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Saying "hello again"

My sister wrote some words of comfort when our daughter, Becky, died in April this year. She has worked with indigenous people of Canada and shared some of the ways that they see the loss of loved ones. Grieving is a process both of saying goodbye and letting go but also crucially, of saying “hello again”. However much we want to, we can’t keep a person on this earth once they’ve passed on, but we can plant seeds of a new relationship with them. This means creating a different connection with them and building new memories.

Becky was convinced that, if the current chemo treatment didn’t work for her, there would be a cure down the line – she just had to hang on till it was ready. Knowing that Action Against Cancer was funding research into Triple Negative Breast Cancer, amongst other projects, provided the impetus to start a new journey with our daughter. Her friends, family, her husband, and even her dogs, have all joined us in creating recent memories – challenges that, as Becky always did, pushed us all the extra mile, out of our comfort zone, and to try something different.

It started with sunflowers. Becky’s very good friend had set up a sunflower growing competition in the spring – Becky, as always, was determined to win! We continued to grow, tend, and share our sunflowers, with photos and updates, and we saw them everywhere over the summer, reminding us of her wonderful smile, and her optimism.

Becky and two of friends had signed up for the Virtual London Marathon, on 3rd October, which could be walked rather than run. In recognition of this event some of her colleagues at Callington Community College set up a marathon relay on their sports field, for the children and staff to run in her memory. We decided to walk the 26.2 miles, and others joined us along the way. Children walked or were carried on shoulders, while others provided refreshments – suitable dressed as sunflowers! We were sponsored by our local village through the Community shop, and her many friends and friends of friends contributed to her fundraising page - raising hundreds of pounds for Action Against Cancer. Becky provided the rainbows as we walked. We all made it back before dark to celebrate, and to say “hello again” to Becky, who was there with us every painful foot-step of the way!

Carolyn Wilkins

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