Tilly’s parents have asked us to publish these words on what would have been her second birthday, as a celebration of her life and memory.
Remembering our beautiful daughter Tilly Anne Davies
17.12.2018 – 13.11.2019
Our daughter Tilly died in November 2019 and was only 10 months old. It was a very sudden, unexpected death in the middle of the night.
She had health problems from birth and we spent the first nine months of her life in hospital (with the exception of 10 days at home at five weeks old), but she had been doing relatively well at the time of her death and had been home for five to six weeks.
Our family remain devastated by her loss but have been determined to honour her memory by trying to live as she did – with a smile on the hardest of days.
She was bright, bubbly and so beautiful.
Our four-year-old son Jacob talks frequently about his baby sister – both when he misses her presence when we are having fun as a family – but also in remembering special moments we shared. For a time she completed our family and it is both her presence and our futures together that we miss and mourn the loss of.
Tilly was so young and yet her life had an impact on so many people. The doctors and nurses that attended her funeral along with nearly 100 other people, had all in some way been moved by her. She had a following of medical staff wherever she went, and they would fight over getting to examine her – because even at six months, her personality was so endearing and heart-warming. All babies are beautiful in their own right, but Tilly had this magical way of engaging whoever was present in the room. People were so drawn to her they found it hard to leave!
She was an exceptionally sociable baby and from a young age she would be desperate to make eye contact with people, and then she would smile in such a way that the whole room would light up. Whenever Tilly had an outing from her hospital room, normally being wheeled down the corridors for a scan or x-ray, she would roll her body and crane her neck to see who was pushing the top end of the cot. The glint in Tilly’s eyes told us that she shared the same spirit as her brother…
Full of energy, positivity and happiness with a sizeable dose of mischief!
Hospital time was hard on us all and yet both Tilly and Jacob showed an incredible ability to adapt to the situation. In being so resilient our children showed us we could get through this. We were also very lucky to have a support network of grandparents that dropped everything in their own lives to be there for us. Without their support the time while Tilly was in hospital would have been much more difficult for all of us.
When Tilly finally came home on the 30th September 2019, Jacob was over the moon. He often wanted to just hold her or stroke her face. Bedtimes were especially touching times and the bond which they shared shone through as Jacob would climb into Tilly’s cot and lie down next to her, she would roll towards him, and both their faces would beam. Singing was also another activity which Tilly loved, and Jacob loved to sing to her particularly if she was upset. His favourite song to sing for her was Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
It was a special day for us a family when Tilly finally got to go swimming for the first time. Tilly loved splashing in the bath with Jacob and we hoped that this would be translated to the swimming pool. Jacob had started to have swimming lessons in a small pool and was incredibly excited when he was told that Mummy and Tilly could also be in the pool at the same time. Tilly spent about 25 minutes in the pool, splashing furiously with a huge smile on her face.
We were meant to have a lifetime to make more memories together, but sadly, this is not the case.
Despite the tough times, Tilly really did make us stronger as a family and we felt that when we were past Tilly’s heart and bowel surgeries, that there was nothing that we could not overcome together.
Tilly’s passing has shaken us all to the core, but we will continue to live life in the way that Tilly showed us in the 11 months that we were blessed to have her; with strength, fight and, most importantly, with a smile.