Happy Birthday Jarren…

 Remembering Jarren Vaughan Habel

A Birthday Memorium for my beautiful baby boy Jarren Vaughan Habel.

Jarren Vaughan Habel, 3 days old

Born 13 Apr 1970 at Midland Hospital, Midland, Western Australia. Much loved second child of Catherine Ann (Crout) Habel and Stephen Louis Andrew Habel and adored by his big brother, Cullen Andrew. 

At the age of 6 weeks, Jarren contracted “measles“, passed on by the un-vaccinated child of one of his father’s work colleagues. Anti-biotics were administered immediately and he was soon back to his old self. However,

Jarren Vaughan & Cullen Andrew Habel - May 1970

within a week, or so, he developed a persistent “cold” which the doctor diagnosed as a “teething cold”. The doctor kept prescribing anti-biotics and one morning I was shocked to find Jarren dead in his cot.  As the cause of death was unknown an autopsy was held which showed my beautiful baby boy died of  “complications” from the measles. One entire lung had been destroyed and he had lived for all those months on ony half a lung.  We were told that it was only the anti-biotics which kept him alive and that, even if his persistent colds had been correctly diagnosed, he would have died anyway. Cold comfort indeed.

Jarren died at home, 16 Caladenia Way, Koongamia, Western Australia on 16 Sep 1970 at the age of 5 months and 3 days. His father had left for work and only his 3 year old brother, and I, were home.  Jarren seemed to be sleeping very late and as the time passed I began getting rather nervous so popped a piece of chocolate into my mouth to give some courage. Some wondered why I suddenly didn’t like the taste of chocolate any more.

Jarren was buried in a tiny little white coffin, decorated with golden angels, at Midland Cemetery, Midland, Western Australia.  All the way to the cemetery I kept looking for the hearse and was horrified when the “boot” of the car we were travelling in was opened and there he was.  Yes, the inside of the “boot” was decorated with velvet etc., but I was still horrified.

It rained continuously the morning of Jarren’s funeral and  the wildflowers,

Jarren, six weeks old, with mummy

lining the narrow country road, glistened with raindrops as though the world was crying with me as we drew closer and closer to the burial ground and the moment of final separation from my beautiful baby boy.  They lowered his tiny body in the tiny white coffin into the tiny hole in the ground and, consumed with grief, I turned my eyes to the heavens, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shone through with a blinding intensity that was other worldly – my life changed forever.

It’s been said that the death of a beloved child brings to the parents a pain which is indescribable.  It has been so for me.

My only consolation is to tell Jarren’s story and urge all who hear it to pass on the message that a parent choosing not to vaccinate against so-called “childhood illnesses” put the lives of the very young, who are unable to be vaccinated, at great risk.

May you always RIP, my darling.


© Copyright 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family  

19 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Jarren…

    • Thanks for caring Sheryl. My heart always does a little “flip” when I find a child who has died before reaching maturity … It comforts me, and honours them, to put a little red rose where their photo would be in the Family Tree and send a blessing to them and their loved ones, especially their mum. 🙂

  1. oh Catherine, I’ve just read this post and feel so very sad for you. I can’t even begin to imagine how much anguish you’ve gone through at the loss of your gorgeous boy. How utterly devastating…I am sending you virtual hugs.

    • Thankyou for your hugs and kind thoughts Pauline. Much appreciated. I’m not one to hold “pity parties” but Jarren’s story is one that must be told to help reduce these unnecessary deaths, I believe.

  2. A beautiful story of a beautiful “little/big” brother of mine. I wish I had’ve met him. As a mother myself now, I can only now even begin to understand the lifelong devastation losing a child would bring. I love you Mum xxxxx

    • ahhh… m’darlin’… the angels looked down, saw my anguish and blessed me with a little girl who has been balm for my soul from the moment of birth. Thankyou for being you:-)… Endless xxx

      • I only just read this reply now and what a lovely thing to say. Sure made me “squish squish” 🙂 Lots of love and I toddle off to bed. xxx

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  5. Catherine many virtual hugs coming your way. I lost my first baby boy (born prem). He struggled to stay with us for 2 days but it was just too hard. I can only imagine the total devastation I would have felt at that loss had I gotten to really know the little person he would have become as you did with Jarren. Mere words just don’t do justice. You told Jarren’s story so beautifully. XXX

    • Thanks for those lovely {hugs} Kerryn. Ahhh… bless your little boy. Two hours, days, weeks etc., the loss of a child is a terrible thing. I was lucky, really, to have had Jarren for the time I did. He was “other worldly” and not meant for this world at all, I believe … but still I grieve for him, and always will. Just the way of things, my sad heart says.

  6. Pingback: The Remembering of Jarren Vaughan Habel… | Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

  7. You have lived through every mother’s worst nightmare… losing her child 😥
    I am absolutely heartbroken and in tears right now over what you have been though. I am so sorry. He was a beautiful baby… just gorgeous. I wish I had met him as a boy. I am glad I have gotten to know him now via your blog and see his lovely face. So much love to you xx

  8. Hi again! I hope it is ok to post here… I just wanted to let you know that we commemorated All Souls’ Day in Sweden here by visiting the cemetery I wrote to you about once and we (my family and I) lit a candle for Jarren at the memorial grove. It was a beautiful night and the cemetery was full of people… and candlelight… and memories. We talked to our little boy about Jarren too… he had lots of questions and some lovely thoughts to share. I am going to write a little about All Souls’ in Sweden in a blog post that will contain lots of other things too (a recipe, some autum pictures, some musings about Swedish tradition, etc). I am wondering if you’d like me to mention/mind me mentioning Jarren’s name in connection with All Souls’ Day … or linking back to one of your posts about him in your blog? xx

    • Thankyou so much Marisa… what a beautiful thing to do. May you, and yours, be forever blessed. I’m delighted that you would like to share my beautiful Jarren’s story when writing about All Souls’ Day and thankyou for asking. It’d be lovely if you linked back to one of the stories of Jarren in my blog.
      It makes me very happy to know that your little boy will grow up knowing his cousin Jarren, just as Kirrily and Chad do… even though he died before they were born. It’s a special thing to be so loved and always remembered xxx

      • You are so welcome! xx And thank you for giving me permission to use Jarren’s name and share a little of his story. I have also linked back to your blog, but was not sure if you wanted me to actually name it/you so tried to be a bit subtle just in case. In my latest post (which has a lot of stuff in it) there are a couple of paragraphs about Allhelgonahelgen (Swedish period of remembrance/All Saints) and this is where I have mentioned Jarren. There is one large image of candles… the one right in the center was the one we lit for Jarren. Sending my very best! xxx

      • Oh Marisa… I’ve only just now gone back to your photos and have located Jarren’s candle. Thankyou so much… I’ll treasure that picture forever and your loving and remembering will remain a constant comfort. xxx

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