MP fights back tears as recalls death of eightyearold son

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MP fights back tears as recalls death of eight-year-old son

Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, during a vigil for Jo Cox in June (Picture: Matthew Horwood)

A Labour MP fought back tears as she recalled deciding whether to kill herself after the death of her eight-year-old son. 

Carolyn Harris said that after her son, Martin, died she actively ‘calculated’ whether to join him ‘on the other side’ or stay alive for her three year-old, Stuart.

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The politician urged the Government to provide £10 million to cover the fees for children’s funerals as she recalled the moments after Martin’s death.

The MP for Swansea East spoke of the difficulties she faced having to organise and pay for Martin’s funeral given that she needed to be ‘told to wash and eat and sleep’ at the time.

Some of her Labour colleagues could be seen wiping away tears as she told her story.

pic -  CAROLYN HARRIS twitter

The Labour MP was speaking during an adjournment debate (Picture: CAROLYN HARRIS Twitter)

She told adjournment debate: ‘My eight-year-old son Martin – a bright, beautiful and wonderful little boy – stepped out on to the road and was tragically knocked down.

‘Much of what happened over the following weeks was and still is a blur. The pain is so acute and the sensation of this is incomprehensible and the tragedy seems almost surreal.’

She said she did not feel part of what was happening at the time, describing her life as feeling similar to a bank holiday.

She added: ‘Seeing people outside of my little world going about their normal, every day business just didn’t seem right.’

Ms Harris’s voice broke as she said: ‘I asked myself “Didn’t they know that the world had come to an end?”

SWANSEA, WALES - JUNE 17: Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, wipes away tears during a vigil to Jo Cox on June 17, 2016 in Swansea, Wales. The Labour MP for Batley and Spen was about to hold her weekly constituency surgery in Birstall Library yesterday on 16 June 2016 when she was shot and stabbed in the street. A 52-year old man is being held in Police custody in connection with the death. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Her son, Martin, died aged eight (Picture:Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

‘I always felt that my brain and my senses were full of cotton wool or clouds, and nothing I saw or sensed or heard or experienced resonated.

‘It didn’t hit a hard surface, nothing registered. It just floated around in my head.

‘I have a vague recollection of chatting with my vicar and the undertaker about the kind of service I wanted, and I may well have been given prices at the time.

‘But considering I needed to be told to wash and eat and sleep, it certainly didn’t register in my brain.

‘I understand retrospectively that a cremation would have been cheaper than a burial, but I had to bury my son.’

She continued: ‘At the time I was making the decision on the funeral, I was actually deciding on whether to join my son on the other side or not – to stay for Stuart, my then three-year-old who really needed his mum.

‘I calculated – and I use that word deliberately because I actually sat in the bath and I assessed which of my two children needed me the most, and I eventually reasoned it was Stuart, who was only three and couldn’t lose his mum and his brother in one go.’

She said she felt burying Martin in the same grave as her grandparents would ensure they would ‘look after him until I could be with him again’.