Two years today


Our last coffee shop outing...
Our last coffee shop outing…

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My precious Angel Child

Two years ago I lay next to you listening to your laboured breathing. You lay motionless in your bed. Your hands and feet were ice-cold. Your body was burning up with fever. Daddy and I counting the seconds between your breaths. My hand on your little heart and my head next to yours.

I remember whispering how much I love you; that there was nothing to be scared of…I felt your heart beat getting weaker and weaker; your breathing becoming more shallow by the minute.
When your little heart stopped beating my heart broke into a million pieces. As your soul soared mine plummeted into a hell hole of grief and despair.

I knew that it would be hard but nothing in the world could have prepared me for the pain that followed. My heart aches for you and I would give anything to hold you one more time. To hear that mischievous giggle…

We miss you so much. Our family will never be the same again.

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Our Hearts Will Always Touch


Our Hearts Will Always Touch by Ranja Kujala (Changed)

When I laid there beside you,
Could you feel me there?
My arms were wrapped around you,
And I was stroking your hair.

I was talking about all the good times,
For me they were every single day.
I wanted you to feel love and comfort,
Be happy in some way.

I watched your every breath,
And prayed that each one wasn’t your last.
The time we got to share together,
Went by too quick…Too fast.

I wanted you to wake up,
Please Vic…Open your eyes.
Tell me this is a nightmare,
And not our goodbyes.

As your last breath grew closer,
We lay there peacefully together.
My heart continually breaking,
Because I wanted you forever.

Then there it was,
Your final breath of air.
I didn’t want to believe it,
It was so cruel and not fair.

I held your beautiful face,
And prayed you’d breath again.
I wasn’t ready for you to go,
I couldn’t admit that this was the end.

But then I realized that you were now in peace,
And not suffering anymore.
You were beginning the life of an Angel,
And your body would no longer be sore.

I held you close and squeezed you tight,
And tried to say goodbye.
I’ve lost my child and my number one best friend,
All my heart could do is cry.

I slowly got up,
I wanted so much to stay.
I leaned over and gave you one more kiss,
It was so hard to walk away.

Vic you were my entire world,
And I miss you so very much.
I wish I could feel your loveable cuddle,
And your soft and gentle touch.

But for now I have to wait,
Until we meet again.
You will always be in my heart and thoughts,
My precious child and best friend.

Always and Forever,
Our hearts will always touch.
Always and Forever,
Baby girl Mommy loves you so much

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/our-hearts-will-always-touch#ixzz3EphiuOal
Family Friend Poems

In memory of Vicky by Dennis McHale


Tonight I visited the blog of a brilliant blogger Dennis McHale who writes hauntingly beautiful poetry.  I read through a number of his poems, very aware of the man own personal pain, when I came across this tribute to Vic that Dennis posted on the 2nd of May 2013.  Reading it, I was as touched as I was then…  Thank you Dennis.

I hope that one day I will read happiness in your words.

MAY 2, 2013

In Memory of Vicky

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This poem is dedicated to my dear friend “tersiaburger”
In memory of her beloved daughter, Vicky.

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You and I
are touched by one star.

Wherever you are
we stand together in one light
which no depth or height or distance
can ever dim.

Wherever you are
your light shines;
past time and space
past flesh to thought,
I feel your power.

Wherever you go
the day will dawn
and the star will appear;
for you are a child of this light
and it fosters your heavenly dreams.

In this light, I have found ways
to heal, to bind up,
to tear down the feeble structures
of fear of your absence has
carelessly constructed within me.

You and I
are touched by one star.

In its glowing embrace
we find our true selves;
we find our peace.

Today I may stand alone,

missing you with all my heart
be I stand strong.
Through the corridors of our courage
you have helped me to
discover those eternal lines
of love within myself;
my birthright discovered because

Vicky and I are
touched by one star.

http://dlmchale.com/2013/05/02/in-memory-of-vicky/

 

Wave Of Emotions ©Stacy Lynn Stiles


A tidal wave of emotions,
have sent my soul out to sea.
Crashing currents submersing,
what once was you and me.

Drifting afar distantly,
a glimpse of precious time.
While I held you close to me,
singing your favourite rhyme.

