Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

A New School Year

on February 1, 2016

I guess milestones, particularly those in the first 12 months, are going mean that I will inevitably get asked the same question over and over again.  That’s OK.  I know that it means people care.  I’ve come to understand that and instead of twisting and churning inside I simply answer the best I can at the time.  It’s still hard and I understand that it’s just as hard for other people to speak to me because I know they don’t know what to say and are scared of saying the wrong thing.  That’s OK too.  I don’t mind.  The best thing to say is to actually say something about Pippa.  Knowing that others do not forget her and also have fond memories is the best comfort I can receive.

How did I manage the Christmas and New Year period?  Well, yes, it was difficult.  We ran away to WA to my sister, brother-in-law and adult nieces.   That was the right place to be.  In fact, Christmas Day was manageable.  Of course there were tears and a lot of them.  In fact, at one point I looked around and the whole lot of us were crying.  I had prepared and strategised in the lead up and I think that helped get through what was a very difficult day.  Pippa loved Christmas.  She always methodically wrote Christmas cards.  She was chief present wrapper and decorator.  Just like any little girl.  She especially loved it when Christmas was at our house.  Boy did she have James and Patrick organised!

What I wasn’t prepared for though was halfway between Christmas and New Year.  That’s when it really hit me.  I’d managed Christmas Day but then what?  A new year was on it’s way and I would be starting it without Pippa.  With one less person in our family.  What did I have to look forward to?  What did I have to celebrate?  Neither an old year passed nor a new year coming.  You see, I didn’t want 2015 to end because it was the last year I was ever going to have a living memory of Pippa.  2016 or any year to come was never going to give me that.  I felt like that from now on each new year will just leave her further and further behind.  Over the holidays there were so many tragic deaths of children.  My heart went out to every one of those parents.  People often say to me they cannot imagine what I am going through.  I honestly don’t think there could ever be anything more painful than losing your child.

Now I find myself at a new school year.  A year that Pippa should be in year 6, excited about being a leader at school and looking forward to secondary school next year.  I try not to think about that but last week I had to go into school to collect Pippa’s tub.  Yes, you would think I had done that ages ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it last year.  I thought I would be OK because I had been to every day of school with her so there wouldn’t be any surprises.  I was wrong.  In the box along with her books and pencil case was her school report which had been put together with beautiful messages and pictures from her classmates.  A report that not only reflected Pippa’s ability academically, but showed me again how much she meant to everyone else and the incredible person she was.

Now everyone is back to school.  Parents shed tears as their children start prep, others swell with pride as theirs start secondary school, some are nervous that they will miss theirs terribly as they send them off to boarding school and Pippa’s classmates become the big grade six leaders of their school.  James and Patrick head into year 10 and year 8 but Pippa goes nowhere.  Patrick is not my youngest.  I will never get to send my youngest child off anywhere.  She’s already gone and she will never come home.  Not at the end of the day like most school children nor the end of the term like the boarders.

Pippa is never ever going to or coming home from school again.

13 responses to “A New School Year

  1. Meredith Shaw says:

    I was relieved to hear from you Virginia, I wait for your blogs but would understand if we never heard from you again……. myself, I think I would run for the hills and hide. Hide from the pain written all over me. But you, Virginia, you don’t hide, you teach the rest of us through your own pain what its like on the other side – you make us see and understand what most other people don’t know. Thank you for putting it into words, I understand and feel every bit of it and the rest of us should be grateful you are willing to teach us. xxx

  2. Sandra Rowbottom says:

    Oh Gini, My heart goes out to you. Sending you the biggest of hugs, Mo xxxx

    — Nu Nu Restaurant 1 Veivers Road Palm Cove QLD 4879 Email mo@nunu.com.au Telephone 0448 779 637


  3. Linda Lippens says:

    Don’t know how to make your pain go away, but know that I think you and parents like you are the bravest – just know that Pippa will never be forgotten – let me know if there’s anything I can do

  4. Narelle Hill says:

    Dear Virginia,
    You are often in my thoughts. Ironically this morning as I jumped back into the car feeling sad ,
    I thought of you & how heavy your heart would be today. You are an amazing person & Mother. Take care xx😘😘😘

  5. Lisa Spence says:

    I have been thinking of you very often Virginia, James and Patrick. You’re always in my thoughts and prayers. Sending love and hugs xxx

  6. Flic says:

    Sending love and hugs xx

  7. Graham Morley says:

    Dear Virginia,
    You are so brave and we think of you so often. We often talk about Pippa with Lucy and our other children and she will always have a special place in our hearts and we knew her for such a short time. You along with Patrick and James are just amazing and we can only imagine what horrible pain you must go through. She was such a beautiful girl and so loved by everyone. You are all an amazing family and we love reading and seeing pictures you post.
    Love to you all. Kath and Graham Morley x

  8. Emma Crichton says:

    very nice, take care x

  9. Clare Stacey says:

    Dear Virginia, Thankyou for reminding me and reminding others that although our lives go on you have special times and memories to gather up on your own. I will always remember that gorgeous smile and although I don’t see you very often or say very much to you, know that you and Pippa are often in my thoughts. I read somewhere that the ‘firsts’ are always difficult, which I found out when my Mum died 9 years ago and her first birthday without her. It does get easier to remember the good and store away the bad.

  10. Kathleen Lochead says:

    Thank you for sending us your lovely e-mail, it always is lovely to hear from you and your family.
    I do not think there is a day in our lives without thinking of you all in Oz. Everytime and everywhere we go, we always try to find a church or sometimes a cathedral and light a candle for Pippa. This time it was about two weeks ago while we were on holiday in Tenerife. Thank you for continuing to let us into your lives, and send all our best wishes and love to you all.

  11. Anna Wilson says:

    As I left home for the first day of school, I thought of Pippa. Oh, how I miss her so much. She was my sunshine, my moonlight, my shining star … and my best friend. A tear came to my eye as I thought, but then I realised, Pippa wouldn’t want for me to be sad. She would want me to be able to think of her and smile or laugh, at the happy memories of her, and the fun times we’d had. So that’s what I did. I thought of all the fun times we’d had and the games we’d played. They’re all permanently in my memories, and engraved in my heart forever.

    Every day, my heart is still melting, but I find a memory of Pippa that makes me smile. She is my motivation to keep going, and my strength to be happy. Everyday and moment is hard but I keep going … for Pippa. My thoughts are with you; Virginia, James, Patrick and Nibbles. Love Anna xo

  12. Joy says:

    Virginia, I hope you always know what an enormous footprint Pippa has left on the hearts of all of us who knew her! There is no way she could ever be forgotten! I think of her so often….and you and the boys! I can’t possibly understand how it is to lose a child and I hope I never can! But I like to think she made the world a better place ( and all of us better, more thoughtful people) by the light she bought to all who knew her. I hope it gives you some comfort to know that you and the boys are in so many people’s thoughts and that we all wish the best for you. And of course, I believe Pippa walks beside you everyday giving you the strength to go on! To know Pippa was a privilege and one I am forever grateful for! Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts with us all. Joy xxoo

  13. Emma Mclaren says:

    I miss her so much and everyday I am dreading and I shed some tears as I go ahead and think she wouldn’t want me to be sad she would want me to laugh and think about the memories I had with her😘😘xx ur thoughts are in my prayers👍😩💋
    Lots of love from Emma

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