We’ve just got back from a trip to Lapland. We had the chance to get away just the three of us and so decided to do something we always said we’d do. After you’ve been through the reality of losing a child, you really do start to live for the moment and so going to Lapland ‘one day’ became going to Lapland now.

For as long as I can remember, seeing the Northern Lights has been something I have wanted to do. I thought we might take a family trip to Norway when Tadhg and Elva were much older and could bear to stand around in the cold for hours waiting for them. I knew there was a chance we might see them in Lapland but we had no plans to go out on a snowmobile in the middle of the night to a frozen lake and wait with Tadhg.

We were staying in a log cabin about 10 minutes from the town. It was quiet but by no means the isolated and dark location you usually need to see the lights. Tadhg was fast asleep in the cabin and I was outside at around 10pm checking the sky. Not a lot was happening and it was freezing. I kept popping in and out and had told Kieran I’d shout him if anything happened.

I found a stick and wrote Elva’s name on a really smooth area of sparkly snow. Kieran came out and saw it and we both had a moment where we were really sad and crying our eyes out and missing our beautiful girl.

I then saw a little hint of green in the sky and got excited. Then Kieran told me to look straight up. There were waves of green ribbons twisting and swirling all over the sky. They were so fast and clear and unlike anything I ever imagined. After 10 minutes, the sky was black again. It was a hugely emotional experience to see something I’d wanted to see for so long at that particular moment. I think I was caught up in the emotion of it all and believed that Elva hadn’t wanted to see me crying and sent the lights to cheer me up.

Looking back, my rational self can now accept that this was a coincidence. But a truly beautiful one. It was the perfect moment for the lights to appear and I feel so lucky to have just happened across such a spectacular scene whilst thinking of my beautiful girl.