Before and after our grief

My husband’s car is on its last legs. We need to start thinking about replacing it before we spend too much more on it. He’s put it off for far too long and spent too much money keeping it going, but I know he loves the car mostly because of the times he spent with Abi in it.

The chats they’d had on the way home from a club, the trips they took together. It’s hardly been cleaned since she died (and it’s grim inside!), but I don’t push it. I know the sweet wrappers are hers. I know the hair clips are hers. I know he doesn’t want to lose even the dust that might be hers. It’s his space so I leave it to him (like a man shed on wheels!). We’ve changed my car and transformed our home. Abi hasn’t been erased by any means, and I’m always finding her hair clips around even now, but I know his car is the last big reminder.

When talking about replacing it, we were trying to remember when we bought it. Our marker… how long before Abi died.

You see, we’ve reached a point in our grief journey where life has become about ‘before’ and ‘after’ Abi. Continue reading “Before and after our grief”

A new way to mark the anniversary of our daughter’s death

Another year has rolled around since Abi was last here… on 6th February we were forced to remember the day she collapsed. On 10th February, we thought of the moment we sat by her bedside as the doctor turned off her life support and said goodbye. But mostly, we were reminded of the time when she was ‘ripped’ from our lives.

Three years since we last saw her, heard her, held her, smelt her, laughed with her, kissed her…

Each anniversary has been quite different.

The first was maddening, filled with panic and desperation to cling onto every single moment of grieving her. But then the hope of a new baby was just weeks away to distract us from our misery. Our rainbow baby arrived just two weeks later.

Continue reading “A new way to mark the anniversary of our daughter’s death”

I dreamt of you

In my morning sleep, the sleep before the day begins, I saw you

Clear, real, here

You were standing on the landing, in the doorway to our bedroom.

From my bed, I talked to you

Like I used to

You up and ready for the day

Me rousing from sleep

You looked a year or two older, taller too

Your hair still long and golden

Your face was beautiful

Luminous and radiant

xxx

Continue reading “I dreamt of you”

The significance of memorial flowers

Today is Remembrance Day and war memorials all over the country are displaying poppy wreaths in memory of those who lost their lives serving our country. The Tower of London featured a magnificent and moving poppy tribute this year.

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888,246 poppies at the Tower of London commemorating each British and Colonial casualty from WWI

It got me thinking about the symbolism of memorial flowers and what that means to me now.
Continue reading “The significance of memorial flowers”

New mobile case collection in Abi’s memory

A few months ago I bought a new mobile phone cover with Abi’s photo on it. A brave move for me as it had been, and still is, hard for me to look at pictures of her. It was so well made and quickly delivered that I wrote a review of the company.

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THIS is all I want for my birthday

Today, I turn 38. Thirty-eight years since I was born. It feels surreal. I don’t feel this age… in many ways still young, but equally old before my time. I question why I should be allowed to live this long and yet my child already be in heaven?

I’ve never been hugely into birthday celebrations, having a birthday at the end of the summer holidays was never ideal, and that’s even more the case now. It’s just another day, but I’m thankful for each day I have now.

My hubby gave me a beautiful emerald eternity ring for our wedding anniversary this year and that has doubled as a birthday gift too. To be honest, I don’t want anything. Possessions mean nothing.

THIS is all I want for my birthday.

My family back.

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The best birthday ever, with my three babies, Menorca 2011

This photo was taken in 2011 on my birthday on holiday in Menorca. The children were sneaking around in the morning and then all jumped into my bed and gave me cards and balloons. It was so memorable. So special.

This is my second birthday without Abi. Now, instead of the joyful wake up, I’m perpetually reminded of the loss of her. That my tired lips don’t get her fleeting kisses in the morning anymore; she always woke me with a kiss.

Now, I’m visiting her memorial, leaving HER flowers…

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I chose fiery orange roses for Abi

…with a new baby who seems to know so much already. He looks on at Abi’s place with such peace and wisdom. He knows too.

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My baby quietened and stopped fidgeting for some time as he looked at Abi’s memorial

It’s a horrible day, an emotionally stressful time of year that I’d like to get through as quickly and with as little fuss as possible. I’m sorry darling, I know it’s not what you’d like, but my heart won’t ever stop breaking for the loss of you.

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My hubby and baby sharing a moment with Abi at her special place

 

Guest post: Forever 12

This guest post was written by my friend Sarah, whose son was in the same school and year as Abi. As her son turned 13 this weekend, Sarah reflects in this moving and inspiring post on what it is to be forever 12.When my eldest reached the milestone of his teenage years last week, it was a chance for me to reflect – on his life so far and on his life still to come – his journey through GCSEs, A Levels and girlfriends to adulthood. But it was also a chance for me to reflect on my friend Kelly, who blogs at Chasing Dragonflies, and her daughter Abi.

Because Abi will be forever 12.

Continue reading “Guest post: Forever 12”

Memories of our last holiday together

As friends and family head off on half term holidays, I’m glad to have a relaxing week ahead with my children. But I feel a slight pang of envy, as I know we are in need of a proper holiday, but with the new baby I’d not had the strength to plan one.

Who needs strength to plan a holiday? It’s the highlight of the year right?

I’m sure every grieving parent struggles with making holiday plans. Holidays are the epitome of making happy memories… and we feel lost. We can’t shrug off our grief like most forget the stress of work. Our grief comes with us… in bucketfuls!

Continue reading “Memories of our last holiday together”