What a difference a child makes - In the name of Thiago - Day 304


I had a wonderful message from my dear friend Jamie today, which really got me thinking. It was a private message so I'm not go into specifics here but it went along the lines of 'however down, however despondent you might be feeling or however difficult you might be finding things when you compare yourself to others... ultimately you only know your pain. That is to say that you have no idea what others might be going through or hiding. So I'm not going to compare myself to anyone else today. And I'll be a lot more mindful about that going forward.

Of course, my pain and torment has been a very public matter this year, which broadly speaking, I think, has been a very good thing. Put it this way, it really seems that it's done me far more harm than good. People are able to talk to me and relate to my experiences both good and bad, happy and sad.

The other thing that this period of reflection has encouraged me to do, is to think about my beautiful daughter Elisa and the relationship I have with her. It has been somewhat strained in more recent times but these things are relative. Losing a child makes the relationship that you have with the surviving child complex I would say.

It's strange. Elisa and I have never really spoken about her brother. I tried speaking about Thiago a couple of times but it was clear that it wasn't going to work and though it hurts me, I understand that it's not the right time for her and I respect that. I can still remember the day after he died and seeing Elisa and all her friends at the end of the school path. 'Is he better now?' one of her little friends asked. I'm not fucking sure how I held it together to be honest.

She is a remarkable little lady is Elisa. Intelligent, sharp, brutal, hilarious compassionate and, thanks to her Mum, gorgeous with it. She's got the lot as they say. I've found everything hard since Thiago died in every conceivable way. But the one relationship I've struggled with more than I ever thought I would is with my gorgeous little girl, who now aged 12 has changed so much since well, she was a little girl. 

What I've understood today after reflecting on the encouragement I've had from Jamie is that I can still be that special person to Elisa. Sure it'll be very different to how it was before but it's still there. I just want to give her the tools to flourish really and I know she can do it.

The nub of it - the point of why I'm writing not about my son tonight but my darling little girl, is that I'm coming round to the idea that I mustn't make Elisa feel in any way that she's got to rise to be someone because she is all I have left. I want her to be happy. Thiago was always happy. In spite of everything he was always happy. If Elisa can be happy, then I will have achieved everything I wanted to. 

The picture above is with my sister's family Holly, Pete, Tristan and Millie featuring Elisa front and centre, as when she gets over her initial shyness, she often likes to be. My job is to keep telling her she can do anything she wants to if she puts her impressive mind to it.

Just as I loved and still love Thiago, I really do love her very, very much. 

Please continue to support my causes folks. Thank you very much for reading.


  1. Chris, you are an amazing role model to Elissa, you have shown her how to be honest, you have taught her that it's ok for men to cry and you have taught her how to love massively and unconditionally. I'm learning that children are a work in progress and boy are they hard work! Keep up the hard work and always tell her that you love her and that you're proud of her. We are so proud of you xxxxx

    1. I do all of those things Kathy, possibly even more so now. Thank you for your kind words 😍 p.s. on a similar theme I think you might enjoy my latest blog 😀


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