There's something wrong in the state of Denmark… and I think I may be it.

Tag: eulogy

Your dad’s final words to you…

People have mentioned the fact that I haven’t included Nick’s eulogy on the blog… to be honest, I’m not sure why. I guess I just thought eulogies are a weird thing to share with the world. But I am going to share it, because Hudson’s father shared in honouring him that day and his words should be released into the universe alongside my own.

So, here they are…

I’ve often sat and wondered how someone pays tribute. Where do you find the words to illustrate how someone defines your life, someone who has shown you meaning and given you direction. How do you find the words to express the profound impact such a little person can make in your life.

I now know you can’t.

Simple words cannot truly explain the intricate and subliminal bonds formed between a parent and their child. But what I do have is Hudson Turkish (my son) who gave me the opportunity to experience it, experience meaning, experience direction.

And it is these experiences and times with Hudson, my son, that will now change and define my life moving forward. Death is truly unfair, and for this I am angry; angry at everything and angry at nothing all at the same time. The only solace I have is you my son.

Hudson Turkish Slater-Smith, I am your father and now more of a Gentleman for having shared in your time with us.


To my ATIO Team

I cannot express my thanks and gratitude. The weight lifted from my shoulders through all the difficult times and with the teams support throughout, helped me be the best dad I could be for Hudson, and I know my Hudson would agree. It is not the work that I do, but the people I work with that will help me endure this dark time in my life.

To the Fleishman Hillard Team

I don’t think I will ever fully realise the impact and love my small little boy had on you. From me, I would like to thank you! I know the following weeks and months will be hard and challenging for my family, and knowing Andrea will be looked after when I am not around will ease the burden.

To all of our Friends, Family and Friends who are now family

All I can say is thank you! Nnever have I felt more alone and yet have so many people to call on. Your messages of support throughout Hudson’s short time helped Andrea and I to give Hudson our full attention and love. Your support and kindness made our journey with Hudson that much more special.

To Clinton and Bruce

My only regret is that Hudson did not get the chance to fully appreciate the friendship and bonds I feel and share with you. I know Hudson loved you guys.

To my Sister, Hudson’s Favourite Aunty

Hudson is a better man for have known you. Your love for your little Huddy was and is insurmountable, and you helped make him the happy little boy I will always remember. Your unswaying strength, bravery and support will never be forgotten. I hope you can cherish the moment you and your Huddy shared. It is only with the power of Family that we can truly face our demons.

At this point I think it would be a tragedy in itself not to take a moment and try to depict the magnetic attraction Hudson Turkish had on the people he met and even the ones he didn’t. I can say with a lot of certainty and a little bias, that the first time you met him, seen a picture of him, or even heard the way in which his Mother and Father spoke of him, it was instant love. Hudson lived a short and happy life and yet touched more hearts and souls than most of us sitting here.

So a special mention must go to Rudo, Hudson’s daytime play-toy. Rudo you spent a lot of time with our little Hudson over his last few weeks and I could see the love he already had for you every day I came home. Hudson will miss your playtimes together, and I am thankful to you for the memories you gave him.


To Nana and BB

My Rocks, my pillars of strength. Hudson will miss you both for the times he got to share with you. Never has a kid been more deserving of family like you, than like Hudson was to have you in his life. Nothing I say or do can or will ever diminish the pain that you both feel. All I can promise is that I will share in all his memories with you.

To my Dearest Darling Andrea

Thank you for giving me the best gift in Hudson Turkish Slater-Smith our son. I don’t know anyone with your strength of character and Hudson and I will forever stand in Awe of the Mother you are. Every memory I have of our son is shared with you. I will always cherish the way we loved our son, the way we shared our son, but most importantly the freedom you afforded me with my boi.

I can never truly appreciate the bond you shared with Hudson, but I did get a glimpse. The first time he woke up in ICU was my light-bulb moment, my moment of realisation. Those big gorgeous eyes looking up at you, transfixed, as if he knew you were there and as long as he could see you he knew he would be safe.

The road ahead will be hard and arduous, and I do not have all the answers. What I do believe is that your love for our Hudson, cemented what I always knew. I am so sorry for your heartache, and will always share in it with you.






Hudson Turkish Slater-Smith

Man I love your name – Hudson Turkish Slater-Smith

You know, you know forever and ever, you know…


This for me will be the hardest part and I ask you to please bear with me. I feel that it would be a fitting end to my note, with the only word I heard my Hudson say…



A letter from my stok…

One of my closest friends sent this letter to me a few weeks ago… to put things into context, we call each other “meis” and “stok” and she was one of only two people to call Hudson Turk. I have felt, since receiving it, that it is something to be shared. A girlfriend’s perspective on how this whole thing panned out.

Thank you for your letter, stok. I hope readers of this blog do it justice :-).

“Mr dearest Andrea and Nick,

I have made several fairly useless attempts to write a fitting eulogy to be delivered at your son’s funeral.  I have sat until the early hours of the morning desperately scrambling for the words to describe Turk’s heroic life and somehow give you, if only a tiny ounce of comfort.  I reach a certain point and I realize that I am not the girl for this job.  I realize that his life was too big for me to even begin to describe.  It needs to be perfect, perfectly written and perfectly delivered, I think of him, I see the pain in your eyes and I crumble.  So hence the 2nd best thing – a letter to the two of you, to read when the time is right. 

