Five years

It’s five years since Tilly was born. Sadly that also means it is five years since we said goodbye. 

Five feels like something of a milestone – half a decade. It’s a significant chunk of time. In that time, so many things in our lives have changed. We’ve moved house, we’ve welcomed Oscar into our family, we’ve brought Teddy into it, and both Charlotte and I have changed jobs.

But on 26 May, and the days preceding it, we’re transported back five years. Tilly is rarely far from my thoughts, but around this time, she’s a greater presence. Her image, ingrained in my memory, becomes stronger.

I changed jobs a little under a year ago. This means I am now working with people that didn’t know me when we lost Tilly. Yesterday I explained to some of them why today is special to me, and why I am off work. It was emotional, but I appreciated the opportunity to share our story and to ensure that Tilly’s memory lives on. 

I also appreciated a new colleague and friend sharing his own story. That’s an important reminder that at some point or other, everyone is going through their own challenges. 

However, I was surprised and a little saddened to realise that while I could remember the chapters of our story very clearly, some of the details escaped me. That’s when I thought of my blog and realised how glad I was to have recorded my memories of that strange time.

Charlotte has made a beautiful birthday cake for Tilly’s memory. Teddy was looking at it with excitement yesterday. Charlotte explained that it was for Tilly’s birthday. He knows that’s his big sister and that she’s not here. But yesterday was the first time that she told him that Tilly was dead. We don’t want her to be a mythical presence.

Teddy’s response? “Oh that’s sad, mummy. The cake will make her better and she’ll be able to blow out the candles.” It brought a tear to our eyes and a smile to our faces.

Today we’re going to find a pretty, quiet spot for a picnic and to light a candle on the cake. And either the wind or Teddy will blow the candle out. 

As always, thanks so much to everyone who has shared kind words, birthday cards or even sent gifts. It means so much to know that we’re not the only ones who remember Tilly’s short time with us. 

Published by Ian Curwen

Communications professional and a bit of a foodie that wants to travel more. Sharing my observations on life.

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