Sunday, 25 August 2013

Annie: Holding Back the Tears - Part 1

Annie Mitchell contacted us a few weeks ago to ask about including a different kind of child loss story on the blog, which we are very honoured to do.

Annie brought home her beautiful son Finlay at 5 days old on hottest day of the year in 1973. Fast forward 26 years and Annie was mourning the loss of Finlay to suicide. Annie has written a novel about her experiences: its unique advantage is that it is based on the author's actual experience of losing her child through suicide. In Annie's own words, finishing this book has been "the biggest achievement of my life."

Annie wrote the book with the aim of helping others who have lost someone close to them and give them the comfort and relief of knowing that they are not alone in their journey. The following is an extract of 'Holding Back the Tears.' This is now available for purchase on Amazon (links are at the end of Part 2). If you would like to contact Annie, please contact us via the blog email address and we will pass on contact details.


A petite Scottish Lassie ROSIE GILMOUR stood looking out from a small window at the top of the stairway in her terraced house situated close to Edinburgh City. With her shoulders hunched and her forehead resting on her crossed arms she was leaning on the cold wooden window ledge feeling too weak to stand on her own for all her strength had been drained from her shocked body.

She had been standing there for sometime but for how long to be exact Rosie was unaware. It was not until parts of her body had become numb that she began to stir. In a state of shock and disbelief she lifted her head and slowly raised her eyes and stared towards the clouds which were moving across the February winter's sky.

She watched as they passed the window in all their different shapes and sizes one cloud was in the form of  a dragon with fire coming from its nostrils another reminded her of a snowy painted landscape others fluffy cats. Her mind racing on endlessly she began to imagine all sorts of images, one shape in particular caught  her eye the shape of a mother holding her baby… this held her thought which sent her mind into a trance state.

On and on the images developed as they danced around the sky. Rosie turned and focused her attention towards a candle flickering placed on the window ledge beside her. The yellow orange coloured flame bright and comforting reminded her of a lighthouse with its warm glowing light directing ships in the darkness back to shore to once again be near their loved ones. She gazed at the candle flame glowing, giving her a feeling of warmth and security all around her stiff aching weary frame which reinforced her own belief that her son, FINLAY SINCLAIR, whom Rosie referred to as 'ME LADDIE' would also see the glow from the candle giving him guidance to find his way back to be reunited with the mother who he had not seen for over seven years.

''Do not worry Me Laddie,'' she said, ''I shall find a way to bring us together again one day, just you wait and see.''

Then a sweet gentle soft comforting voice echoed around her, interrupting her train of thoughts, jolting her back to reality, speaking quietly ever so quiet that Rosie could just make out what was being said. ''It's time,'' the voice said.

Rosie knew only too well what these words meant to her. She began to whisper ''what is there left for me to say or do?"

Tears clouded her bewildered eyes as she tried to follow the last few passing shapes, she asked the moving objects to stop and listen to what she wanted to say. Speaking with determination in her voice, allowing her decibels to reach out to the largest cloud in the sky which came into view in the shape of a heart, she whispered, ''Whenever you float past where Me Laddie is laid to rest, can you please be sure to give him this message: let him know I have sent this heart filled with my love just for him and I shall never let my love for him ever die, now away with you. Go, go now and take my message to him and do one more thing for me. Follow him wherever he may travel in his new world then I shall know he is never ever going to be alone ever again.''

Feeling exhausted with her steady flow of tears she fought to bring them to a halt by using all the strength and energy her body could muster to regain a small degree of control over her emotional state. However, the physical and mental suffering became more and more apparent to her whenever she needed to release her pent up emotions. For somehow, her tears got stuck behind a huge, large lump at the back of her throat obstructing their pathway towards any remission. It felt as though a door had been slammed shut leaving her without an escape route from her stricken heart.

"I am not ready to say goodbye Me Laddie," she said, watching as the clouds continued to move across the sky.


You can read the second excerpt from the novel here.


  1. Thank you Annie for sharing part of your novel with us. For me, I related to the sense of confusion and time passing and watching for signs in the sky sometimes.

    So sorry you lost your boy in such a tragic way x

  2. beautiful... I can so relate to emotions which have been penned up, and the part of not being ready to let them go... hugs XO

  3. My son left at 25, 3 weeks ago. I am still numb, but I will try to come back and read your novel when I can.