Marie Claire Australia - 01.05.2018

(Ben Green) #1 59

Clockwise from
top left: Denise
and James on a
holiday in Wales;
Ralph Bulger carries
his son’s coin on
March 1, 1993; little
James was “real and
fizzing with life”.

Clockwise from top right: Ralph
and Denise with the petition
signed by more than 270,000
people to keep their son’s killers
behind bars for life; Denise with
James; and finding renewed
happiness with her second
husband Stuart and her new family.

he texts to say he’s on his way home,
I time him. If he’s a few minutes late,
I go into a blind panic. I don’t think the
chilly fear I felt when I realised James
wasn’t by my side will ever leave me.

In 1996, Denise met her second hus-
band, Stuart Fergus, and they later had
two sons, Thomas Stuart in 1998 and
Leon Gary in 1999. But even as she
celebrated her growing family, James –
and the fight to see justice served – was
never far from her mind.
Friday June 24, 2001, turned out to
be one of the worst days of my life. Little
over eight years after murdering James,
Thompson and Venables were released
on life licence and my carefully
compartmentalised box of emotions
went up in flames.
I’ve always answered questions the
kids have as honestly as I can – they
know what I know – and we have always
talked about James. But they never saw
me cry until that day, when it all seeped
into a big meltdown triggered by a deep
ache for James and the very real feeling
that I’d let him down.
James is a part of everything we do,
especially when it comes to special
occasions. There is a Christmas tree
planted next to his grave and we all go
to the cemetery to decorate it as a fami-
ly. We put lights and baubles on it and
hang his stocking on there to make sure
he is included. On Christmas Eve, as it
is getting dark before the cemetery
closes, Michael will put the star on top
of James’ tree. It’s the last touch for
James once darkness falls.
There is no forgiveness in my heart

for my son’s killers. Nor is there any
peace since [they have been] released.
Time [and my family] have given
me happiness I could never have imag-
ined after the day James left my side.
I will continue to do all I can for
James until there is no breath left in my
body. He will always be my son and
I will protect him and his memory
forever. The fight continues; it just
changes as the years go on.

This is an edited extract from I Let Him
Go by Denise Fergus (Echo, $29.99). A
portion of the proceeds from the sale of
the book will be donated to the James
Bulger Memorial Trust, supporting
families of victims of crime.
Free download pdf