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Tonight I tucked my boys up tight in their beds;

Listened to their breath, smelt their hair and marvelled at the creation of life.

I cried for my friends who could not do that with their beloved first born son Riley.

I’m angry that this happened to them;

I’m sad for all the things they have been robbed of;

I’m scared that this has changed them forever;

I’m numb.

But Riley has reinforced things to me which I will always thank him for:

  • That the human spirit can endure

  • That life is precious

  • Not to take things for granted

  • Hold tight to the people you love

  • That true love can help you through anything and

  • Together you can achieve anything

Riley brought grief, sadness, excitement, wonder, joy, happiness, love and laughter.

His presence will forever be in our hearts.

You were here; you were loved; you will never be forgotten….

By: Lee Knowles

Riley… sway with the Jacaranda trees, play under them. Make the world beautiful, as we won’t forget you.


By: Brian Hearley and Family


Photo courtesy of the Gladwin Family

for sands qld

Lee was asked by SANDS QLD to write a small piece describing his feelings as he approached his first Father’s day after Riley had passed away. This is what Lee wrote:


The world has changed.

The world has fundamentally altered since Riley left. He was here for 40 weeks and then he was taken away with no explanations offered. Now I sit here and the television is unwavering in bombarding me with advertisements about what to buy Dad for Father’s day. This hurts me; but only to a point as I know that these ads will end when the retailers have reached their sales targets.

What hurts more is walking the streets and the real bombardment begins upon seeing Fathers yelling at their children, belittling their children or just raising their eyebrows and wishing that they were somewhere other than with their children. It hurts so deeply because I would give up a part of myself to have that moment of Riley opening his eyes and hearing my voice, even just once, telling him that I love him.

Father’s day hurts but it is one day, the pain of losing Riley is forever.

Our family is a circle of love and strength. With every birth and every union, the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love, every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger.

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