Tuesday, 26 February 2008

remembering Josie

Today is a sad day.

It will have been one year since my beautiful niece died at the age of 16.

She was a gorgeous girl with the most wonderful soul.The kind of person that touches your heart with their unselfishness and love and an amazing zest for life.

Josie died of leukaemia.

She fought until the end, having had 2 bone marrow transplants, but when there was no treatment left to have and she new she wasn't going to see another year, she decided that instead of spending her last few months in and out of hospitals, she wanted to spend time with her family, giving them happy memories and trying to take their minds off the inevitable. Their minds.

Saying goodbye to this darling girl was the hardest thing Ive ever had to do in my life. I wanted to hug her tiny fragile body so hard that I would absorb her into mine.What do you say when you leave someone knowing that it would be the last time you would see them? what words do you use..take care? see you soon? hope you feel better soon? there is nothing you can say its so hard. Josie would get upset if you cried, she felt bad that she was making people unhappy. Endlessly, she thought of others.

The day she died, strangely my mantlepiece clock stopped at the the exact time of her death.(it took me months to pick up the courage to alter the time) My other sister had a red mark appear on her chest in the most perfect shape of a heart and a few weeks later I had a beautiful dragonfly land on my arm whilst in the garden, totally out of season..I froze before bursting into tears. .

They played puff daddy's 'I'll be missing you' at her funeral and each of us laid a single sunflower by her tiny white woven casket. I didn't think it was possible to cry that much.

Darling Josie, our hearts broke that day but we know you're around trying to help us fix them back together... we miss your funny tales and that beautiful face, but we think of you everyday. xx

Give your son/daughter/ loved one a hug today. A big hug.

Josies charity

Dragonfly song written for josie by Jane armstrong (YouTube);

Josie talking on the BBC News;


  1. I found it impossible to hold back the tears whilst reading through this lovely tribute to your niece. I find it hard to comprehend why life can be so cruel, and to find a reason why such beautiful people are taken away from us. What a brave girl she was to make a decision of how to spend her last few months. I believe that people live on in us in many different ways, something reminds us of them every day, and they are never far from our thoughts. I am so sorry for your loss. x

  2. I am so sorry to read about your incredible loss...what a beautiful girl.
    Thank you for sharing the story, makes you look at life differently, and you are right - give our loved ones a hug.
    Life is so precious.

  3. What a beautiful, inspirational and courageous girl she was. Life can be so terribly cruel, I'll be thinking of you all today.
    Julia xx

  4. This is so very, very sad, I'm sorry for the loss of Josie.

  5. How are you feeling?
    Josie looks beautiful - inside and out. I went over to the dragonfly website and was very moved.
    Sometimes we wonder how such incredible people can be taken from us. Well just look at everything she achieved through raising funds to help others with cancer, if she hadnt have been ill herself then maybe she wouldnt have had the chance to help so many others. There is blessing in everything, and i really hope that josie is smelling the sweet scent of paradise for everything which she did before she passed away.

  6. A big hug for you. She has such elphin, fairylike beauty. Her soul shines through and how lovely it is. How lucky her family were to have her... and how hard to let go. Love ...Pam

  7. Wow!! What a beautiful person. My sisters boyfriend died of a brain tumor at the age of 21, it was such an incredibly painful time. Both my sister and mum have had many instances where they have felt he was still around, a special link.
    I have just been over to her site and the dragon fly she designed is stunning.. I understand how crucial that moment must of been for you.
    Big hugs to you and your family.

  8. Ive just found you via Vintage Heaven, your niece was a beautiful, corageous and strong girl, I remember reading about her, she is truly an ispiration to live life to the full like she did. I bet you and your family were so proud of her.
    I love your blog and your kitchen is so cute, I love your style. I bet its hard if you have your two teenage boys in there with you searching for food, I have three plus a stepson and they are constantly getting in my way in my kitchen....Claire x

  9. thanks everyone for your messages..she was indeed a gorgeous girl..I always thought she had the look of Natalie Portman about her, especially before she lost her hair..She was in the papers lots last year..having only done one interview(the papers share stories apparently) it went crazy and she was even on the BBC news..I think she helped a lot of people going through the same thing..and like my sister said..she's going to be a really cool angel!

  10. I just happened upon your lovely blog today. From deep in my heart I want to thank you for sharing your story about Josie. What an inspiration. I will go about my day with greater appreciation now. Thank you so much!

  11. Hi, I found this post so touching that I have linked to it from my blog, I hope that is ok.

    Thanks for sharing such a difficult time in your life with us.

    Racheal x

  12. Wow, what a special young lady! I am so sorry for your loss and hope you find comfort in the messages from her (the clock stopping, the dragonfly, etc.) saying she is OK.

    My mother-in-law died 2 years ago and one week later, when we were so sad to be without her on Mother's Day, a hot pink (her favorite color) azalea bush we'd never seen before bloomed in vibrant color in our woods. My brother-in-law died about 6 weeks ago and there was a huge rainbow in the sky the next day. They are ok, I am sure, and will greet us when we get there.

  13. I am sorry this is such a belated comment..
    I have only just read this post..
    It moved me considerably and I can only imagine your loss and that of her parents and family.
    What a beautiful. eloquent and courageous young woman and how cruel is life to take hers away at such a young age.
    To lose someone you love it heartbreaking but she will live on like a beacon in your lives..


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