Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Gavin, Zoe and Ruby: At peace

Our service for Sonny was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful boy. The church holds 450 people and there were plenty standing at the back. For those that weren't there, Sonny entered to Elvis 'The Wonder of you' that the Arsenal team come onto the pitch too and from there we had a number of people saying the most amazing things about our dear little boy. Tanya Watson, Sonny's Head Teacher spoke about his time at school, Andrea read a beautiful poem that she'd written whilst looking through pictures, Lisa read some wonderful words with her daughter by her side, David said some truly amazing things about Sonny, his school friend Gabriel played the Last Post on the trumpet, Andy told a lovely story about being with him as a friend not man and boy and finally, Ruby read a poem that she'd written herself which is making me cry thinking about it now. I've added a couple of images at the end of this post for you to see yourselves. The poem is Ruby's.

We didn't need to ask anyone to speak, they had all volunteered and, although the stories and words were all from different places, they all had the same theme; Sonny was an amazing, talented, humorous, warm, courageous, gritty, kind-hearted, handsome and loving boy that deserved all the love and attention we could give him.

After the service, Sonny was walked what proudly felt like miles down Upper Street until we headed off to the cemetery passed the Emirates where someone had decorated the Guns with sunflowers.

The brief committal to the grave was followed by throwing in handfuls of lego (another great idea by Ruby) and, we found out later that after we left, his school chums sat around the grave for an hour or so chatting to him. Victor, who looks after everything at Highgate Cemetery, waited patiently with no hint that he needed to get on. It was the same level of care and understanding from the Cemetery and the Funeral Directors, Millers on the Essex Road, that we've had all the way through. Sometimes these men, so used to death, were in more tears than we were.

There are too many people to thank here. The kindness and support we've received not just in the last 12 days but over nearly two years has been truly unbelievable. From unexpected gifts to cooked food, presents from abroad (Moosey is still with him now) to helping with Ruby, we've been constantly overwhelmed. Friends, family, Doctors, Consultants, old and new school chums, Great Ormond Street, The Whittington, Community Nurses and physio's, Millers, Highgate cemetery and Revd Simon Harvey. You all know who you are.

So, this is it. After 533 posts we don't feel it's right to carry on with A Sonny Outlook. The blog allowed us all to be involved in Sonny and gave us a great way of sharing him. The title meant we always remained positive in the darkest moments and, without him there is no point in carrying on. There is a huge point in carrying on with our lives though and we will now focus all our energy on us and especially Ruby.

Elvis has left the building.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Gavin and Zoe: A little more detail

We appreciate there are some questions people will have about Monday's arrangements but don't feel appropriate to ask. So, in the style of how we've run this blog (and because Sonny wouldn't want any stone unturned) here's a list of things that will hopefully answer anything you've been thinking about:

We will arrive at the church at 11.45am with Sonny.

What to wear:
Anything you like really. We'll obviously be in black so whatever you think is appropriate. We'd like the kids to wear their football shirts if possible and, as I explained to a worried Jude last night, there's no way you'd have got Sonny in an Everton shirt if the shoe was on the other foot so it's important he wears the team he supports. The more flags and Arsenal tat the better.

At the church there will be 25 all day permits that you can collect which will permit you to park in residents bays around the church and at our house. We'd encourage people to get cabs etc. where possible as on the day I think they'll be plenty of car sharing.

Please feel free to bring anything round in advance but bear in mind our crappy designer fridge is tiny so we can't keep anything fresh. As always at the Anderson's, you'll be well looked after.

The Burial:
This is probably the biggest thing, but one we really don't want people to worry about. Zoe summed it up nicely today by saying that 'anyone who had eaten out of our fridge or ever drunk our beer could come to the graveside'. To be honest, there's no right or wrong. If you feel you want to be there then come, this situation is so extraordinary no one know's how you'll feel on the day and Sonny certainly wouldn't want anyone to feel awkward. The only thing I would say is that It's going to be extremely sad.
After the service (which Ruby is calling the After Party) everyone is welcome back at the house and someone will be here from around 1.30pm with pots of tea at the ready. Again, if you're not going to the burial you may think it's more appropriate to go for a drink so we're back before you. The point is it really won't matter on the day, do what you think is right for you, us and Sonny. 

It goes without saying that these days are very hard. Everyone has supported us hugely and been incredibly kind. There will be things I'm sure we'd love to say on the day but won't have the chance. So it seems appropriate, through the blog that kept everyone involved, to thank you one and all. 

Sonny would have been proud (if a little cross at the attention). x

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Gavin and Zoe: Arrangements

Its incomprehensible that we are having to do this but we've organised the funeral:

Monday 16th May 2011
St Marys Church, Upper Street, Islington N12TX

Please come and bring your children. We'd like to see you there as we know how many lives Sonny has touched over the last eleven years and to thank you for all the strength and support you have given us.

From here we will take family and some friends to Highgate Cemetery for the burial.

There will be refreshments at Sonny's house after both services. We'll give out directions to those that don't know the home address on the day.

Many people have asked if we'd prefer flowers or donations to Great Ormond Street. The truth is we really don't mind, please do whatever makes you feel better. Either arrangements can be sent to the funeral directors:

WG Miller
93 & 95 Essex Road, Islington N1 2SJ
020 7226 3886

Friday, 6 May 2011

Gavin: the end

Sonny passed away this morning at 10.15. He was comfortable, peaceful and both of us were there to hold his hands. Sonny chose when it was time to go, not the Doctors, Consultants, Nurses or us.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Gavin: ICU

Sonny remains in ICU where his breathing is assisted by a machine. He's stable, but asleep all of the time so it's difficult to tell if he's making any progress. Tomorrow some decisions will be made around what next steps the teams think are appropriate. Tonight, we hang on in there.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Gavin: Not a great day

Sonny was taken too Intensive Care this afternoon as his breathing deteriorated further. We've had some pretty tough conversations about the outcome but he's in the right ward at the moment to give him a fighting chance.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Gavin: Two steps forward...

Sonny didn't have a brilliant day today and struggled with his breathing meaning his oxygen was whacked back up to the top levels. An X-ray has shown that fluid is collecting in his lungs again so we'll wait and see what happens.
Despite how tired and lousy this makes him feel, he went to bed chatting about football and snooker (his new found sport).
As I say, we'll see what happens.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Zoe: Phew

Sonny's breathing is much more relaxed and dare I say normal. I'm watching his chest move with the same intense pleasure I had when he was a baby.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Gavin: We're not out of the woods yet...

...but I reckon we're having a picnic on the edge of it. This was beautifully summed up by our consultant who came in, shook his head in disbelief, laughed and said 'looks like I can enjoy the rest of my holiday then'. I've booked myself in for heart failure on Monday and Zo's nervous breakdown is coming along a treat.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Zoe: The lengths kids will go to avoid watching a bit of history happen

I joined Gavin at the hospital very early this morning as Sonny's breathing took another turn for the worse. We fully anticipated another tap on his lung but thankfully he didn't need it as there wasn't much fluid just a partial collapse of his left lung. He's been very unwell today and watching him struggle to do the most basic of human instincts is excruciatingly difficult for both of us. Once again, Sonny is baffling the brilliant minds that hang out here as he miraculously started to feel brighter and needed less oxygen this evening. He's not behaving like he's got an infection as he's not spiked a fever. It could be disease but he's not got the other medical markers that normally go hand in hand with that. There's talk of it being GVHD but even this feels unlikely now as it doesn't usually dampen itself down like it appears to be doing without a big whack of steroids to halt it in its tracks. Which means it must be down to you lot sending over waves and waves of good vibes... keep em' coming please, they are all we've got for now.