Jade Goody would have been 34 today
Being a parent is no walk in the park, as dad-of-two Jeff Brazier will tell you.
In his new parenting column, the 36-year-old talks about how he dealt with 12-year-old Bobby and ten-year-old Freddy, when it came to celebrating their late mum Jade Goody‘s birthday today.
He reveals younger son Freddy, who has a tendency to wake up with night terrors, struggled when Jeff asked him at bedtime what he wanted to do to mark what would have been Jade’s 34th birthday.
‘Usually he would be full of suggestions but on this occasion all he could manage were a few “I don’t knows”. Quite unusually an hour or so later he woke again in tears,’ he says.
‘I sensed grief was playing a part but that was an easy assumption to make given our conversation before bed and the effect an important date relating to Mum could sometimes have on him.’
Unable to do much to help, all the TV presenter could do was offer his son a cuddle, some medicine, and some water.
‘Seeing your child in pain is probably the epitome of helplessness,’ he tells Closer Online. ‘I hate that you can’t magically transfer that feeling onto yourself instead.’
Older son Bobby however, dealt with the looming date in a different way, and asked if he could not go into school that day.
‘I think that’s a dangerous precedent for me to set, I think he will be better distracted and amongst friends,’ Jeff says.
With a yearly tradition on Jade’s birthday to go visit her ‘special place’, along with the kid’s godparents, Jeff was sure that that would provide them with an outlet for coping with the day.
‘A chance to put a card and some flowers down and to feel like they have honoured her memory and ensure she has been remembered and cared for.’
Big Brother contestant Jade died from cervical cancer in 2009. She was just 27 and sons Freddy and Bobby were aged four and five at the time.
One positive thing to come out of her death was that there was an increase in young women who went for smear tests – something which had previously been on the decline for the past decade.
The former Dancing on Ice contestant says: ‘The thing that really worried Jade is the kids would forget her, so I promised I’d keep her memory alive. I don’t want them to grow up each year remembering less and less. I talk about her all the time with the boys. She’s a huge part of where they came from. She’s their mum.’
We’re sure the boys miss their mum every single day, but they will be proud to know that she made such a difference – and that their dad is there for them.
‘You don’t need to have all the answers; you just have to be there,’ Jeff says.