James Green was a man born to be a father.
When he and his wife Cloe discovered they were expecting their first child, James was ecstatic. And after the birth of their second child, the couple from Great Britain knew they wanted a big family.
James did everything in his power to help grow his family and to be there for his children as they grew up. While Cloe was a full-time mother, James worked his job remotely so he could spend time with his children while providing for them. He brought them to school, worked at a coffee shop while they were at school, and then picked them up to bring them home. Then, it was playtime until bedtime! James was the most active, energetic, and loving father there could be.
The couple loved their growing family. Every time Cloe thought they couldn’t possibly add to the family, James would look at her and give her that smile she simply could not resist. “Just one more, Clo,” he would say. And the next thing you know, Cloe was pregnant again!
By the time they had their 5th kid, the couple decided they’d stop. Cloe got a contraceptive device from the doctor.
But it failed. When Cloe unexpectedly got pregnant again, James was secretly delighted — he said it was meant to be!
They went on to have a total of 8 children, including some with special needs. After the 8th kid, the couple decided that their family was finally at the perfect size.
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Cloe was excited to finally focus on just raising the children, and to do so without being pregnant at the same time. But one day, just 12 weeks after the arrival of their last baby, everything changed.
It was the middle of the night. Cloe woke up because James started acting strange. After he sat upright, out of nowhere, he went into a fit. Then, he stopped breathing.
James had died in his sleep. He was 31 years old.
Cloe was so devastated. Can you imagine being left all alone with 8 young children to raise on your own? James’ death was so sudden and unexpected too. Cloe was now a 27-year-old single mother.
The coroner’s test results revealed that he died from hypertensive heart disease, which results from chronic high blood pressure.
“In my darkest moments I wondered how on earth I would do this without James,” says Cloe. But when she looks at the 8 little faces, she knows that she has to do it for them and for James, who brought them to this world.
In honor of James, and even in the face of such grief, Cloe decided to strive and dedicate herself to being the strongest parent she could be.
Cloe says the things that help her cope in her darkest moments is the memories of James with the kids. “He loved being a dad more than anything and has made me a strong enough parent to face this job alone,” she said.
Together with her children, Cloe makes sure to keep James’ memory alive in simple and heartwarming ways, like blowing up colorful balloons and letting them float up to the heavens.
Cloe says she will always be heartbroken that James was taken away from her and the family — but she is grateful that he got his wish of having their eighth child, and is grateful for the help and support from her friends, family, and community.
Following James death, Cloe’s community raised over $10,000 to help her build an outdoor garden for her children so they could play.
What a brave woman to have gone through what she’s gone through and come out the other side a stronger mother than before.
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