In October 2017, a young father passed away suddenly at his home in the UK. A sad video showed his young son playing with cars and singing on his gravestone.
To celebrate his life, every Sunday Harvey’s mother, Jessica Pillinger, goes with him to Langton’s memorial stone. The little boy, who is now two, doesn’t quite seem to understand that his father is gone.
When they arrive at the gravestone, he shows his father his favorite toy cars. While the boy plays with his cars Pillinger tends to the memorial.
"Given his age, I don't think he understands the concept of death."
She’s shared some heartbreaking footage which shows the toddler in action. Harvey is seen laying on the inscribed stone playing with his cars and singing “bye bye daddy.”
The toddler’s mother shared that she believed the images pictures and footage revealed the reality of a child not getting what the death of a parent means. She admitted that she struggled with how to tell Harvey the truth without “turning his world upside down.”
The video was shared before Father’s Day for Pillinger to show the special connection her son had with his father even though they spent such little time together. The widow now lives in Bournemouth, Dorset.
"As much as I want to say it’s a nice feeling seeing him [playing] like that, it’s actually more heartbreaking because I think of the relationship they would have had. But that’s why I take photos, because when he’s older he’ll be able to see he was participating.”
Harvey’s mother added:
"I think this video shows the reality for a lot of other little ones [who've lost a parent]. Even though they've lost one parent, they've still got another. You can see from the video that he's okay. He knows Daddy's not there, but he doesn't know he's died.”
"Given his age, I don't think he understands the concept of death. He's just used to a life of Daddy's photos and talking about it through me. I've made a decision that I'll continue doing what I've been doing and gradually embed it as much as I can, and I'm going to leave it to Harvey to ask me. That's how I know he'll be ready for it. I don't want to be the one to turn his world upside down.”
On October 25, Langton was found dead at home by his wife and son. The widow hopes her experience of being a single parent of a young child will help others starting out on their journey.
As a warning, a report by children's charity Barnardo's revealed that children as young as two were accessing social media. The report shared that this raises fears of young children becoming addicted to social media and being exposed to harmful content.
Around 80 children's services practitioners worked with vulnerable young people in the past six months. About 60% of these practitioners showed concern about the use of social networks such as Facebook and Instagram among children under five.