Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Gavin, Zoe and Ruby: At peace

Our service for Sonny was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful boy. The church holds 450 people and there were plenty standing at the back. For those that weren't there, Sonny entered to Elvis 'The Wonder of you' that the Arsenal team come onto the pitch too and from there we had a number of people saying the most amazing things about our dear little boy. Tanya Watson, Sonny's Head Teacher spoke about his time at school, Andrea read a beautiful poem that she'd written whilst looking through pictures, Lisa read some wonderful words with her daughter by her side, David said some truly amazing things about Sonny, his school friend Gabriel played the Last Post on the trumpet, Andy told a lovely story about being with him as a friend not man and boy and finally, Ruby read a poem that she'd written herself which is making me cry thinking about it now. I've added a couple of images at the end of this post for you to see yourselves. The poem is Ruby's.

We didn't need to ask anyone to speak, they had all volunteered and, although the stories and words were all from different places, they all had the same theme; Sonny was an amazing, talented, humorous, warm, courageous, gritty, kind-hearted, handsome and loving boy that deserved all the love and attention we could give him.

After the service, Sonny was walked what proudly felt like miles down Upper Street until we headed off to the cemetery passed the Emirates where someone had decorated the Guns with sunflowers.

The brief committal to the grave was followed by throwing in handfuls of lego (another great idea by Ruby) and, we found out later that after we left, his school chums sat around the grave for an hour or so chatting to him. Victor, who looks after everything at Highgate Cemetery, waited patiently with no hint that he needed to get on. It was the same level of care and understanding from the Cemetery and the Funeral Directors, Millers on the Essex Road, that we've had all the way through. Sometimes these men, so used to death, were in more tears than we were.

There are too many people to thank here. The kindness and support we've received not just in the last 12 days but over nearly two years has been truly unbelievable. From unexpected gifts to cooked food, presents from abroad (Moosey is still with him now) to helping with Ruby, we've been constantly overwhelmed. Friends, family, Doctors, Consultants, old and new school chums, Great Ormond Street, The Whittington, Community Nurses and physio's, Millers, Highgate cemetery and Revd Simon Harvey. You all know who you are.

So, this is it. After 533 posts we don't feel it's right to carry on with A Sonny Outlook. The blog allowed us all to be involved in Sonny and gave us a great way of sharing him. The title meant we always remained positive in the darkest moments and, without him there is no point in carrying on. There is a huge point in carrying on with our lives though and we will now focus all our energy on us and especially Ruby.

Elvis has left the building.


  1. Thank you Gavin and Zoe and Ruby for sharing your gargantuan struggle with us. Despite the tragic, tragic ending I feel privileged to have been allowed to know a little of your majesty and tenacity and wit and courage and sheer bloody nobility of soul as you have dealt with the cruellest fate.

    I hope you can begin to find some peace, as Sonny now has. I don't imagine for a second that it will be easy but you will prevail.

  2. you have me in tears.

  3. You've done Sonny proud. Thank you for sharing this journey with us all.

  4. Thankyou Gavin, Zoe, and Ruby, for allowing us thr privilege of being part of your lives. Once again the words above have been taken out of my mouth, we echo EVERYTHING that has been said and written. Your sonny was blessed to have you as parents and ruby as his sister.
    Love you. Claire.B.xxxxxx

  5. Such a beautiful poem Ruby.

  6. I read your latest blog last night and couldn't post a comment because it reduced me to tears. It will seem so strange not checking and reading the blog daily - it was so much part of my routine every day. Thank you for posting details of the funeral - I didn't attend as I didn't know Sonny (only thro his aunt Sian) but it was everything that I imagined it to be. You have had so much to deal with and still have, but I hope the unity you have shown throughout this, will take you forward, one day at a time. Be kind to yourselves, there are no rights or wrongs for grieving. Sonny was an amazing boy and I for one will never forget him, nor you or Ruby. With love and best wishes to you all. Ruth

  7. It was a beautiful service for a beautiful boy. May Sonny now rest in peace. You have all shown so much love and strengh through what I can imagine to be the hardest thing ever. xxx

  8. Sonny is in our hearts still and that will never change.....Zoe Eden carries her glass cross with her everyday,Sonny has been and is a huge influence on how she takes life on now...I so appreciate that...

    I have nothing but love and respect for you all and will always be here as a friend Pauls,Eden and Josie-Cash xxxxxx

  9. I must add Ruby wow your poem was truely amazing....
    Gabriel you did so well xxxxx Paula x

  10. I can't really say anything that hasn't already been said. I am so sorry for your loss. You have been incredibly brave and inspiring by allowing us to share in your experiences through your blog.

    Rest in peace Sonny.

  11. Never even knew of Sonny till I stumbled across here by accident, I now leave this website in tears.

    I find it incredible that such a young man was so brave. An inspiration to us all.


  12. I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. I visited Highgate Cemetery around Easter of last year and was touched by Sonny's final resting place and took a picture of it.
    I hadn't processed the picture until today. And then I decided to look if I could find the story behind the young man. So here I am.
    I was also touched by the refugee child that died earlier this week.
    Would it be OK if I use the picture that I took of Sonny's headstone on my blog as an illustration to my thoughts about child mortality? I know the context is obviously different, Sonny's death was sad but unavoidable. But somehow I feel that if I use his picture, he lives on a bit in our memories. I realize that I don't know this young man, but I've been reading this blog and feel like I want to do something with that photo more than ever. You can check out the photo on: https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterbeyen/
    The blogpost will appear tomorrow at 7am CET on
    All the best!