Yesterday, The Pebble Garden raised £71.64 for Winston's Wish in Louise's memory, despite it being a very quiet day in Skipton! I am always touched by the number of people who care enough to buy pebbles, it is what inspires me to keep going when it is raining outside. Thank you to everyone.
I also have some very exciting news: I have arranged to run a Pebble Garden stall from Wynchcombe Country Show! This is a family friendly event in Gloucestershire, featuring a procession and many craft stalls amongst other wonderful things. If you know anyone who is in the Gloucester area on 27th August, please let them know!
A few days ago I shared with you what it is like to be an identical twin. Today I hope to share my experience of losing Louise. I remember at the time it felt like half of the world had fallen away, like there was a physical emptiness which threatened to engulf me. That has never gone away, even ten years later. There is a strange, bright white area which I cannot quite see but which occupies about half of the world in which I live. It never leaves me, and is an intrinsic part of the person I am, yet it has never really been mine. I guess it is the empty space that should be filled by Louise.
|Our first day of school (Louise left)|
This feeling of a physical absence is often consuming. Sometimes, I feel like it is going to devour me. I could drown in the absence of my sister, I want to wrap myself up in the places that should have been hers. But I can't. As I have said before, those dimensions are Louise's, and though grief is my own I cannot fill her world.
After the accident, I started to try to be more like Louise. My favorite colour became yellow, where previously it had been pink. Louise had always done better than me at school, but I pushed myself to excel. I started to grow my hair long like hers. Not only was I aware that I was becoming more like her, it was a conscious decision. I missed her so much, I hoped that by being like her I could somehow bring her back. I knew that my mum missed Louise, she was sad. Me and Louise were twins, people got us confused. Maybe if I was like Louise it would make Mummy happy. I thought I had to be like her to keep her alive.
Now I realise that I don't need to be like Louise to keep her alive: she lives on in my heart. Instead, I remember her through The Pebble Garden. I want to build something beautiful in this world so that her beautiful life continues to have an impact on others, because she was such a caring girl.
My individuality from Louise is another issue which I have to deal with, and is amplified by my existence as a lone twin. However, it is a factor which has only come into play in recent years, so I will discuss it in more detail later. For several years I buried myself in trying to be like Louise, my sister, the little girl with a big heart.