While debating where to go on our first summer holiday without Abi, I posted about the memories we had of so many places we visited regularly with our ‘Abi family’.
The Isle of Wight was one of them. Our last holiday together had been to Shanklin and we’d had a fabulous and very memorable time.
Picking up from my post on CPR (CPR – do you know how?), where I described the distress of Abi’s collapse, I thought I’d try to describe the panic I experienced during Abi’s transition to A&E, and how that changed to a numb acceptance that helped me deal with the hours of waiting that followed. While this is incredibly hard to recount, it is also interesting for me to examine how I felt at various stages.
I’ve realised I’ve started buying grapes again, and not just buying them… eating them too!
Abi loved grapes. She’d come in from school and devour a bunch easily while watching TV.
Ever since she died, I’ve not been able to even look at grapes. I bought some once about a year ago, just to see if I could have them again. But I felt like gagging when I tried to eat one. The image of her happily munching away on them was all too recent. So I’ve avoided buying grapes… until the last few weeks.
It wasn’t a conscious decision, which is interesting. I just seem to be okay with it now.
It’s just fruit! Grief is funny like that.
The day before we left to go on our holiday, we were sat discussing what we wanted to do and I suddenly felt something tickle my arm. I jumped thinking it was a fly, but it turned out to be a thistledown, or a ‘fairy’ as my mum used to call them when I was little, that had floated into the house. We all laughed. It was the first one I’d seen this year.
When Abi died, it was very peaceful and controlled. But when she collapsed at home, in our bedroom, we went from calm to extreme panic in a matter of minutes. I was reading to my other daughter, my son was lying in his bed drifting off. My husband was looking after Abi in our bedroom, as she’d been sick.
All of a sudden he appeared at my daughter’s bedroom door with a look of fear in his eyes, and told me she needed me, really needed me. I felt concerned but still at that point believed it was just a bug and a mummy cuddle would make it all better… but suddenly the peace of our home turned into screams and panic. My screams. My panic.
My middle daughter came home from school yesterday with a pretty box stuffed full of sanitary towels and tampons. They’d had the end-of-year talk about sex and periods.
My daughter wasn’t fussed. She’s quite happy to wait to grow up and, while she knows periods will happen at some point, she’s in no hurry and would rather be dreaming of ponies. However, as I took the box out of her book bag, my grief hit me again. I was taken back to July 2012 when Abi had had the same class talk. Continue reading
This week is National Transplant Week, and I’ve just changed my profile picture in support of the campaign (see here to do the same) and I thought it a perfect opportunity to share the outcome of Abi’s organ donation. Continue reading
Following on from My Great Loves guest post about turning back into dust, I wanted to share our experience of interring Abi’s ashes.
Choosing a burial or cremation is a decision I really wasn’t prepared for when Abi died. I knew she’d died and that we’d have to have a funeral, but I just didn’t consider the speed at which we needed to decide which method of burial we wanted. If we chose cremation then her body could be brought home from the hospital much faster than if we wanted her buried (paperwork!).
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.