he went down hill fast and on the 3 August 1989 he passed away, he was only 56 years old. I miss him still and always will. I love you, Daddy.

Then came 2001 and my younger brother (40 years old), who had been waiting for a new heart, had a heart attack in the UK. I got on the next plane and stayed by his side with my Mother, older brother, sister-inlaw and also my younger brother's wife. He was in a coma and never came around. On 31 August 2001 he passed away from terminal heart disease. We were so close, just 11 months apart, he was great, I miss you Louis.

In 2006 my middle son, Leedon's, fiance fell pregnant and the baby was due in December of that year. I was so excited as this would be my first grandchild. All was going well until she reach six and a half months, and the doctors found that the baby had hydrocephalis (water on the brain). The baby had to be terminated in the womb and then delivered by a cesarian section. On 10 October 2006 I held me beautiful grandon "Seth". We buried him a week later. I never got to know you, my little angel.

My Mom had been ill for a number of years and was not doing well at all. As she lived in South Wales we never got to see her, only when we went overseas to visit. The cost of airfares from South Africa is expensive so in the 8 years that she lived in South Wales I only got to go over four times, she visited us three times. In the last two years of her life (2006 and 2007) she was not able to travel, so I went to see her December 2006 to January 2007. My sisters went over to see her in May 2007. She got progressively worse and on 3 December 2007 she was at peace at last, at the age of 73. I miss you Mom, you would have known what I feel with Leedon's loss, I need you so much. I love you.

Eight months later my son, Leedon, the father of my stillborn grandson, was returning home after a memorial bike ride. On his way home a drunk pedestrian ran across the freeway and hit him full on. He was hit so hard that his neck broke at the brainstem, and he died instantly. We never had the chance to say goodbye. Of all the losses I have suffered, this one is the most difficult to accept. I cry everyday for my precious son, who had such a passion for life and everyone who met him loved him so much. He was one of the most special people you could have wished to meet.

He is constantly missed by his Dad, brothers, sisters-in-law, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, colleagues and me most of all. When you lose your child you lose a part of yourself, nothing can take that pain away. I describe the pain as a knife pearcing your heart continuously. My heart breaks a little more each day, longing to hear his voice, feel his breath on my cheek, kiss him hello and goodbye, see him smile that wonderful happy smile, chat with him and have fun together. But that will never be, his loss has taken a lot from me which I will never be able to reclaim. I look forward to the day I will be with him again. My Angel Heaven.

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