On Friday morning I received the phonecall that I have been eagerly waiting for, and was really hoping I would get before this weekend. Ashes into Glass called to let me know that my jewellery was ready. They said it would take 6 weeks, and it has been exactly that since Milly’s birthday and the day we went up to the glass workshop to place the order.
Already committed with a family get-together yesterday, it had to be today that we went back up there. It was important to me that Sophie would be with me so had planned for that from the beginning – and the timing worked perfectly because Rob wasn’t working so was able to come too. We four set off from home just before lunch. We arrived in Billericay in no time, but this time because the M25 was kind not because I was speeding (Matt was behind the wheel today!).
I hope the photos largely speak for themselves and so there is little need for me to whitter on, but I will just give a very brief description.
Ashes into Glass have made me a beautiful white gold pendant. Milly’s ashes are set into a gorgeous handcrafted black gemstone. They are distributed so evenly that the stone looks like an amazing starry night sky. The whole piece is just lovely and completely unique and I am so pleased with it.
To me it is PERFECT, like Milly, and I can treasure it forever.
xx Thank You Ashes into Glass xx
We had planned to make it a bit of a day out by having lunch then continuing up the A13 to Southend-on-Sea for a mooch on the pier and an icecream. Change of plan though when we realised that the Dogs Trust Basildon Annual Family Fun Day was being held in the showground opposite the Barleylands Craft Village! Soph adores dogs (well, all animals really) so there were no objections to cancelling Southend this time. We arrived in time to see the “Best Rescue” category in the show ring, followed by some of the dogs available for re-homing. The Basildon Centre, opened 4 years ago, currently looks after 90 dogs. NINETY. It’s just so sad.
They weren’t all out today, but we did see an adorable pair of inseparable friends. Andreas the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.. and his best friend Pippin the Westie!
Andreas and Pippin need a quiet home together, and we hope they find one soon.
Thankfully the weather was great (unlike yesterday) and there seemed to be a really good turnout at the event. Even though it was fairly late by the time we were admitted, there were still lots of families there. And lots of dogs. It is just so alien to me to see dogs – multiple – just chilling out in the same space. Some interacting with each other, some interacting with people and some just interested in standing quietly beside their human. But they were all there together. I think it will take me a very long time to get used to that.
It was lovely to be there, and I’m glad we went in, but I did find it very hard to be honest. At one point Rob very sweetly asked me if I was sure I was ok to be there… he could obviously see I was biting my lip and struggling not to cry (totally forgot my Jackie O sunglasses that I could’ve hidden behind). It’s so hard to explain the feeling. It’s not like it was a painful memory because it is not a place that we could ever have even considered taking Milly to in a million years.
i guess it’s just a deep deep sadness.
Without going into details, it has been a difficult week for me.
I’m the first to admit that I am finding things quite hard… at times I’m feeling very low and struggling for motivation, struggling to find my purpose and my place in space again. But I’m trying to “carry on normally” and, unlike the first couple of weeks, I don’t think I’ve got a massive sign on my head that says “bereaved”. I’m going to work every day, I’m shopping and cooking, I’m washing and doing laundry (I don’t clean.. lovely Pipi looks after that), I’m caring for people, I’m training… Given how much my heart is aching I’m actually pretty proud of how well I am coping. Maybe I’m not very objective but 99% of the time I would say I’m not “a mess”.
I’m connecting with lots of people on social media, by sharing my daily photos and happy memories (recommended technique for dealing with pet loss). I’m really enjoying my sporadic blogging and slowly building up Milly’s story to hopefully eventually create a lasting legacy.
I’m so touched by the number of really kind people that have reached out to me, either with nice feedback on my blog, or just general kindness. Many that I know, but also many that I don’t know. I’ve got a couple of lovely contacts on Instagram who engage with me every time I post one of my “remember a day every day” photos… they think it’s a lovely idea and a lovely way to celebrate her. When you are going through a tough time it’s very nice to be surrounded with love and with genuine empathy.
I’m over the denial stage. I’ve accepted that she has gone and is never coming back. But the rest of my grief journey is just that…. MY grief journey. It is personal to me and it will take as long as it takes and I am completely ok with that.
Having said that, I wouldn’t mind accelerating to the stage where I can say “we lost Milly” without completely breaking down. Once I’ve shared the initial news I can have a conversation about it without crying, or if I’m talking to someone who already knows then I’m fine, but when telling a “new” person for the first time.. total mess ha. I’m sure it will get less raw.. won’t it?
In the meantime I’ve had some cute little cards made up with this http://www.becausemilly.com site so that I can “tell” people by choking out “lost Milly, can’t talk, read this” and thrusting a card into their hand before running away (which I did at the gym this morning…. sorry!)
I’m hoping that having my pendant now will help settle me a little further. Milly is always with me anyway.. she lives in my heart and my mind… but having my little piece of perfect around my neck will be a very physical reminder.
I also hope that I will now find the strength to stop carrying Milly’s little collar around with me. It has been giving me comfort round my wrist, in my pocket, my handbag, or under my pillow for the past 12 weeks…
But not tonight. Tonight both her collar and my precious treasure will be kept close.
Dear Heather what a wonderful way to remember Milly. I wish I had know about ashes to glass. We have our beloved Cassie and Jock in the garden so at least they are still at home with us. Your stories and pictures of Milly and your family are wonderful and thank you for sharing them. I hope one day something fills the gap and heals your heart sweetheart. You will always have your wonderful memories of Milly who was given the best most loving life a dog could ask for.
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Thank you so much xx