Today is your 5th birthday – by Simone

My darling beautiful Bella

Today is your 5th birthday. And try as I might, I can’t find it in myself today to celebrate. In previous years I have really tried to use the day to celebrate you and the remarkable day you were born rather than letting your death override everything. But today I just can’t.

I have been dreading today all week. The thought of you being 5 is somehow particularly hard for me. FIVE! Not a baby anymore but a real little person with your own thoughts, personality, vibe and will. You would have been in grade N. And there are quite a few people I know whose daughters would have been in the same year as you at school. And I see them often. So the direct reminder is right there in front of me. What should have been but what isn’t.

This morning I woke up feeling shattered and exhausted. I didn’t sleep well at all. And I thought “Come on, get yourself out of bed, go for a run. Get some endorphins going and give yourself some time and headspace and you will feel a lot better.” And so that is what I did. But it didn’t turn out as I had hoped.

I was nearly attacked on my run. I was running with Daisy and my mace spray thank goodness. About half way through my run a man crossed the road onto the green belt in front of me and started masturbating. I crossed the road and ignored him. About a kilometer further on Daisy suddenly got a big fright and I turned around and the same guy was about 10m behind me. I stopped and told him not to come near me and he carried on advancing with a very scary look on his face. I then pulled out my mace spray and he then said he was just running. He then passed me but about 10m past me turned around and started coming towards me again. There were 2 runners who came up behind me and I called to them saying that the man was harassing me and could I run with them, which I did. I I then split from them about 1km from home as I was nearly there and needed to go in a different direction to them. After about 300m, one of the runners I had just left ran after me and shouted up to me that the guy was following me again. 2 security guards happened to be near me and ran to apprehend the guy. It has subsequently come out that he has been in jail before for attacking someone and is a regular in our area, frequently being apprehended for intimidation and harassment.

But you know what Belsie, it all ended okay. I wasn’t harmed and just got a big fright. And I am choosing to believe that you were watching over me and protecting me. My very own guardian angel.

I went and spent some time with you and your brother at The Vineyard at lunchtime which is always good. It was a beautiful day there. I sat and listened to the recording of Ndyebo singing Amazing Grace at your funeral so beautifully and I cried and cried. I haven’t felt this low in a while my darling girl. Pretty shattered to be honest. I just miss you so very very much and have cried more today than I have in a long time.

When I told Murray a few days ago that your birthday was coming up, he immediately asked that we please have a party for you. And I really love that he wants to do that and celebrate you in that way. So this afternoon we had your family and a few very special friends to celebrate your birthday with some cake, candles and singing, just for you. And while before everyone arrived it really was the absolutely last thing I felt like, it did us all good and I felt a bit lighter after.

Your big brother has seen how upset I have been today which is very unusual. I normally try for him not to see me cry. He doesn’t know about the episode this morning but I did explain that I am feeling very sensitive because it is your birthday today and I am very sad that you aren’t here to celebrate with us. So every now and then he comes and gives me a hug and asks if I am still feeling sensitive. Gosh, your brother has pulled us through this in so many ways he doesn’t even realize.

My darling special daughter. Happy 5th birthday to you. The day you arrived into this world is etched into my mind and heart forever and will always remain one of the 2 happiest days of my life. You were precious from the moment you were conceived and will be treasured and loved forever. How devastated I am that we won’t get to see you grow up and become the extraordinary woman I know you would have been. But I will continue to make you proud every day and ensure your legacy and name lives on beyond your time on the earth.

I miss you precious girl, with every fiber of my being. Thank you for allowing me to be your mom. I love you now and always.



  1. Dear Simone you are so much in my thoughts at this time. Those are such beautiful photos you posted of your darling baby girl and her family. I can’t begin to know what you are feeling but your indomitable spirit and the love of your boys Murray and James will carry you through this. I am so glad that you were not harmed physically but it was a traumatic experience I am sure.
    Sending you much love,Mari


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