Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

Time Heals

on March 28, 2017

Nope, it doesn’t!  

It may to some people.  It may in some circumstance.  Not me.  Not mine.  Time does not heal. Yes, things change, I have needed to reenter “life” but it will never be a carefree, life as I knew it before (everything now is time-lined to before, during or after) and there is always a shadow. My life now will always be fraught with obstacles and hurdles I need to get over; for want of a better word, milestones.  Some I see coming like a freight train.  They’re the obvious ones – the anniversary, the birthday, anyone’s birthday, Christmas, school years…  Others, hit you like a tonne of bricks when you least expect it.  A dog that follows you and then, when you bend down to look at it’s tag, you see it’s called Pippa.  A girl in the street wearing an exact same outfit as her.  A song on the radio.  A phrase.  A sound.  A smell.  Finding something you don’t expect in a cupboard…

It’s a farce to think you only have to make it through the first 12 months.  I think people tell you this to make themselves feel better.  “Once you get through the first year you’ll be right.”  Wrong.  They want to believe that once that first year is over you’ve gone through everything you need to.  It’s not true.  It all just keeps coming. And coming.  In fact, I made the mistake to assume that because I had made it through one birthday I could make it through another.  I couldn’t.  It was worse.  The second birthday without Pippa seemed to bring with it validation.  Reality that there was never ever going to be another birthday with her.  No birthday cuddles, smiles, kisses.  Nothing.  Ever.

Her second anniversary was today.  I felt physically sick and worse as the day went on.  The anxiety in the pit of my stomach just wouldn’t shift no matter how many deep calming breaths I took.  Then there’s everything else.  The primary school graduation.  That was hard – I didn’t function outside of it for the whole week.  The day where she should have started year 7 but didn’t.  Special occasions for James and Patrick where Pippa should be there, bossing them around and most importantly giving them proud little-sister hugs.  This is all just going to go on for ever.  The chasm is never going to close.  Today she’s missing from birthdays and school functions, in years to come she’ll be missing from weddings and births.  And everywhere in between are going to be all the unexpected heartaches that catch me when I’m least prepared.  It’s never going to end.

I don’t think it’s time that heals, it’s just a new kind of life.  A life without Pippa and it still hurts every single day.  I took flowers over to her memorial seat this morning and left them with a note.  I didn’t have to think for one second what to write on that note, I just used Pippa’s very own words:

“Every Second…Every Minute…Every Hour…Every Day…”

It doesn’t change.  Time can’t heal this pain.


I have not written here for a while.  Why? Because I tried to write for other reasons.  Reasons that weren’t intrinsic, reasons that were not based on what naturally flowed out of my fingers onto the keyboard.  Thus, I just stopped.  I thought as time had passed then I had to change why I was writing.  I was wrong.  So wrong.  Instead, words have piled up and up in my mind bursting at the seams to get out.  

I could write in a journal or just on a computer document, but I like doing it here.  Im not sure why here is different, but it is.  I can see that a lot of people still visit to read my posts or to see if I’ve posted anything new.  When I first started writing this blog I was just using it as a form of communication.  Now it seems to have become more than that.  I don’t mind that people from all over the world read my posts, that organisations refer other families to my blog.  I am glad to help and I am grateful for all the messages I have received from all over the globe both when I was continually writing and also those encouraging me to start writing again.  

Yes, I still wrote but not on here. One piece I wrote I will post here because it needs to be read by thousands of people.  Words and tears flowed in unison.  It was written for the right reason and that reason is simply to convey it to as many people as I can that may find themselves in a similar situation.  I hope that I can influence others to do what we did so when I post it, share it, please.  

Writing cleanses me and is far more beneficial to me than time. It is an important part of my calamity.  Sometimes, when I knew I really needed to cry but the tears felt like they were stuck, I would type a post and out they would flow.  It would make me feel so much better.  Exhausted, but better.  

I’m going back to writing for the right reasons.  My reasons.  

19 responses to “Time Heals

  1. E says:

    Can only ever be ‘the right reasons’ xox
    love to all Pippa’s family and friends xox

  2. Nicki Booth says:

    Dear Virginia, your words have such power and clarity … Pippa will never be forgotten and her beautiful soul will be remembered by us forever. Thinking of you, James and Patrick today and so many other days. Love, Nicki, Ian, Tom, Maddy and Rosie xxxxx

  3. kathy lochead says:

    Thinking of you all today, yes it is still very much there, especially when in uk we have all the lovely daffodils in bloom, our whole garden is alive with Pippa, love to you all, Kathy and Tony xx

  4. Narelle Hill says:

    Virginia your words break my heart, but I am one of those who has found some comfort reading them. I am glad you are going to keep writing. I think of you, Pippa & James &. Patrick often. Xx💔😘🌹

  5. melbritton says:

    Love you Ginny…lots and lots and lots and lots xxx

    • Cathy Leembruggen says:

      ❤️ You’ve said it all – perfectly as usual. Such acute pain, never ending; it’s so unfair. Pippa will never be forgotten. She lives on in our thoughts and memories. Lots of love to you all. xxxx

  6. Kerri Bilson says:

    Always in my thoughts. Beautifully articulated words as per usual. Heartbreaking but therapuetic.
    Love to you and the boys xxx

  7. Kylie says:

    Virginia, you can almost feel the writing helping you deal with such grief. I’m glad you are writing again for
    your reasons – and it is a gift for so many.
    Missing Pippa. xxx
    Love, Kylie

  8. Belinda says:

    Keep strong. They are all signs from Pippa that she is still with you and loves you. Sending love and light your way.

  9. Flic says:

    Lots of love to all of you ❤️😢

  10. Meredith Shaw says:

    An involuntary gasp leapt out when I read “Nope it doesn’t”. Of course not, how could it??

  11. Ellen Webb says:

    Hi Virginia

    I know all too well how it keeps hurting. It’s been 20 years, and sometimes it still feels fresh. My life was enriched by my beautiful son, for the short time he was here, and in the years after. He is still a big part of my life, as we work to raise funds and awareness to help eradicate childhood cancer.

    Big hugs.

  12. Diane says:

    It was touching to read your email.Our loved ones are always with us everyday and for this we are so lucky.God bless. Diane

  13. liv colquhoun says:

    that was so nice, I hope your doing okay and so is James and Patrick it was a sad day for all of us on Tuesday. Stay strong I hope to see you soon xx

  14. Joy says:

    Keep writing…just like we all keep remembering! Never forgotten Pippa!! Thinking of you all x

  15. I agree. Time does not heal, especially when it comes to the deep grief following the death of a child.

  16. Jenni Schmidt says:

    Dear Virginia, i feel so sorry for your painful loss ftom your loved daughter and sunshine Pippa. I want to ask with respect if i can send a personal card? Hugs, love and prayers from Germany

  17. sam says:

    Stay strong

  18. Kay says:

    We met at RCH, your Pippa and my Toby… he so loved Pippa’s ballooons! I’ve read this blog since we met… xox

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