Rocking gently back and forth,
arms encircling you whole.
Lips pressed upon sweet innocence,
your cries I did console.

Praying the Lord may keep you;
wash your troubles away.
Hoping a bond forever remains,
the same tomorrow as today.

Splashing scents of adorable purity;
upon your mother’s face.
I draw you closer, your tiny being;
and even tighter I embrace.

Consumed with pure admiration,
at the woman you’ve became.
Beautiful imperfections,
your absence chastised me numb.

Although I know you had to,
spread those vast angelic wings.
I still can hear the laughter,
of a child’s heart that proudly sings.

These crashing, violent riptides;
will soon turn a peaceful wave.
Knowing the life I gave you,
is the life in me which you did save.

This current of my heart, is perfectly;
in synch with every beat.
A perfect bond between us;
without your love, I’m incomplete.

http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/tidal-wave-of-emotions
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If tomorrow starts without me


This played just before Vic’s memorial service started.  A deadly silence descended in the church as we all sat crying for this precious child of mine.  I listen to this often.  I still cry when I hear the words that Vic could have spoken.  How I miss my precious child.

If tomorrow starts without me,
And I’m not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things, we didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I’d have to leave behind;
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I’d always thought,
I didn’t want to die.
I had so much to live for, So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I’d say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven’s gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said, “This is eternity, And all I’ve promised you.”
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow, But today will always last,
And since each day’s the same way,
There’s no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful, So trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things,
You knew you shouldn’t do.
But you have been forgiven, And now at last you’re free.
So won’t you come and take my hand, And share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me, Don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me, I’m right here, in your heart.

Jared♡ĶįƦƧƳ.Ș♡(1)

Vic’s Mother’s Day roses


Iceberg Roses
Iceberg Roses
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Entrance to Vic’s flat. The Iceberg Rose outside her bedroom window when it was still snow white… 14.9.2011

In 2005 I planted an Iceberg Rose outside Vic’s bedroom window.  It looked pretty and gave her great pleasure.

Roses have always held a lot of meaning for me.

   
Red Roses: A red rose is an unmistakable expression of love. Red roses convey deep emotions – be it love, longing or desire. Red Roses can also be used to convey respect, admiration or devotion. A deep red rose can be used to convey heartfelt regret and sorrow. The number of red roses has special romantic meanings associated with them. 12 red roses is the most popular of all which conveys “Be mine” and “I love you”
White Roses: White is the color of purity, chastity and innocence. White flowers are generally associated with new beginnings and make an ideal accompaniment to a first-time bride walking down the aisle. White flowers can be used to convey sympathy or humility. They also are indicative of spirituality. Hence, white roses also follow suit.
Yellow Roses: Yellow roses are an expression of exuberance. Yellow roses evoke sunny feelings of joy, warmth and welcome. They are symbols of friendship and caring. The yellow rose, like the other roses, does not carry an undertone of romance. It indicates purely platonic emotions.
Pink Roses: There are a lot of variations of the pink rose. Over all, pink roses are used to convey gentle emotions such as admiration, joy and gratitude. Light pink rose blooms are indicative of sweetness and innocence. Deep pink rose blooms convey deep gratitude and appreciation. Pink roses also connote elegance and grace.
Orange Roses: While a yellow rose reminds us of the sun, an orange rose reminds us of a fiery blaze. These fiery blooms signify passion and energy. Orange roses can be used to express intense desire, pride and fervor. They also convey a sense of fascination. These flowers rival only the red roses as messengers of passion in romance.
Lavender Roses: A Lavender rose like its color conveys enchantment. It also expresses “love at first sight”. Darker shades of lavender roses (close to purple) convey a sense of regal majesty and splendor. These roses are used to express fascination and adoration.
Blue Roses: A perfectly blue rose is still elusive like the perfectly black rose. Blue roses cannot be achieved naturally so they represent the unattainable or the mysterious. Blue roses therefore embody the desire for the unattainable. They say “I can’t have you but I can’t stop thinking about you”
Green roses: Green is the color of harmony, of opulence, of fertility. It is also a color indicative of peace and tranquility. Green roses (these are off-white roses with shades of green) can symbolize best wishes for a prosperous new life or wishes for recovery of good health
Black Roses: Black is the color of death and farewell. A black rose, like the blue rose remains elusive. What we know as black roses are actually really dark red roses. Black roses convey the death of a feeling or idea. Sending black roses to someone indicates the death of the relationship.
Mixed Roses: By mixing rose blooms of different colors purposefully, you can create a bouquet of emotions. For example, a bouquet of red and white roses would mean I love you intensely and my intentions are honorable. A random mix of roses would convey mixed feelings or send a message: “I don’t know what my feelings are yet but I sure do like you enough to send you roses.”

