Shoreham mother’s grief inspires unique business decorating graves
So today marks the day that my beautiful Lola turns 13…. a teenager. This year also marks her 10 year anniversary. I did not know what to say in March… I couldn’t even bring myself to write a blog post. I am still at a loss for words now.
Ten years on and the pain has some how numbed. In ten years I have been busy bringing up my other 3 daughters, and I know this is what has dragged me through. I can not even comprehend what I would have done without her precious sisters. Life keeps on going even if we are not ready for it too, and it is the day to day business of life that helps with grief because it is a distraction if nothing else.
It distracts you from the burning pain in your heart, it pushes you through the darker days…. The school run makes you get up and shower instead of wanting to pull that duvet over your head as if it might some how shield you from the pain that you feel every time you wake up and see Her beautiful face staring back at you from the photographer across the room. It’s coffee and work that keeps you occupied through each and every week day. It’s the laughter and craziness you see from your surviving children that brings a smile to your face. It’s the person holding you tight through out the tight that keeps the tears away when your silent in your bed. It is rare,because of all of the above, that you allow yourself to have that moment/ day, when you close your eyes and remember
That morning, that hospital bed, that ambulance drive to London and finally the day that the machine was turned to silent and the tears fell as you held you most Precious Child in your arms as she took her final breaths….. On these days it is hard to do almost anything because you are physically crippled with the pain as you relive those moments.
Sometimes I am astounded that I survived, yet here I am on this Lola’s 13th Birthday wondering what flowers to take to the cemetery. I should be preparing to be descended on by a gang of 13 year old for after school fun, worrying about the lack of funds in my bank account because as usual I’ve gone a bit OTT with her gifts, I should be worrying about how many Domino’s pizzas to order and just generally preparing for her beautiful 13 year old face to work through the door! The reality of this NEVER happening is quite honestly heart breaking.
So last month I turned 40, I decided to have a big party hosted by my lovely Mum at her house. It was great fun and so lovely to have all my friends and family together to celebrate with me. I then went to Paris for the weekend with six of my best friends…..it was hilarious. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much in my entire life, well certainly not in the last nine and a half years.
One thing that is a constant in my life, other than my grief is My Friends. I have truly been blessed to have the best friends on the Planet! These people have been wonderful over the years. They have held me up both physically and mentally, made me laugh till I’ve cried and cried till I’ve laughed! I am eternally grateful to them all for their support and friendship. I have had so much fun with them and our ability to Drink, Dance, Talk and Drink some more is quit honestly second to none! Probably not something I should brag about at my age now!
This blog post is dedicated to all you wonderful people that continue to enhance my life, thank you for your wonderful gifts and your friendship.
“Friends are like Wine & Whiskey, the older they get the Better they are”
I love each and every one of you Crazy Bs…….
So this evening I will be interview on BBC radio, I am told that it will be broadcast on all Local BBC radio stations so for me that will be BBC Sussex, from 8.05pm. I believe it is because of yet another cemetery asking people to take down things on their loved ones graves. I find this utterly outrageous for many reasons, the first and most practical is that as far as I no you have to purchase a grave plot…. Yes I mean Pay for that piece of land like we had to.
So is this not then yours to do as you please with? One would assume so.
Secondly and most importantly, for some people this is a huge part of their grief, and people need to be able to grieve in any way they see fit…. It is not harming anyone else. Grief is a horrendous and very complex emotion and anything that can ease this continuous pain is so, so important. That is why I started Gifts for Angels, it brings me comfort to tend Lola’s grave and to put bright and beautiful pieces down for her…. There was nothing suitable to buy when Lola died, the usual grave vases were so dark and depressing and toys would blow away, or would look rather grim after a few days. I wanted something bright and beautiful and Fun just as my darling Lola was so this inspired me to start this business. It’s about offering comfort in times of grief….
Now these products and bright and very lovely, they come packaged in recycled brown boxes and where possible I use recycled paper & bubble wrap to wrap them up, I don’t spend money on beautiful packaging…… It’s about the product, not the wrapping. I support brain tumor research in anyway I can and believe it or not I didn’t start this business to make a fortune! I still have 2 other jobs, which I enjoy very much and they give me the flexibility to work around my 3 surviving children.
Gifts for Angels is very much about helping people with their grief and I have had many emails , FB messages etc from all over England and Ireland sharing with me their stories and I feel very honoured. I have given many products away over the years but I can not do this for every body mainly because posting is so expensive, but I will always be there to support people via FB and phone, because sometimes just being around people that share this dreadful emotion is all you need and this helps me too.
