An emotional heart-to-heart between Sharon Mitchell and Denise Fox in EastEnders about doing the best for their babies prompted Sharon to make the surprise decision to hand over baby Kayden to his paternal grandmother Karen Taylor on the day that she also broke down on her dead son Denny’s coffin.
In Tuesday 17th March’s episode Denise (Diane Parish) joined Sharon (Letitia Dean) on Arthur’s bench in the square as the devastated mum tried to make sense of losing one son and now not being able to cope with the only one that’s still alive. Denise, who had her son Raymond after a drunken one night stand with Sharon’s husband Phil (oh cruel irony!), shared how tough it had been deciding to give her baby up for adoption.
“I knew I couldn’t do it all again when I fell pregnant with Raymond,” Denise told Sharon. “If I said I didn’t think about him I’d be lying… But I don’t regret giving him up because I couldn’t give him what he deserves, what he needs. I don’t mean money. I mean what he needs emotionally – to give him the best start in life. And that is exactly what he’s got.”
Baby Raymond was named by his foster parents after soul legend Ray Charles. Before that viewers saw Denise sharing her last precious moments with her baby and promising him a future that she felt she couldn’t give him herself.
“I’m Denise,” she said, cradling Raymond in her arms. “I brought you into this world but I’m not going to be your mum. You see there’s this couple and they’ve been waiting for you and they’re going to look after you because I can’t. I’ve already had two little girls and bringing them up took everything I had. It’s only by the grace of God that they’ve turned out ok. I can’t do that to you, raise you on a wing and a prayer. You deserve so much more. Letting you go is the hardest thing that I’ll ever do.”
As Sharon left Kayden with a stunned Karen and Mitch echoing Denise’s words to “give him the life I can’t” – it remains to be seen whether she will go through with her actions.
Throughout the episode the signs were that she was not coping. First Kathy (Gillian Taylforth) tried to reassure Sharon that she had just had a bad night and then when faced with the horror of eldest son Dennis’ coffin she collapsed. The only hope is that some TLC from Karen for the baby might just given Sharon the breathing space she needs.
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