The white roses symbolized Vic’s pure heart; the love that filled her precious heart… Vic had no malice in her.  She was a people pleaser with an abundance of love.  Vic loved passionately.  There were no half measures in her life.  She loved the way she lived.  She loved her family, her boys, her friends.  Vic loved life.

At Stepping Stone we started a memorial garden.  Symbolic gestures are part of the healing.  Planting a rose in memory of a loved one brings a certain amount of solace…  I see people come back to check on their roses; they photograph the roses.  Is it a way of clinging to something living that represents a loved one?  I think it may be the case.

I awaited Mother’s Day with trepidation this year.  Yet the morning dawned and I was fine.  I spoke at a church on Hospice that morning.  Jon-Daniel accompanied me.  Poor baby.  He sat through an Afrikaans sermon that I am sure he did not always follow.  I stood in front of the congregation and wished all the mommies a happy Mother’s Day.  I had a smile on my face but my heart wept for Vic’s precious boys who did not have a mom to celebrate the day with.  I wept in my heart for me – I was childless.  It was not a happy day for us.

In the afternoon we went to a nursery and bought roses for the memorial garden.  The boys chose a deep pink and I chose a gentle pink.  It represented Vic’s gentle nature, her femininity and “softness”.  The boys said their rose reminded them of Vic’s boldness;  her passion for life.

We bought Steers Burgers – Vic’s favorite hamburgers and that was indeed her last meal.  We picnicked in the Stepping Stone Garden.  We planted Vic’s roses and released balloons.  Gentle tears ran down our cheeks as we sent up balloons filled with love and longing.

Vic's memorial Mother's Day Rose
Vic’s memorial Mother’s Day Rose

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The Boys Memorial Mother's Day Rose
The Boys Memorial Mother’s Day Rose

A week ago I noticed an amazing thing.  Vic’s white Iceberg roses, planted outside her bedroom window, started turning pink…

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Vic’s message of love – white roses turning pink
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My precious little Angel I am so grateful for the reminders that you are with me.  I wish I could hold you but I know that you see our pain, our empty hearts and that you are trying to reassure us that you are indeed our guardian angels.

 

 

 

 

16 months of Hospice and two special angels in Heaven


In the early hours of my Dad’s 3rd anniversary I feel compelled to give some feedback on Stepping Stone Hospice.

Sixteen months ago, with unbelievable arrogance we started Stepping Stone Hospice. What a journey it has been. We started working from my home with a registered palliative care sister, a wheelchair and very little else.

Sixteen months later we have not only moved into a lovely building but we have increased our In-Patient-Unit for 4 beds, we employ 2 nurses, a staff nurse and a team of 13 palliative trained caseworkers. We have plans to extend the building so we can increase the In-Patient-Unit to 10 beds. Every piece of furniture and equipment was donated by the community and to date we have not asked anyone for a single cent. There have been months where we had to pay the nursing staff from our own pockets, but we have never turned away a patient.

We have received beautiful letters of gratitude, established a memorial rose garden and a reputation as a great Hospice.

I am in total awe of the phenomenal nursing staff who go beyond the call of duty. They will go and sit with a family and their dying loved one at 3am in the morning… On Saturdays and Sundays they interrupt their lives to care for the destitute dying in our community.

We have an amazing group of volunteer caregivers who sacrifice their time to guide the families through the final stages of their loved ones journeys. We cry with the families, hold their hands and sing for the dying.

