Our beautiful 12-year-old daughter Billie was involved in a freak horse accident and died on May 29, 2016. I was just about to turn 50 and up until losing Billie, I would have to have been the happiest person I’ve ever met. I never took my life for granted and can honestly say that I was totally content with everything I had. My husband Dave and my girls, Charlie, 15, and Billie, 12, were my everything.
Then in a blink of an eye, the world turned black and I became the unhappiest person I’ve ever met. It felt like life without Billie wasn’t really life at all. She was with me constantly. She was my mini me, my shadow. I never knew how much you could love someone until my children came along, how precious life was until Billie left, and how much hurt a person could endure since losing her 18 months ago.
Billie’s death has irrevocably changed me. It left me feeling isolated and detached. The world goes on and yet mine stopped dead in its tracks. Every morning I awake to the reality that Billie is gone and every morning I lay there knowing that I have to choose, do I turn left and get out of bed or turn right and curl up into the pit of grief. Billie’s death has left a huge deep dark hole. A dry hole so deep that there is no treading water, only the horrific truth that every day I have to claw my way up to the top and be there for Charlie and Dave.
It hurts beyond comprehension and I miss her to the point that the pain paralyses me. Billie’s death has obliterated the very core of who I was. I feel like there are two halves to this world: the happy, skip through life and enjoy all it has to offer world, and then on the other side of the median strip, the dark side where so many people live with unhappiness, pain, grief and solitude. Same world, running parallel, but totally opposite. Now that I have been catapulted over that line, I no longer understand the world I have lived in for 50 years. What is it all about? What is it all for? What is the point?
Billie taught me so much about life, loving and giving. She was an old soul, way beyond her years. Even as her mother, it still surprises me that she was only 12. She always wanted to know more, do more and be more yet at the same time was always grateful for everything she had. She was an extraordinary girl in that she had the gift of giving. She gave through her smile, her touch, her thoughtfulness, her random acts of kindness and her amazing gift of words.
Billie always wanted to write a book and would often ask her dad and me what she should write about. After Billie died, we gathered up her poems, stories and artwork in order to fulfill her vision so that her own words can complete her journey. Billie’s book, hope, has became a reality.
With Billie’s words, we have been given the gift of viewing this world through her eyes, the eyes of a beautiful caring soul, the eyes of innocence, the eyes of belief and hope. This book opens your heart to see the world just as it should be seen, through love. Through her amazing gifts of empathy and insight this book is to inspire and give hope to others.
So to answer my question, “What is the point?” I would like to answer with Billie’s words and a few lines from her title poem, “hope”.
There’s no happiness around,
Only sadness abounds
But even if there’s darkness, there can be light
Something’s different, I’ll tell you why
People have given up hope
They’ve found there’s no point in living
but there is, oh there is,
there is a point If you make one.
I have made Billie, our incredible bond and the love we have for each other and our family my point. I don’t think I even realised the impact Billie’s book would have on people. I didn’t realise the impact it would have on me. Billie touched everyone she met and managed to touch even those she didn’t. To hear people tell me that Billie’s words help them to go on, to reach out to others, to start conversations not only about love and family but also about bullying, racism and even death, to connect. Billie is connecting to people and through her words I feel I can continue to make a difference in the world. The impact of her words is empowering and changing lives. Billie is giving hope!
Fly High Billie is currently being set up as a registered charity and I will now make this charity, Billie’s Book, the difference it is making and the hope it is giving, my life’s work.
hope has now sold over 4000 copies in 14 different countries. My promise to Billie, to spread her words far and wide and to sell more copies of hope than Harry Potter. For Billie, because she exists in every single part of my body and soul.
For Billie, because there is a point if you make one.