20 years simply feels surreal. How can it possibly be 20 years since I last saw her face, kissed her goodnight, caressed her chubby cheek?
Time is both a gentle friend and an unwelcome guest. Yes, time has helped ease the pain and the utter desolation that comes with new, raw grief no longer completely engulfs you. But time also blurs the edges of your memories.
As with all our memories, some things can be recalled easily, while other memories are less pronounced and when you lose your child at a young age, you have less memories to hold onto, but time still cruelly blurs them indiscriminately.
What I have learnt though, is that while I have the memories of my life with Bree and what made her the bright spark that she was, if those memories aren’t shared, those memories die with me. Last year I heard a quote by Terry Pratchett, “No one truly dies while their name is still being spoken” and it bangs around in my head now like a loud drum.
I have never really shared Bree’s story, everything about her existence that made her my beautiful, unique child. I now need other people to know her too. It feels strange to be doing it after 20 years, but it also feels completely terrifying and overwhelming. How do you suddenly open up a box of memories that has been locked away for so long, when there is so much emotion attached to it? But the more I have been talking about her lately, as much as I am crying way more at the moment, Bree feels more alive to me than she has since she passed away.
To acknowledge the 20 year anniversary this year, I will be walking the Camino Trail and sharing my journey, while sharing stories of Bree. Hopefully, while on this emotional journey, I can achieve my goal of raising $8,000 for The Compassionate Friends.
Please follow my journey so I can introduce you to my beautiful Bree.