I am so grateful for this amazing organisation and everyone who is involved with it. I am grateful that Vic’s legacy has made a difference to other end-stage Alzheimer patients. I remember my precious father who fought with every fibre of his body to hold onto his memories, his mind, his family….

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I saw your teardrops fall


I saw your tear drops fall
I heard you cry my name
Mommy I love you                                                                                                                          As I released you from your pain

I watched as you lay in your bed
fearful of the end
I heard your whispered words
as you prayed for release from pain

every day for you was painful
each breath, each step you took
but filled with sadness I knew
your life was at an end

I held you with all my love
as I always used to do                                                                                                                     it was hard to see you in such pain                                                                                              as life slowly ebbed out of you

although our lives journeys
have bid us to be apart
I am with you, you are with me
you are always in my heart                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Love always

Mommy

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How to die


People live as they die.

If they constantly worried about their health and each and every little pain and symptom in life, they will worry until the end. If people were unconcerned about their health in life they will be slack in seeking help and treatment. If they were bad-tempered and impatient in life, they will die impatient and bad-tempered. Gentle people die gentle deaths.  (I am excluding violent deaths from the statement above.)

In Hospice I am amazed to see with how much stoic dignity some people die. Many of my acquaintances have died in the past 14 months under our care. People that I knew were dignified, in life, died peaceful dignified deaths. Up to the end they will say “please” and “thank-you.” I have witnessed, and experienced people hold onto life with every fibre in their bodies (as did Vic). I have also seen people “decide” to die. We see it in their eyes. Death is a decision.

Dying is not a two-minute thing… some people die slowly over many days. In these slow, lingering days it is our job to keep the dying pain and symptom free. Comfortable surrounded by their loved ones.

In a perfect world people die at Hospices surrounded by their loved ones – in theory that works, only in theory.

Many people are dropped off at the In-Patient-Unit and as soon as it is “decent” the family will leave to rest… Some don’t return. Some do after many phone calls updating them of the gravity of their loved ones condition. Some will pop in for the final moments. Some don’t. Some stay. They enfold their loved one with compassion and love, complementing us in our job. Some people die with their loved ones united in prayer; others die with the family singing gentle songs. Some die telling their loved ones to f… off…..

I have come to the conclusion that people without a spiritual and/or religious base die bad deaths. They swear at their families and the world until their final day… They worry about their new cars; a business deal – some have alcohol sneaked into the IPU. They deliberately remove their diapers and urinate on the sheets; one even defecated on his sheets defiantly grinning at the staff. A final “f— you” act. No, he was fully conscious of his actions and the effect that it has on those caring for him. He was dying from cancer not Alzheimer’s.

Seeing someone die is quite amazing. It is a beautiful experience witnessing the soul leave the body. There can be no doubt that there is life hereafter.

A young woman died in the IPU. She lingered for 8 days. Finally only her mom was left next to her bed gently whispering words of love and encouragement. After she died we prepared her cancer ravished little body for collection by the undertakers. When they arrived I escorted them to her room. She lay there with an angelic smile on her face. I called her mom and said “you have to see this…” When her mom had left her side it was just a tiny little bag of bones that lay there. When her mom next saw her she had this peaceful, angelic smile on her face. Truly a message for heaven for her grief-stricken mother.

I hope that I will be stoic and brave in death. That fear of the “Great Beyond” will not overwhelm me. I hope that I will be dignified and brave in death. I am such a ninny in life.

I Remember Vic


In the rising of the sun and in its going down, I remember her.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, I remember her.
In the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring, I remember her.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, I remember her.
In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn, I remember her.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends, I remember her.
When I am weary and in need of strength, I remember her.
When I am lost and sick at heart, I remember her.
When I have joys I yearn to share, I remember her.
So long as I live, Vic too shall live,
For Vic is a part of me, As I remember her.

I amended the words of this poem written by Rabbis Sylvan Kamens and Jack Riemer from Gates of Prayer, R.B. Gittelsohn

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Stepping Stone’s first death


Vic was the first Stepping Stone Hospice death.

