On August 19th 2010, my husband and I were enjoying a short break away. My sister rang to say Mum had been taken into hospital. I’d been worried about Dad, because he’d not been well, so we packed up and travelled home. On our return journey, my sister called again to say that Dad had been taken in as well.

For the following two weeks, my siblings and I, visited them every day in different wards across the hospital. Two weeks later, Dad died. Mum went downhill very quickly and on the 22nd, September, she too, passed away.

The grief was indescribable. Not only did my siblings and I have to clear the house to sell, but we had to take care of their children. Mum and Dad had adopted a second family, three of which were under eighteen. My sister and I gave a home to two of the teenagers. The third, we had to call Social Services as she had complex medical needs. And, of course, we had to arrange funerals.

Maya Angelou said of grief:

“And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed

Over the years their deaths mingled into one. Two great souls died. Peace did bloom, because there are days when you’re okay, but it is irregular. Time does heal, and our senses are eventually restored. Life is different, but goes on. They existed. They left us a great legacy, and their influence is around us everyday.

We all endure it at some time in our lives, and twelve years on, I can smile at the memories and rejoice in their existence.

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