George lost her daughter, Sophie, to suicide in 2018. In June, she shared the story of walking the Camino in her memory. Here she tells us about the grief she feels as she approaches the anniversary of Sophie’s death, as well as the memories she has of Sophie’s warmth and love. 

It is nearly a year since Sophie took her own life. Much has happened since that tragic and devastating event in our lives. We as a family have moved on in our own way but the pain is still acute as is the huge loss of our darling Sophie.

As we repeatedly say, Andy, Fiona, Gregor and myself are committed to helping prevent other families going through the terrible grief and loss that we experience each day. To that end we reach out to you to support the work of PAPYRUS in any way you see fit.

If you are reading this you will know that I completed the Camino Frances in June this year and have used the experience to write my story of that walk, as well as selling calendars to raise funds for this hugely important charity.

As a family we face some huge milestones in December. Sophie should be celebrating her 30th birthday on 12th December. On the 19th December Andy, Fiona and I shall face the first anniversary of her death. We shall take her favourite Christmas cake to the Search and Rescue staff who worked tirelessly for three days searching for her. It will be called “Sophie’s Cake“, and will hopefully represent our small gratitude for their sheer graft in awful conditions last year.

What else can we do? We can live for Sophie. We can do what she wanted us to do and enjoy life. We can experience the life she wanted for us. We do it in her memory.

If I may add my very personal notes, this is how my life is now. I live my life and I have the most amazing support and love from so many friends. It helps so much. I have moments of the hugest amounts of grief. I live in my house that I shared with Sophie. I kind of expect her to walk in at any moment with her love of life to share a beer or wine, and stories.  Sophie was well read and told me what to read; I taught her how to cook in return. She filled the house with fun, warmth and love. It doesn’t happen anymore. I phoned her all the time about my problems on my first round of chemotherapy as she was an oncology nurse and brilliant at her job. I am on my second round now, I miss her painfully for that too. I firmly believe that some people might have a short life but they make a difference. I know that Sophie made a difference to all of her patients as she was so amazing in her support for me.

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