Updated: Apr 3
My name is Raj. I am daddy to our baby boy, Riaan. Riaan was born on 6 April 2020 weighing just over 4lbs. We very sadly lost Riaan on 9 November 2020, aged just 7 months old. To this day, the cause remains unknown.
Despite being born with some medical conditions, Riaan was not a sick baby and to look at him, you would never have guessed anything was wrong. He was the most smiley baby ever and was already a ladies’ man! At hospital appointments he would always smile at female staff and pull a grumpy face at the male staff! Everyone that met Riaan, remembers him – he is just one of those people who, once is in your life, you will never forget.
Losing Riaan has been, and still is, the most heart-breaking thing that me and my wife, Sharan, have ever been through and the weight of the grief is as heavy today as it was when it happened. It has changed us forever. We are fortunate that most of the people around us understand how difficult times are for us, and reach out to check in on Riaan’s birthday and on the date, we lost him. We have met a lot of people that have sadly gone through something similar and some of these strangers actually go out of their way to remember Riaan more than people we know, which is amazing.
Since losing Riaan, we have committed to helping hospitals and charities that care for sick babies and that offer support for bereaved parents through our baby loss project ‘Riaan Remembers’. We want to give back, in Riaan’s name. We also work closely with our local hospital and baby loss charities such as Tommy’s and Sands.
One of the ways we do this is by, on Riaan’s birthday, giving back to hospitals and gifting babies and sick children with items to brighten up their day. This year we have been fortunate to work with the amazing team at Soxsies to produce a ‘Riaan Roars’ soxsies. We see this a gift from Riaan, to others, on his birthday. We will personally be placing a large order and taking these to our local hospital to distribute. The design was inspired by the very first teddy that I ever bought for Riaan, which was a lion, and it went with him everywhere. Thank you Soxsies for helping us make Riaan’s birthday special.
To lose a child, at any age, is the most heart breaking thing that any parent could ever go through. We find our strength to keep going comes from the example that Riaan set for us. His strength is our strength.