Sunday 24 September 2017

'I’m hoping someone’s child picked it up and will give the wee dollie back' - Heartbroken mum who lost late daughter's doll at Dublin Zoo

Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A heartbroken mother returned to Dublin Zoo after a sighting of her late daughter’s doll that they lost during a day trip last week.

The toy was given to Matilda Gray shortly after she was born in July 2013 and was vital for mum Claire as she dealt with her daughter’s death just three months later.

The family returned to Dublin Zoo yesterday after a woman said she found it in the carpark near where the family had parked.

Unaware that the family was searching for the doll she told her own kids to leave it alone because “some little girl will come back for her doll”.

Clair Gray with daughter Matilda and Matilda doll
Clair Gray with daughter Matilda and Matilda doll
Baby Matilda and Matilda doll (left). Picture Courtesy of family
Archie Cray and Matilda Doll. Picture courtesy of family

“I’m hoping that somebody has it and a dog didn’t take it,” said Claire. “I’m hoping someone’s child picked it up and will give the wee dollie back when they see I’m looking for it.”

The doll was given to Matilda when she was born by Claire’s friend who had also lost a baby girl shortly before Matilda was born.

“The fact that she bought the present for a baby girl two weeks after she lost her own baby girl was unbelievable and it makes the doll more special.

Read more: 'I feel like we’ve lost a piece of Matilda' - Mother's desperate plea for help locating late daughter's doll

“She had an outfit like Matilda’s and was so specific for her. We have another doll but it’s not the Matilda doll.”

Getting the doll back means “everything” to Claire as it “filled her arms when they were empty and ached.”

Archie Cray and Matilda Doll. Picture courtesy of family
Archie Cray and Matilda Doll. Picture courtesy of family

“Every day and night I have to live without Matilda and it’s horrendous. I know I can’t have Matilda back, but having her doll back means everything,” she said.

“It was same size as her and is so hugely precious to us. I've cuddled Matilda doll to sleep every night since Matilda passed away. She even came to hospital with me when Matilda's baby brother Archie was born.

“She comes with us as a way of Matilda being with us for family photos, which are so painful after losing your child as she is always missing.

“She comes with us for all Matilda's little brother Archie's "firsts" such as first time at Santa. On Monday 30th May it was Archies first time at the Dublin Zoo so of course we brought Matilda doll too as Matilda never actually got to go to the zoo which breaks my heart.”

Claire explained that they were in the Zoo on Monday and somewhere between the zoo shop, gate and Lord's Walk carpark "Matilda doll" went missing.

"She means more than words can express. For us she is a piece of our little Matilda. I feel so stupid for losing her and very distressed. Please please please help me to get her back home."

Matilda Doll
Matilda Doll

Anyone with information is asked to contact Claire on Facebook

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