I was clearing up some filing at the office when I came across Vic’s case notes. Tears ran down my cheeks when I read the observation of the Hospice nurse…

21.11.2012:-    Pt gradually getting weak but stable. Pain controlled and up and about

20.12.2012:-    Very weak but stable. Pain controlled

3.1.2013    Pt experiencing obstruction. Started on SD (Syringe Driver). Buscopan, Zantac, morphine over 24 hours. Prognosis short

8.1.2013    Pt seen by Dr Sue, very weak. Actively dying. Not eating or drinking. Vomiting much better. Pt still responsive even in deep sleep. Continue SD

11.1.2013    Pt terminally weak but stable on SD. Actively dying. Family up to speed with progress

18.1.2013    Pt R.I.P this am. Peaceful and comfortable at home

Vic’s suffering had been reduced to a couple of lines. A couple of words. No mention of her vomiting blood or did I forget to mention it to the nurse? No mention of her being unable to breathe because of the pain. “Pain controlled”…

The pain of Vic’s death is as fresh as it was a year, a month and 11 days ago.

We have now lived many Hospice deaths. Some have been friends, some strangers that became friends and some strangers that remained strangers. I feel the pain of the mothers whose daughters died in the In-Patient-Unit. I held them and comforted them, but I could not take their pain away. I tried to prepare them for the emptiness that would follow the funeral…the guilt, the anger, the loneliness.

I know that our Nursing Sisters are compassionate and caring. I know that I would want to die in the Unit. I know the staff will light candles to shield me from the harsh fluorescent light…. I hope that Lorraine Msini will softly sing Amazing Grace as I end my journey on earth. I have truly learnt that death is not the enemy. Living is.

I no longer cry for those who are dying. I cry for the ones who are left behind. I cry for the emptiness I have seen in mothers eyes… the raw, undiluted pain… I know that when I see them in a few months’ time they would have learnt to mask that raw, undiluted pain and emptiness in their eyes.

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Tom Attwater Is Dying. His Daughter Might Die, Too. The Letter He Left For Her Is Unforgettable.


I found this on Len Carver’s Kindness Blog.  This is about a brave young man fighting to keep his daughter alive.  Please repost!  If you can please donate to his worthy cause.  Posted on February 12, 2014 by Kindnessblog Smith

Tom Attwater is dying of a brain tumor, but he isn’t worried about his cancer. Instead, he is trying to save his 5 year-old daughter from her own.

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Tom Attwater with daughter Kelli and wife Joely

He has vowed to raise approximately $820,200.00 for her cancer treatment, even if he wouldn’t be around to see her go through it.

Now Tom is almost half way to his fundraising target he is more adamant than ever to reach it. Tragically his deadline is short as his latest scans show his brain tumour is growing.

He says: “These days people make bucket lists, and the very top of mine – the one that matters most – is raising money to make sure Kelli gets the medical help she might need.

Tom attwater

“Some people have advised me to slow down and concentrate on enjoying the rest of my days. But how can I knowing Kelli’s bright life might be cut short?

“Fundraising is a lot of hard work, especially on days when I feel too poorly to get out of bed. But I honestly feel I can’t relax until I know Kelli can have the best chance of a long and full life. I’ve run out of chances, luck and time but have had a wonderful life. So if I drop dead tomorrow, I know I will have done my best for Kelli.”

Tom and Kelli Attwater

Kelli is only 5 years-old, but she has already beat the disease twice. She is likely to relapse and need treatment in the United States, so Tom is dedicated to leaving a legacy behind for her, as well as this touching letter. Read it below:

Darling Kelli,

I’m so sorry I will not get to see you grow up as I so want to. Please don’t blame people or the world for this. A lot of life is simply luck and mine is running out.

I wish I had the words to make you feel better. I wish I didn’t have cancer and you didn’t have to see me in pain as you often do now. I wish so many things were different but they are not.

Most dads and daughters have decades to chat around the kitchen table, their hands warmed by mugs of coffee, as the dad dishes out advice and their girls no doubt roll their eyes. We don’t have that time. I won’t be able to drop you off on your first day at big school, pick you up after your first date, hold you when your heart hurts or cheer when you graduate.

But while your old dad is still around I thought I’d try to give you some life advice in one go. I hope it gives you some comfort. I hope cancer never returns so that your life is long, fulfilled and happy.