I hope I come across OK tonight I have never done anything like this before but I really do welcome the opportunity. So wish me luck and if you have a spare moment this evening, listen to your local BBC radio station from 8.05pm.
Happy Birthday My Darling Girl, 12 today! It seems so long since you were here its hard to imagine that you would now be 12 and looking forward to your 2nd year in High School.
I miss you every day and things are just not as good without you, no matter how much fun and laughter can fill a moment, it is never genuinely perfect without You! You have such a big influence on all out lives, Ava always mentions you in here literary at school, Lila-Bleu & Reya still send you up every balloon they can get their hands on, Daddy….. Well I see in his eyes every day how he misses you, his laugh, his smile is always just a little less full these days and me….. Well I still have to count out dinner plates, wash some of your clothes despite Lila-Bleu growing out of them, pray to God to keep you safe…Despite my indifference to Him for taking you in the first place!
Lola – My Darling Girl, My First born, My World….. I want you to know how much you are missed i miss your smile, your laugh, your love of chocolate biscuits, pickled onion monster munch, Tonic Water & Cranberry Juice,the way you used to run everywhere, your kindness and your courage. There are not enough words to express all the things I’ve missed out on since you’ve been gone,it makes me sad to not know what school you would have chosen, who is your best friend, what sports you like ….. this just goes on & on and I could spend hours thinking of all that I have missed out on but this really does not help.
I’m sorry I couldn’t save you, I’m sorry I didn’t have the knowledge to know what was wrong, I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate your perfectness and intelligence as much as I should have. If I could hold you just one more time, feel your cuddles hear your voice, I would give so much My Darling. I know we will be together again one day, so stay close with Ganpa, Nana and Granda and tell them that I love them. Be kind, be wise but most of all Know how much you are Loved and Be Happy…… And have a wonderful 12th Birthday Sweet Girl.
Love you Always and forever,
So here we are again – March – Spring, the start of New Life and all that ….!
I hate this month, I hate the start of Spring, unlike most people in this country. I know its all about warmer weather, lighter days but for me it symbolises one thing, ‘Sadness’.
Yet again I am consumed with emotion, the heart break of yet another year with out Lola, it will be 9 years on 22nd that she was taken so suddenly and life as I new it would never be the same .
Her Sister’s continue to grow and blossom and yet I am forever wondering which one of them she might look like now. Her cousins’ and friends have all Started secondary school which I know nothing about.
All that time gone and I am left in limbo, Angry, Curious, Heart Broken basically every emotion I had back then, it doesn’t change, you just learn to wear it better, it becomes part of ‘The New You’ – that person you have become now born out of grief not the person you were before…. My God, who was that person? I wish I could meet her again, go back through time and tell her,
“Slow down, take time out and Appreciate Every Single moment with those you love because one day…..” .
So today I hate March, I hate Spring, I hate Cancer, I hate Brain Tumours, I Hate Death…….But Grief, well this is part of who I am now. It is always present and always necessary. We have become old friends that are reliant on each other for survival.
I recently met with a friend of mine who has just had her 3rd child. Up to this point she had never carried a child to full term and sadly lost her second child due to this reason. She has a lovely daughter and now a beautiful Son. Like most new Mothers she really was over joyed and is loving every moment with her New Little edition. Unlike most New Mothers she told me how pleased she was to get bigger with each month of pregnancy and despite looking totally fabulous relayed to me how she does not care about her weight,
“If I need to by bigger clothes, then so be it!”
I understand that like my friend there are many Mothers who feel this way, especially after the loss of a baby…. I just wish most Mothers-to-be were not so fixated on loosing baby weight, but instead enjoy the whole experience and realise who lucky they actually are.
This blog post is dedicated to ‘S’ and all those little angles that never got a chance in this life…..
My heart goes out to their Parent’s and families.
I have found this beautiful website especially dedicated to ‘Baby Memorial Special Gifts’
Happy New Year to you all…. Gifts for Angels had a great year in 2014 and thanks to the charity ball raised over £6000. for Brain Tumour Research. I hope it continues into 2015. We are looking at changing our website just a little revamp to freshen things up, and we are hoping to introduce Personalised Precious Plaques.
It hasn’t been easy trying to juggle work, kids and a new job and This blog has suffered as a result, so I promise to try and keep it more regular. With all these changes happening, the one constant in my life is always my Grief, and it continues to form a clarity and perspective of life in general. So I will continue in 2015 as I have done for the last 8 years – being thank full for what I do have in my life, sad for what I have lost and hopeful of what the future may hold.
I wish you all a Very Happy 2015 filled with fun, laughter & good health.