"One last huge kiss for Charlie, and my dad and I left the hospital. It was about 10pm; we went straight to a pub near where I lived where all our friends were, as they had obviously heard what had happened. We had a drink and a cry with friends then my dad and his partner got a lift to the hotel where they were staying and I went home. Thursday 18th May 2006 was over!
The next 11 days were a complete blur, I couldn't play music in my car - and that was always a must but I just couldn't - and I just couldn't stop crying. I really didn't know what to do next, but there was one thing I did know, I wanted to see Charlie again, so I went on Saturday 20th May to the mortuary within the hospital. The staff were so supportive and made me very comfortable. As Charlie was still small it meant I could hold him on my knee, which to some would be strange but for me it was the best thing, still so sad but at least I was holding him close. Unfortunately I couldn't stay there all day so I said my goodbyes and went home.
A few days before the funeral I went with my mum and a very close friend Sam to see Charlie at the funeral parlour. This was definitely going to be our last goodbye before the funeral. I put a little Tigger in his tiny white coffin so he wasn't so alone. "Goodbye, Chopper, I love you."
1st June 2006. Charlie Joseph Giles-Impiazzi's funeral and burial service. We went to my sister's house to wait for the funeral car, everyone looking so sad, just so unfair. The whole road at the church was covered in cars and people driving around trying to park. I was doing a reading with Jessica, so I sat with her in the car so we didn't have to leave each other's sides. The church was full already but the first thing that caught my eye was the picture of Charlie at the front with his 'Tumble Time Tigger' next to it, his toy that I bought him for his 1st birthday.
The coffin entered the church and I noticed they did not need as many pall-bearers as the coffin was so tiny. Jessica and I did our reading of 'In Everything Beautiful' although I admit I just cried and Jess read. She was excellent, as was my sister when she did her reading with her partner of 'A Smile Costs Nothing'. On with the prayers and then came the song which we would leave to, 'The Animal Boogie', a song which I used to sing to him and a song he loved to sing at nursery. A song which to this day I would cry at if I heard it or had to sing it, and as a part-time nursery nurse I have done well to avoid so far. We walked out slowly, knowing that really the worse was still to come.
We arrived at the burial to see so many flowers covering the floor, people were so supportive it was amazing and a massive comfort. As they lowered Charlie's coffin into the ground I heard my sister cry out: "Joe, no, that's my little boy please do something," and that was probably the worst point for me, not being able to help or do anything for my own sister.
We left my sister and Joe alone, and waited for them at the wake in the local pub, a small quiet venue owned by people that were so kind and supportive to my sister and Joe. We stayed long into the evening and it was a very successful day, well as successful as a funeral goes anyway.
I believe that everything in life happens for a reason, yet this particular situation I am still struggling slightly with. Laureen has since given birth to a lovely little girl - Lydia Jane Giles born on 16th Sept 2007 - and I too had a little boy on 10th Dec 2007. If Charlie were here today he would be nearly four years old and as beautiful as he was at 13 months.
Written by: Shonagh Giles