“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars and see yourself running with them.” – Marcus Aurelius
Introducing our story
Riley Mohan (Riley Wiley Puddin and Pie), came bounding in to our lives on 16 September 2014. With a big shock of dark hair just like her Daddy’s, sparkling brown eyes, big rosy Irish cheeks and a little button nose, Riley was a very special girl.
Always full of smiles and boundless energy and determination, Riley loved to play and generally got up to all kinds of mischief. Her favorite pastimes included: hanging out with her ‘woof woof’, best friend and protector – her big dog Timber, endless readings of her favorite book, The Gruffalo, talking to Granny in Ireland on Skype (she could call all on her own), shouting for ‘Da da daaaaa’ when he wasn’t around, lots and lots of Mommy kisses and cuddles, playing with all her little and big friends, going to Granny and Grandpa Mohan’s for Sunday lunch, chatting to bunny (her favorite Teddy), dancing to cartoons with her bum in the air, and most of all her absolutely favorite activity – swimming every Monday at Kindyland – where she regularly screeched the place down! Riley was never ill, she was our only child, and we loved her more than anything else in the whole World.
On 16 September 2015, Riley celebrated her first birthday. She had just started to walk, her sixth tooth was on the way, and she had a great day with all her little friends and family. Just eight days later on 24 September, we put our healthy, happy little girl to bed. On the morning of 25 September, we went to wake her up to find that our little girl had passed away in the middle of the night. Riley was a victim of SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Children – www.sudc.org). SUDC affects only 1.4 in 100,000 children over the age of one.
The devastation and heartache which followed the loss of our only child is indescribable. It is almost impossible to know how we survived those early days, how we continued to breathe, how our hearts kept beating. The pain and heartache were simply too much to bear. We had been removed from the only world we had ever known and we simply did not think we could survive in this new one. But this story, our story, does not end on 25 September 2015. The gift of Riley, was not given to us on 16 September 2014 and taken away on 25 September 2015.
The gift of Riley continues to influence our daily lives in ways we never thought imaginable when she came in to our lives, and was even less so when she left it. Riley has not left us as she found us, she has taught us to be warriors, with courage we never knew we possessed. She has taught us that life is precious and that people in our lives should be cherished – this life on earth is not forever. She has taught us to be better people. to love unconditionally, to ignore the petty little things that life throws our way, to give and not expect to receive, to not care about physical appearance – when you lose the one you love you miss them exactly the way they are – imperfections and all. She has taught us that life is all about how you perceive it and though you can’t control everything that happens to you, you can control how you react. She has taught us how to become parents she would be proud of, and has in turn taught us to become proud of ourselves. She taught us how to face the challenges in life and not run away from them. She taught us the real meaning of friendship – that when you fall apart you will always have true friends who will go to any lengths to scrape you off the ground, even after you are supposed to have ‘moved on’. She has taught us how to find joy in the simple things, how to live in the moment without always wondering about a tomorrow that may never come. She has taught us that we are all on our own journey. She has taught us that life does not end with death, that we are just as connected to those we love when they pass on as we were in life.
Riley was our gift. We will never sit down and grieve in a corner as life passes us by, because Riley’s gift means so much more than that. So this is not just our story of loss and survival, but our story of hope and the indestructible love we have for a daughter who we continue to be immeasurably grateful for. This story is not about running away and hiding in a corner, it’s about running towards something better, running through the pain, the tiredness, the hopelessness and despair. It’s about putting one foot in front of another until we reach the finish line. A place neither of us can visualise, but a place where we know we will cross as better people, as better parents. This is a story of running for Riley.
This is a contact page with some basic contact information and a contact form.