My darling Abi,
I recall you lying on your changing mat when you were a tiny baby
Those early months just you and me while Daddy was at work
Finding my feet with this miraculous little person
Who had grown inside me for nine months
I found I would sing ‘You are my sunshine’ to entertain you
It came so naturally to sing that song, it became ‘your song’
I know why now…
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
you make me happy, when skies were grey,
you’ll never know dear
how much I love you,
please don’t take my sunshine away….
You were my light and my joy, but now you’re gone
The light has dimmed.
On the morning of Saturday, 9th February, we were allowed into PICU while the doctors did their formal assessment of Abi’s condition. We knew these were ‘last chance’ tests.
Abi had been in a coma for over 48 hours. She’d shown very little response since her collapse other than coughing a couple of times and some slight reactions in her pupils to light. Whenever the nurses had to do anything to Abi – such as put her on manual ventilation to change her feeding tube or move her in the bed so she didn’t get sore – we usually left, as it was very hard to watch. But this morning we stayed a bit longer. Continue reading
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
Abi was transferred into Bristol Children’s Hospital the afternoon of Friday, 8th February. We were introduced to another consultant, who told us that they were going to ‘start from scratch’ the next day, give her the night to settle in and then assess her entire situation in the morning. We felt bolstered by this. It felt a bit like a fresh start for us too, and, mentally, we were open to things being ‘better in the morning’.
On the morning of Friday, 8th February, Abi had another CT scan – her first scan after the two operations. Taking her for this scan wasn’t a quick process for the care team; just to move her to the scanning room was a major task as all the equipment had to go with her. We left them to it and waited another couple of hours for this to be done and for her to be brought back to ICU.
Seeing your child in intensive care is a scary prospect, it’s not called ‘intensive’ for nothing! The machines are the first thing that you notice, but you know that every wire and machine is there for a very good reason so they become less daunting after a while. I almost got used to them, even the alarming beeping noises, which sound dramatic but are actually just notifying the nurses of something like needing a fluid top-up.
The aim of having my own business was always to give up the day job so I could be around for my children, and I finally did so in 2010. The best thing I ever did… in many ways. My editorial business is thriving, I keep a large group of subs busy and am now the Managing Director, overseeing the workflow, a position I only dreamed of when I started out. However, it hasn’t come without sacrifices and big changes to my life.
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.
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.
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.
I used to enjoy booking myself in for an occasional massage or facial, it was always a nice treat, but since Abi died I’ve not been able to allow myself to do it.
To relax is to let emotions come to the surface, to be able to meditate on the thoughts going through your mind, to think about how nice the touch is on your skin and enjoy the moment. But you see, when your entire being is held together by invisible ropes of tension attached to a large stone of grief where your heart used to be, encouraging the body to relax is met with quite some resistance.