Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

Time Heals

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.  


A Beautiful Life

Pippa’s short, beautiful life has ended.

She passed peacefully this morning surrounded, cuddled and held by those who loved her the most and whom she loved the most – James, Patrick and Mummy – whilst listening to her relaxing reiki music.

On Wednesday she had her teacher aide come for school at home and focussed on maths.  She then went to school and after that to the hydrotherapy swimming pool for an hour where she was determined to walk to the hydraulic chair and get out of the pool all by herself on her own – “you can take the stairs mummy,” she said.  She did.  She played puzzle games with a special friend who called in for a surprise visit before dinner.

On Thursday it was, cold, wet and windy.  Pippa, played games, did school at home for an hour again and then we spent the rest of the day watching movies and eating Easter Eggs.  Other than being tired with a bit of a sore throat and a runny nose she was very happy.  She ate, drank and communicated clearly.

Her rapid decline started at 7pm Thursday evening.  She has been cuddled, held, massaged and kissed like never before.  She has been cared for around the clock by her wonderful medical staff who have, at the same time, cared for James, Patrick and me.  She has listened to chapter after chapter of the Magical Far Away Tree.  Early in the day when she was able to, she watched episodes of Modern Family with James, Patrick and me lying together in bed with her laughing.  She has listened to music.  She has looked at photos of her kindred friend getting ready for her deb ball.  She has not been left alone for one minute.  Friday was also earring day – the first day she could change her earrings after getting her ears pierced on her birthday.  She wore her beautiful flower ear rings that look so pretty.  She has them in again today after making sure we put her real gold “sleepers” in for sleeping last night.

We have been able to say goodbye beautifully.

The last thing Pippa did on Friday evening was to open her eyes for the last family visits including a return visit late at night from Tony.  “My Tony” as she called him when she was little.  She also used her eyes and her right hand to communicate a few instructions to her doctors, nurses and me before going back to sleep.

Pippa is now climbing the Faraway Tree exploring magical lands.  She will be “Legs Eleven” forever.  She was beautiful in life and as she lies in her bed now surrounded by and holding her favourite teddies she is still absolutely beautiful.

That beauty and spirit of hers will live on forever.


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