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Please say her name

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My eyes might sting with tears the second that I say her name, but please do not let that stop you asking me about my daughter and if the tears flow, please keep talking to me.

My daughter died aged 18 months as she was born severely disabled and was diagnosed life-limited at 11 days old. She is not lost, she is not an angel or a star; she died, and I know this is most parents’ worst nightmare, but it is our reality.

Her name is Essie, please say it.

Essie’s name is spoken every day in our house and by all of us – including her now 4 year old triplet brother and sister. We’re now getting her brother and sister ready to start school and don’t want them to worry about how openly they talk about their sister, death and the words “Essie died, Essie had poorly lungs” flow from their mouths so naturally. They are proud to tell people about their sister and so they should be.

I speak Essie’s name freely and will try to correct people who do not speak it for fear of upsetting us. We also write Essie’s name (or a little star) in cards. We buy her a birthday card and Essie has her own birthday cake. I am always going to be a Mummy to triplets. The world might see twins now, but I correct anyone that calls Roman and Eva twins. This is not who they are, and I will never apologise for telling it how it is.

Her name is Essie, please say it.

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