Our home, without Abi

As I sit on Abi’s bed, I know it will never be slept in again. The Olympic duvet cover we chose together last summer, the pillow and the sheets, all smell of her. Despite aching to be close to her again, I cannot lie down.

I lean over and put my face into her pillow. The smell fills my nostrils like nothing else. I recall that newborn head smell, the pang in my heart, my maternal instinct kicking in as I breathed in her smell for the first time. This feeling is the same, but, as well as maternal pangs, I feel a sharp pain deep in my chest and a ‘winded’ sensation in my lungs. I instinctively exhale an audible groan in response.

Tears spring automatically from my eyes. As the tears subside, I stare out of the window and look up to the skies. I try to imagine her up there, but she still feels so near; I can still hear her voice, her sounds, her laughter. There are so many small things that remind me of her everywhere I turn…

…the empty chair at the dinner table, the conversation changed

…the extra portion of food, sitting cold in the pot

…the half-finished homework

…the clothes and shoes scattered around, never to be worn again

…the scraps of paper filled with hopes and dreams, loves and hates, lists of things to do and buy

…the headphones, never to play her favourite songs again

…the grey handprint smudge on the bedroom wall

…the piece of gum stuck to the inside of the car window

…the empty seat in the car, the sweet wrappers in the ash tray

…the songs… all the songs

…the hairgrips, still being found

…the hairband outside, dropped on the way to school

…the birthday and Christmas presents, barely used

…the shampoo for blonde hair on the side of the bath

…the nail polishes and mascara, trying to be ‘a teen’

…the kung fu kit, still crumpled from the last wear

…the new school bag, chosen and bought with hard-earned money

…the hamsters, the fish, the dog, missing their proud owner

…the silly video clips, hearing the voice that will never speak again

…the new club swim bag, used just once, still hanging in the cupboard

…waiting for her to pop through the door at 4pm after school

…saying her name by ‘accident’ in conversation

…thinking of everything in threes – three chocolate treats, three toys, three children.

Memories come through sights, sounds, smells and tastes… they stab at my heart. The physical and emotional pain is so unbearable that I block out the millions of memories, only letting them skim my mind. This can only be done for so long before the tears fall; when they do, I feel I’m acknowledging the awful truth that she’s truly gone. It is a month today that Abi died, and Mother’s Day too, my love for her feels stronger than ever yet I cannot hold her again …

For some reason I’m singing a hymn in my head that I’ve not heard in 25 years… ‘Think of a world without any flowers, think of


a world without any trees’ (see: http://www.myspace.com/music/player?sid=78862745&ac=now)

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2 thoughts on “Our home, without Abi

  1. Dearest Kelly I don’t know how you cope but you are doing so well. You must have great strength and faith. I want to hug you and say it will be OK? We (I ) am here for you so if you need a friend or shoulder please do not hesitate . I have been in a bad place lately but nothing like the pain you are in ……I feel so ashamed !
    Take care Kelly
    Love Mary xxx

  2. Hi Kelly. Beautiful, sad and deeply meaningful words. We are all saying “we just can’t imagine……” but it’s a lie. We can imagine. We just don’t want to, for if we do, we will imagine exactly what you have so eloquently written. You must feel as though you are very close to, if not actually at, the bottom. But your not, you are surrounded by friends who are desperate to help but do not know how. If there is anything we can do, the door will always be open to you all, at any time. Take care. Mark and family.

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