Some days I feel a heavy sense of confusion with my grief and the effort of trying to hold myself and my family together with some kind of normality. Yet, it’s often on days like this, when a sort of gloom has set in, that I receive an unexpected message of comfort.
It could be a school friend writing a note to Abi on her RIP page on Facebook, wishing her well in heaven, letting her know she’s not forgotten. A kind word from a friend, something I read, or a sign I see in the beauty of nature around me: a golden sunset, a bird building a nest in our garden, a forget-me-not…
At the weekend, I received a message from a friend who wanted to relay a story of how Abi had touched her family that week. With kind permission, she has allowed me to share this on my blog.
At the time, it brought tears to my eyes with the heartache I felt from missing my girl, but then, if this is how it is to be, I felt thankful that her memory is living on, that people are still talking about her and how the fact that she died is not ‘hushed up’ in front of children.
So, here is the message:
‘This week over dinner, out of nowhere, my five-year-old said: “Abi was beautiful and clever and wonderful.”
I said, “Pardon?”
He told me that his class had been talking about Abi this week – it must have been regarding her tree which my son said was now taller than the teacher [the class have been studying spring and there is a blossom tree in the playground planted in Abi’s memory].
He then said how Abi loved school and how proud everyone is of her having been a pupil at the school, then he said again: “Abi IS beautiful and clever and wonderful.”
How amazing is it that Abi is being talked about and held up as a familiar role model among children too young to have really known her? I love that and I just wanted you to know too. Xx’
I’ve learnt so much from my children and the children all around us in response to Abi’s death. They understand. They love. They don’t feel awkward or embarrassed. They say things as they are.
I feel privileged to live in such a caring community that wants to keep Abi’s memory alive as much as I do.
It reassures me that in four years from now, when my new baby son starts the school, he, too, will be able to talk about his eldest sister and that, despite never knowing her, he will come to know and love her through the memories of others.
8 thoughts on ““Abi was beautiful and clever and wonderful””
Another beautiful and moving post. The innocence of children and their ability to say exactly what they are thinking can be so refreshing. It’s lovely to think of your baby boy being proud of his big sister’s tree when he starts school. x
Thanks Sarah, it’s hard to imagine so far in the future now, but it will come round soon enough and I’m glad this is there for him x
You are so very fortunate that the school is being so supportive of your family and your loss. I wish it was the same everywhere.
I just discovered your blog today. I’m so sorry about the loss of your beautiful Abigail.
With your permission, I’ve added your blog to the website that I’ve been curating in memory of my 23 year old son who was killed almost 2 years ago (May 22, 2012). http://www.scoop.it/t/grief-and-loss
The site is a collection of blogs, articles, videos, and anything else I find that might be meaningful to bereaved parents and siblings.
Hi Graham, first my deep sympathies to you and your family for the loss of your son. It’s something I wish no parent would suffer. The reason I wrote my blog and shared so openly is to help or bring comfort to others so I’m very pleased that you have shared it for this reason. I’m not seeking blogging glory, but if some of my posts help another to feel understood or make sense of their feelings then it is all the reward I need. I will also share your website on my twitter and facebook pages. Many thanks x
Thank you. I am looking forward to getting to know Abigail through your blog. Unfortunately, as bereaved parents, we all share a bond that no one else can truly comprehend. I’ve found comfort in connecting with other bereaved parents. They always understand how important it is to remember our children and that there will never be any timeline on our grief.
Dear Jennifer, I apologise for addressing you by your son ‘s name that was an unintentional error. Sometimes people have called my other daughter by Abi’s name in error, a slip of the tongue. I cover up their embarrassment but it feels hard to hear, and also nice that she’s still on their minds. X
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