“I know that my life didn’t end the day my child died, although it felt like it.”

Catherine Hughes and her family lost their baby boy, Riley, in March 2015 from whooping cough at just 32 days old.

As a tribute to their baby boy on the third anniversary of his death Catherine has shared a touching post on the Facebook page Light for Riley.

“3 years ago today I walked into that hospital with my son. Days later, I walked out without him, a completely different person.

To any parent who loses a child or has a pregnancy that ends with a broken heart – this is what I know.
I know that something inside me totally changed the day my son died.
I know that all of a sudden, the world seemed like a much shittier and more awful place.
I know that I felt like I’d lost all control of my life and that I was completely at the mercy of chance and fate.
I know that I didn’t want to ever get up out of bed again.
I know that I was terrified of forgetting every tiny detail about his life, and spent hours writing them down.
I know that I felt like an absolute failure as a mother.
I know that I was worried that I would fall into a deep depression and never mentally recover.

But as the weeks, months and now years have passed…

I know that his life and death have changed me profoundly, but not all for the worse.
I know that in between the sad moments, I can still have many, many genuinely happy moments.
I know that the pain is still there and still as strong as ever, yet I am much better at handling it.
I know that I feel appreciative of all I have and feel grateful to be alive.
I know that nothing in my life can ever challenge me like losing a child can, and that I am a million times more resilient than I ever imagined I would be.

Lastly, I know that my life didn’t end the day my child died, although it felt like it. My life really began that day, a new life, as a different person, with more pain and more worry but with more love and more strength. ”

Thinking of the Hughes family x

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  • It breaks my heart that she feels like a failure as a mother when the only reason her child isn’t here today is that others have failed as parents by not vaccinating their children. This is a preventable illness and a baby has died because of someones arrogance and ignorance.


  • Such an inspiring family. They lost their darling baby yet here they are, 3 years later, still fighting the fight to make people aware of the importance of vaccinations. Even with all the hate they’ve faced, they keep on keeping on. Amazing


  • This family has been extraordinarily brave.


  • How brave and strong to share her innermost thoughts so publicly. Hopefully it helps someone else in a similar situation.


  • She’s such a strong woman. And she’s raising so much awareness in the community about whopping cough. Bailey was such a sweet little boy that will never be forgotten.
    She wrote a wonderful post!


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