Today we held Danielle’s funeral at the Cambridge Crematorium at 9.15am. We were delighted with the turnout which included family, friends and work colleagues. Far more that we thought would be able to make it.
This was the text of the address that I gave at Danielle’s funeral:
It is really difficult to know what to say.
It all seems so unfair. Our little daughter Danielle looked so perfect.
What we can offer is thanks.
Thank you to our family and friends. You have been incredibly supportive in these really difficult and challenging times. Keep talking to us – it really does help.
Thank you to the medical staff in the delivery and intensive care units. You helped us have hope but also kept the situation clear – this helped prepare us for the worst.
Thank you to Reverend Neate – you broke the rules to baptise Danielle on Good Friday and you’ve been a real source of comfort for us.
Thank you to our lovely daughter Jennifer for being so full of energy. This has kept us going. [signs] Thank you Jennifer.
Thank you to Liza for being so strong. Nobody wants to go through this but your strength has really helped me. I love you so much – and I really do believe this has made us stronger.
Yet, most of all, we must say thank you to Danielle. In the eight days of your life we didn’t get to know much but we did find out a few things.
You were really tough. Once you clamped your hand onto a finger you didn’t let go. You had a really great grip.
You had a good sense of humour. The nurses let mummy know that she was now in charge of the nappies. Mummy changed one and made it look easy. Yet when it was the nurses’ turn you delivered some serious surprises. Excellent timing.
You had a well refined sense of taste. When you cuddled into me, your eyes kept looking at whatever shirt I was wearing. You couldn’t take your eyes off the top quality gear. Clear evidence you appreciated Daddy’s dress sense.
You took your own decisions. From the start we wanted to respond to what you let us know. The consultants told us this would be best – and we were determined to listen. You gave us hope and joy. Yet as time went on it became more evident just how ill you were.
When we got the results of your MRI scan it was clear that you didn’t have the capacity to breathe properly. On your final night, just one day later, you couldn’t have made it more comfortable for us.
Your breathing tube was removed at 11.05pm and you went asleep in your Moses basket. Around 50 minutes later you started making deep breathing noises. We checked and were told that you weren’t in pain.
I picked you up and rocked you. You felt so peaceful but were clearly on the way out. Your mum then took over and held you tight. At exactly 1.05am, two hours later, you stopped breathing.
We’d not had enough time to get to know you but you’d been kind enough to give us time to say goodbye.
We’ll never forget you Danielle – thank you for being our daughter.