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.