Sunday 24 March 2013

Chloe's celebration of life

Photo: Beautiful service, thank you for all the joy you brought us Chloe

We had a beautiful celebration of life for our beautiful daughter Chloe yesterday.  Truly amazing really.
A few things really helped in making this a celebration.  We had her cremated separately and then had the ashes blessed and buried.  We also left almost four weeks before the day she died and the celebration.  Pros and cons to this but overall think it meant we could focus on Chloe's life rather than just her death.  We were all just that tiny bit less raw.

Chloe's young friends were amazing: Sarah, Olivia, Rosie, Sophia and big Clo.  My earth daughter Hannah too - just wonderful.  Absolutely 100s of friends and family gathered showing how many people Chloe had touched by her young life.  I am so very proud to be her Mother and felt so supported by all the amazing people there.

Now back to the quiet and the real business of grief, loss and mourning.  I expect a huge dip in emotions after the activity of the celebrations.  Now the real brutal reality of no Chloe to wake up in the morning, no Chloe to take tablets to, no Chloe to snuggle up in bed with.  Just no Chloe.

So on with the journey of how to live without my daughter, my best friend, my inspiration.

I would love anybody else who has faced bereavement in anyway to post here - a discussion on grief would be good. Parents like me feel hugely isolated in our grief - its seems way beyond the normal boundaries of life.  Grief at this level is a whole new world to me and I have seen other parents absolutely crippled by this level of grief.  How does one start to live with the sadness, how to you find hope in the pit of despair?  Any comments gratefully received.

Also please and really appreciate you commenting on the story and you sharing your memories of Chloe.  As you will see Chloe's treatment options were limited and we faced many obstacles to getting her the right treatment at the right time.  Most especially she was denied a promising new treatment as she was 4 months short of her 18th birthday.  A campaign is being launched to try and ensure that other young people don't have to face the same obstacles that our family did with our beloved Chloe.  Please support us with this. xxxx


  1. Dear Debbie,

    As you know, we lost our dear son Blair on July 29,2012. I still cry even typing those words. It is simply the worst kind of sorrow to bear.

    I too felt like a ship adrift without the constant schedule of pills, doctor's visits, blood transfusions etc. We lived in a crisis mode for so long that the gaps of quiet time that followed Blair's death felt and still feel strange. I do notice that I am finding ways to fill that void by doing some of the things that I enjoy and did not have time for before the Ewings Interloper appeared. Perhaps, having an interest in these things is a sign that I am healing a bit. I encourage you to try to pick up something pleasurable to do that you have not had time for in the past because sweet Chloe needed your help.

    You have suffered the trauma of losing your beloved daughter AND the all of the trauma associated with trying to fight a miserable beast of a cancer.I find that I am now able to sort through some of the emotions that I did not have the time or energy to deal with when we were in the emergency room or the hospital. I can cry openly now because I do not need to be brave for my son anymore. That is in some ways a relief. So cry if you need to. Cry and cry and cry. You have earned the right to do whatever healthy thing you need to do as you work through your grief. And it is work.

    Blair gave me a beautiful framed copy of the Serenity Prayer before he died. I find saying that prayer to be helpful. I think that was Blair's way of giving me some good advice. Perhaps the words of that prayer will give you comfort as well.

    Please know that someone far away, is thinking of you, praying for you and wishing you peace.

    Suzanne Petry

  2. My dearest Suzanne, I remember you and Blair very well. I followed your story. Thanks so much for sharing your feelings - just the act of sharing makes me feel less alone.
    I know exactly what you mean. When we are caring there is a purpose in each day - whatever do we do with all that time afterwards. So easy to fill it with despair and sadness. But my Chloe, and your Blair I'm sure, would be furious with us wasting our lives like that. I can hear Chloe saying "Mum get a life and stop obsessing about me and cancer". She was so feisty, so funny. So I really like your advice on trying to re-connect with those things that we used to enjoy doing. I've forgotten what they are for now - but v good advice.
    Please keep in touch Suzanne and thanks so much for sharing xxxxx