A Quiet Space For Grief

I am Louise

I am a writer and a mother of two boys. Fred, my eldest son, died from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in May 2020, aged 14.

This site is designed to be a place to provide comfort, support and a window into childhood illness, bereavement and grief in all its forms.

The world can make us feel that grief is something to be hidden away, and endured behind closed doors. It’s only by sharing our stories that all of us can find a better way to look after ourselves and each other.

We write
Because you might listen.

We write because
We are lost
& lonely,
& you, like us,
Are looking
& learning.

– Amanda Gorman

Popular posts

Oven gloves advice for the bereaved

Oven Gloves – Advice for the newly bereaved and those who love them

It has been one year and two months since Fred died, and it is my second #NationalBereavedParentsDay.  That seems an extraordinary thing to write,  but there it is.  In that time, I have relied on the strength and grace of those that were bereaved before me, and have seen others follow.  I have also seen … Read more
war on cancer

Why children don’t fight cancer

How we talk about children’s cancer matters. It’s easy to worry about saying the right thing, the wrong thing, and often people end up saying nothing at all, which is the worst of all. The language used usually involves wars, battles, fighting, bravery. In many ways it’s odd. We never say a child lost their battle against an articulated lorry, but cancer it seems is up for the fight.

New Year’s Grief: Climbing into the year

The fact that New Year comes so hard and fast after Christmas seems unnecessary and unfair.  There are a couple of days to catch your breath, mainly fuelled by pastry, and then on we go. Christmas weighs heavy, overloaded with nostalgia and ghosts of Christmas past. Everywhere is hanging with memories of those we love … Read more
Red leather baby shoes

Lost Things

Baby shoes. Worn. Incredibly worn. Scuffed from trips and falls, stained from damp grass, and sand, and mud. Darker than they once were. Burnished. They are red leather, oxblood smart with two tiny velcro straps. Laces could wait. We bought them from the tiny shop down that little road – the posh shop with the … Read more
Marble slab


Like a marble slab, with grief comes weight. It’s a suffocating, crushing pressure that pushes you down from above, and pulls you from beneath. Staying alive takes focus and intense concentration. This breath, this step. Like a child we learn to live again. This is how we breathe, in, out, in, out. This is how … Read more
Louise and mum, family photo

Band of Mothers: the true meaning of Mother’s Day

When I was a child, I loved Mother’s Day.  More specifically, I loved Blue Peter and never more so than when the presenters uttered the magical words “Mums leave the room” before they unveiled this year’s craft creation.  I’m actually rubbish at crafts, so my Mum would feign delight at the latest wrapping paper, matchbox … Read more
tin soldier illustration

The Little Tin Soldier With Only One Leg

One of Fred’s favourite songs that I sang to him when he was small was The Little Tin Soldier.  Originally by Donavan, it was a song my brother had sung to me when I was similarly small, so I know all the words. The story, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story,, is about a … Read more
Fred with book

World Book Day and the stories we leave behind

I always loved World Book Day, although I pretended I hated it.  I bristled at the expectation and I think at one point argued that it was a construct of the patriarchy.  However, I was dedicated.  My rules were strict, no film characters allowed.  If it was a film then the book had to have come first. 
Fred and Arthur on fairground ride

Getting away with it

There is a character in LA Confidential called Rolo Tomasi.  One of my favourite books, a nice counterbalance to Daphne Du Maurier, it’s a brutal crime story of police and political corruption, and a triumph of the broken and flawed over the venal.  It’s very much a tale for our age. Rolo Tomasi doesn’t exist. … Read more


I couldn’t find a feather, there’s never one when you need one. You can’t plan these things, or know where to look. They are not like conkers or pine cones. Feathers find you, carried on the breeze in search of a new home. People tell me that they are messages from the other side, sent … Read more
Fred's hands in the mud

Ode to earth

You are the one I have trusted my boy to, the only one now who can take care of him, the one who has always taken care of him. From the moment he tried to eat out of the plant pot, in our tiny earthless city garden, he was always in search of you. We … Read more