I’ve been reminded – yet again – this week, that you never know what is around the next corner. Our grasp on life is simultaneously tenuous and tenacious. People survive the seemingly insurmountable and are lost to the prosaic. There are so many things that we give our time and energy to; petty issues that in five years time won’t matter anyway. What is it that does matter, at the end of the day? Ask yourself that and find your own answer and direct your energy towards it.
Live and laugh and love today because tomorrow is never certain and yesterday is gone. You cannot go back, however much you want to and nothing will make tomorrow come sooner, no matter how you wish it. The here and now, that’s all we have for sure. Trust me when I say that seizing the day is not something you want to learn the hard way but none of us come through life unscathed. The difference, it seems to me, is how we carry on.
To not become bitter and twisted and closed. To keep myself open and trusting. To not live my life in anger and hatred – these have been conscious choices. They are bloody hard work, but they are so worth it, you guys.
After my Daughter Number One died, as I’ve said before, I felt strongly that her friends were as much her family as we were. At fourteen she had started establishing her autonomy and independence from us – her friends were her family by choice, her family of the heart if not the blood.
I wanted to involve and include them as much as I could. They were so young, oh god, how young and for most it was their first brush with death. But they were so brave and honoured my Daughter so beautifully. Some of them, thirteen and fourteen years old, spoke at her funeral. We had the largest chapel. As the media had violated my Daughter and all who loved her so much already I refused to feed the beast by putting out a public funeral notice. I left it to word of mouth and the chapel was packed, even the aisles filled with people standing. And her friends, they came dressed in bright colours and comforted each other and spoke of their love for my Daughter in front of the hundreds of people present.
This year it will be ten years since we lost my Daughter. Can you believe it, interweb? I know it must be true and yet, how can it be? But there it is. And I was thinking of my Daughter, and where she’d be, what she would be doing and I thought – as I often do – of her friends and I wondered what they were doing too. So, I decided to find out and I created a facebook page and, again, left it to word of mouth, and they came. They came and we shared and I heard where they were in their lives, and how my Daughter’s death had changed them, inspired them, and how they carried her in their hearts and how they loved her still.
My daughter was fourteen years old when she died but the legacy she left is enormous. She loved, she laughed and she lived, every damn minute she could.
I hope her friends won’t mind me posting some of their words here. They are just too amazing to keep to myself. And I am just too proud a Mum not to want to share them. My Daughter, she was amazing. So are her friends.
Its Amazing to think it has been 10 years, and its been such a journey Life has never been quite the same and I always wonder every now and then “What if” Its amazing how little things make me stop in my tracks a Photo, a memory, A song, a date, a location sign and an emotion…which is as strong today, Its like there embedded in us all to never forget.
There are so many amazing meomories The first Day of school I was so nervous and shy I had my first english class I had a seat hoping someone would come and sit with me and in walked sam, gemma, sarah and ben (dilbert) and instantly I was at ease. I remeber our first drama class and sam appreciated my No fear no boundaries rule with acting 🙂 Although she always laughed when I made a fool out of myself she never held back anything, I remeb…er her going all the way to sydney to get an agent and being so jelous of her and openly telling her how cool what she was doing was, I remeber her love of reading even at one of Morgans crazy Parties she sat comfortably in the corner reading, I remeber our train Trips with the most fondnest doing her hair and make-up dreaming of the day we would all travel to queensland for a Road trip, I remeber the first time I met harley and there Amazing bond it was like no other they had such an amazing love for each other that I truley believe no-one could compare to even now 🙂 I guess the Only memories I wish I didnt have were after the phone call, Everyones lifes have been so affected and I only now feel like Im finally in the place I wanted to be in I still find it amazing how when something is going wrong Im still always asking Sam to help me out But the Most Amazing thing I still Find is that everyone who is affected by this all of us will always share a Special Bond and that will last all our lives no matter where we go what we do, this will always be what unites us all. Xxx
Like everyone else has said,it doesnt feel like ten years since we lost sam. We were part of the same group, but i didnt know her as well as some other people. My fondest memory of her was drama class, especially rehursing for our very last performance together. I remember her always taking charge.. and knowing just what would work best…
When we found out she was gone everyone came back to my house to wait for their parents as it was the closest, and we sat for hours crying together, telling stories and trying to come to grips with everything. Every now and then she just pops into my head, and somtimes i smile and somtimes i still cry. Knowing that her family is doing ok has really been of great comfort to me 🙂 Like XXXXXXX said, she was inspirational to so many people, then and now 🙂
Every day of high school, Sam and I caught the same bus from XXXXXX to XXXXXXX station. Sitting in the same seats every day, we constantly poked fun at each other. Today, every time I get that bus to the train station I think of her. I sit in the same seat and laugh about the hilarious times we had. She was a very special girl.
Sometimes I think I see Sam, I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. She really was such a kind hearted young girl. X
Everytime there’s a pivotal stage that I reach – the formal, finishing the HSC, going to Uni, finding lovers, loosing lovers, graduating, travelling abroad, moving out of home, getting my first real paypacket.. I think “where would she be now?”.
We are parents, spouses, workers, students, graduates, travellers, dreamers, wanderers… and many more things..
She would be and could have experienced all of these things.
She is the reason and the catalyst that everyone who knew her, all reach and yearn for something more, and the betterment of everyone around them.
There is no greater legacy than that.