School Everyone will say it’s vital to work hard at school. Hopefully you’ll always do your best. I did well at school but did it do me much good in life? Not really. School work IS important, but make sure you have fun too.

Boys At the moment you don’t make much distinction between girls and boys and see all children as friends. That’s typical of your sweet nature. But Kel, that will change as you get older. You might see them as stinky, pesky classmates in a few years’ time. But, probably at secondary school, you’ll realise they can be quite nice.

You’ll have boyfriends when you’re older – MUCH older hopefully! – and I won’t be here to grill them about their intentions. So here’s some advice from your old man. It’s very hard to describe how it feels to really be in love. You might remember seeing me and your mum laughing together and cuddling on the sofa, and once the love hearts and flowers fade that’s what real love looks like. Have fun finding it.

Always choose boys with gen­tlemanly values, manners and respect. Imag­ine them having tea and a chat with our family around our table and if you think they’ll fit in, you have found a decent young man.

Sadly, you will have your heart broken one day. It hurts like hell and will feel like the end of the world. But you will get over it. And even if a romance doesn’t work out, try to be kind. Boys have feelings too. Lastly, if you have a special boy pal who is always there for you when boyfriends come and go, don’t take him for granted. Don’t overlook him. He might really care for you.

Marriage I often dreamt about your wedding day and imagined filling up with tears as I walked you down the aisle before giving you away. I won’t be able to do that Kelli. Sorry sweetheart. But I will be looking over your shoulder on that day, proud and happy you have found a special someone to love you and care for you.

I wonder if you will play what you call “the family song” (which is really I’ll Be There by The Jackson 5). It meant so much to me and my brother and sister growing up, and I know it does to you too. I’ll be there on your wedding day in spirit.

Mummy You and your mum will argue at times, especially when you’re a teenager. Please remember she adores you and wants the best for you. Give Mummy a hug when she is feeling sad and help each other get through any horrible times when I am gone. When you’re a teenager you might think your friends are right and your mum is wrong. But she has to make hard decisions for you and, more than any friend you’ll ever have, has your interests at heart. Treat her well.

Family Nothing is more important than family and the values they give us. Nothing.

Friends Treat people as they treat you. Be nice to anyone who helps you, always. Bullying is horrible – never become one.

Christmas & birthdays On your first Christmas without me, I’d love if you and Mummy would light a candle and remember me for a few minutes. It would be great if you two did the monkey dance together. Jumping around shaking our bottoms always made us laugh. That’s something to make me smile from up above. I’d also love if you visit my parents on Boxing Day. They will be hurting too.

I’ve given Nanny Sue presents for all your birthdays. I wish I could be there to see you open them. Hopefully you will like everything as it’s hard to imagine you at 10, 15, 20. I wonder if you’ll still like One Direction. I wonder if they’ll still make you dance around the living room.

Career You were two when you told me you wanted to be a “princess astronaut” so you could wear nice dresses and find new planets. You might now realise that’s not possible. But so many things ARE possible for you, darling. Do what makes you happy and that you enjoy. If you do so, life suddenly becomes much, much easier.

You may need to start a few different careers to find the one you enjoy, but so be it. One life, one chance.

Manners Always remember your please and thank-yous. The reason Mummy and I drum manners into you is because they will help you throughout your life. Always be courteous, especially to elders. Never put a knife in your mouth. Remember to write thank-you letters for gifts of kindness as it is always nice to act with grace and gratitude. (And please note that poo jokes are only funny when you are five, you cheeky girl!)

Learn to drive Most dads teach their daughters to drive and usually fall out in the process. Make sure you learn how to drive as soon you can – it opens up the world for you. Also, make sure Mummy doesn’t teach you (just joking, Joely).

Travel abroad It’s a cliche to say travel broadens the mind, but it’s true. See as much of the world as you can. But never on a motorbike (too dangerous).

Be happy You never laugh at 50%: you always laugh at 100%. Your laugh takes over your whole body and is highly infectious. I hope you never lose that. There is no point in asking you not to be sad when I go. I know you will be, princess. And I wish I could be there to wrap my arms around you and snuggle you until you smile again. Remember the Eeyore teddy I bought you from a charity shop? You said you’d keep him safe and cuddle him when you miss me. That’s a great idea. You can feel sad and use it as a driving force throughout your life. Or you can just be sad. You know which one I hope you choose.