I was angry – I was so made when you told me that you were pregnant.  I was even madder when it was a complete no brainer decision to keep him.  I was mad becoz I knew MY life would have to change.  Who gave you the right to change my world, my peace of mind, my uninterrupted slumber?  Now I would be forced to worry about crap like whether this kid would have friends that would play with him.  The pregnancy went on and then the second whammy – you were having a boy.  For fucks sake – a girl was bad enough, but now a boy.  I don’t know how to be with little boys – they horrid.  You had a bumper bashing – I read the blog and I left the office and went home and wept.  The girl that I knew, that knew me inside out, the girl that shared almost every one of my view points, every dream of mine, ever secret longing for the life I wanted was echoed in her thoughts, was gone.  She had fallen in love with her unborn child.  She was a mother. 

Turk was born on a Monday.  I was nervous and scared.  I saw his photo on Nick’s bbm profile.  I cried again.  Not for the two of you, not for Turk, for me.  I cried for my empty, barren womb.  I cried for my own fears that prevented me from embarking on the journey that you two slid into so easily.  Tuesday morning I looked at baby Turk’s photo with the caption, “He is really quite lovely” and fell HOPELESSLY in love. 

So Saturday rolled around and I was coming to meet the little guy.  I bought a new outfit and went and dyed my hair.  Woke up on the Saturday and thought, well that’s fucking dumb the kid can’t see clearly yet, but he does have almost perfect olfactory senses.    I decided on a classic – I wore Dolce and Gabana – I wanted this to be his Aunty Penny association.  I wore it on my birthday and I wore it to his farewell.  I rambled the whole way to your house.  I was so nervous.  I knew that this kid was going to change my life.  I knew that there was no going back.  I knew that once I had held him I would want to protect him for the rest of my life.  I knew all of that, but had no idea how overwhelming that feeling would be.   I loved him instantly.  Equally important, I fell in love with my new best friend.  Day 5 – and you were an old hand at being a mom.  It was a role that you slipped into as easily as what I fell in love with Turk. 

To talk about the trials and tribulations, now almost seems trivial.  I am not eloquent enough to articulate the highs and lows I felt through Turks ops, through the hospital stays, through the screaming at God,  “For goodness sake, just give him a fucking break, has he not been through enough”. 

The day before he passed away.  Jono and I found him a little Man U kit.  Turk was largely responsible for making me love Jonathan more daily.  The excitement in Jonathan’s eyes when he found that outfit for Turk.  The love that was in his voice, when he phoned at least 4 of his mates (only one of which had met Turk), to tell them about the kit he found for his boy, broke my heart.  The absolute joy and pride was audible.

“Meis ….? “

Who knew that word, those dots and that question mark could cause the pain it did.  I knew.  I knew my boy was gone, I don’t know how, I can’t explain.  I knew, in the same way I knew before you told me that you were pregnant.  The room was fuzzy.  I sat on the floor and waited for Jonathan to get out of the shower.  I knew I had to tell him before I left and I didn’t know how I was going to.  He got out of the shower, he saw me on the floor.  I looked up and said, “Its Turk”.  We sat on the floor and cried.  He didn’t go to work.  His heart broke.

I went to work, too many people around me were crying for Turk.  They had lived, every movement of your pregnancy – every one of MY stupid fears regarding said pregnancy.  They had been to every doctor’s appointment.  They had seen every photo of his scar, every update of his progress, every celebration of being sent home – they were there. I went home got into bed and didn’t get out until the next morning.

I know that this letter is addressed to the two of you, so round about now, you must be wondering why is this all about me.  What I am trying to explain, in true Penny inarticulate fashion is that Turk was more than your son.  He was the tiniest of lil guys, but his strength, his conviction, his fight, his spirit, his pure determination changed lives.  I was admitted into hospital two weeks before Turk passed, I am petrified on needles.  When they came to put the I.V. up Jonathan, in his patient, ever supporting tone, reminded me that if Baby Turk can handle it, then so could I.  It helped, I cried less.  The next night, I got a new neighbour in the bed next to me.  The same male nurse who had put my I.V. up had come to put hers up – the nurse said, in a kind gentle voice (to a VERY Asian lady who could not understand a word of English), “If baby Turk can handle it, then so can you” J

Turk made us believe again.  He reminded all of us what a miracle this thing that we call life, and all take for granted, truly is.  He made us all love a little deeper.  He made children, love their parents a little more and appreciate it what they went through to have and raise them.  He made siblings look at each other and thank God for their mere existence.  He made partners fall in love all over again. 

Spiritualists believe that we are sent to this earth to right our wrongs.  Once that process is complete, we leave and move on to the next level.  Nelson Mandela / Mother Teresa – two of this world’s greatest humanitarians – they are / were still trying to achieve that well into their 90’s – how pure must Turk’s soul have been to rectify his wrongs within 4 months!

I am not sure how you move on from this.  I am not sure if you ever even come back from this.  What I am sure of though, is that Turk’s stay on earth was for a reason.  We may never understand why he had to go, but I do know that having him made everything worthwhile.”