Be charitable Please give to charities. Charities have been good to you and I. You’ll probably always remember our trip to Disneyland. But I’ll never forget the sacrifices people made to pay for your healthcare if ever cancer returns. Elderly people sent prayer cards and £10 notes they couldn’t afford. Heads were shaved, miles were run, thousands were raised. All for you. It’s important to pay back. Doing good deeds uplifts the soul. Never forget there are people worse off than you who you can help.

Remember your life motto Always keep trying. You might remember that I taught you to say “giving up is for losers”. I failed a number of times in my life but never gave up. Kelli, never give up.

Believe in yourself In life, many people will say you cannot do things. You make up your mind. Can you? Do you want to? Big challenges involve risks so make smart choices. Those who told me I couldn’t do certain things didn’t want me to do them. If you want something, it is nearly always possible, so do your best. I’m sure there’s a hell of a lot you can achieve!

I know you will make me proud and do something great in my memory. I know you can do it – so let’s start now.

And finally… Thank you for being you, Kelli. Thank you for paying me the biggest compliment of all time by calling me Daddy. Having you as my daughter is the greatest honour of my life. Thank you for teaching me more about love and happiness than any other person.

Enjoy your life. Don’t rush through it. I will be waiting.

All my love, always, to you princess and to Mummy,

Daddy xxxxxxxxxxTom and Kelli AttwaterIf you would like to donate to help save Kelli’s young life, visit her Just Giving page. It’s not fair that Kelli and her mom will be losing Tom so soon… but it’s even worse to know that young Kelli has her own big battles to fight.

Source: Just Giving / Help Kelli

Tom and Kelli Attwater

Please share Tom’s letter with others. Help us spread the word and save Kelli.

Sources: Daily Mirror & ViralFury

One death, one funeral, one dying, one day….


Friday morning, as the first rays of the new day peeped through the clouds, a brave young mother breathed her last breath.  She was surrounded by her mother, her two daughters, her ex-husband and a friend…  Seconds earlier her mom was whispering words of love to her.  Telling her it is okay to go… Friday afternoon I attended the funeral of another brave young mother who had died at Stepping Stone.  She died with her mom and Hospice volunteers next to her bed.  Earlier we had sung for her, prayed for her… Her family could not bear to see her dying and abandoned her and her mom in her final days.  This brave young woman had a beautiful smile on her lips when the undertakers arrived to remove her cancer ravished body. At the funeral pink balloons were sent into the sky

balloons

Friday evening I stood in the room of a father and husband who was dying.  The youngest son sitting slumped in a chair.  His eyes red and swollen.  At the foot end of the bed a stepson smelling of alcohol.  “Had a couple of beers tonight Pop.  At least four for you” he said. “He was a man’s man.  He came home drunk every night of his life.  He lived his life!  He provided well for my mom.  He worked and played hard.” he said with admiration in his voice… My thoughts went back to earlier that day when the dying man’s wife tried to hug him. “F…. off… F…. off” he told her.  His wife wept for him.  She stayed with him.  She will mourn for him.

Silent Grief – Child Loss Support


I am reblogging these beautiful words.  Beautiful?  Yes, this was articulated beautifully.  Grief is raw.  Grief is hard. Clara turns grief words into poetry.  But there is nothing poetic or beautiful about grief.  Grief is horrible.  
I await the new rays of sunrise… I hope that today I will feel comfort.
Jan28
There is something so hopeful about a sunrise. When we are in deep, inconsolable grief from child loss, often we can’t sleep. We worry, cry, feel isolated and so alone, and grow more anxious by the minute. Sometimes it helps to watch the dawn of a new day arrive — maybe, just maybe, this will be the day our heart feels some much needed comfort. Sunrises, rainbows, butterflies, puffy white clouds, clear blue skies, blooming flowers…….signs from heaven, some would say! And, that’s what every parent and family of child loss needs — some sort of comforting sign from heaven letting us know our child is safe! God bless every family grieving the loss of their precious child today with some much-needed comfort and hope!