Day 12: Article (Capture Your Grief 2013)


Day 12 of Capture Your Grief (in memory of Freddie Leigh Bromley) and the subject title today is ‘Article‘.

I have taken the word article to mean an object or item and there is one very special piece that we associate with Freddie and the Bromley family.  I pre-warn you to get the tissues out as this one is a bit of a tear-jerker.

I met Rik in 2002 and after seeing him for a few weeks was introduced to his mother Jacqui who was suffering from cancer, and had been for over eight years.  I didn’t get to know Jacqui that well before she passed in October 2003 but I remember her as being a very strong, proud and loving woman.  She adored her family and would have done anything to make them happy.

During her years of suffering Jacqui took a few summer trips out to Canada to see family and whilst there spent time with family members including her niece Catherine.  Catherine thought Jacqui was an incredible woman who made her feel loved and special.  The few summers she got to spend with Jacqui really impacted on her life in so many ways.  On Jacqui’s last visit she taught Catherine how to crochet and encouraged her to keep practicing promising her that on her next visit they would make a blanket together.  Sadly Jacqui passed away that autumn.

Catherine had been left with all the yarn Jacqui had purchased and a handful of her own granny squares (these have such a fitting meaning now).

“You can call it fate, the universe of maybe just memories of an amazing woman,
but I have never been able to part with any of it.  
I have always felt I should keep it, like we would want it one day”.

On hearing the news that Rik and I were expecting Catherine knew what she had to do. She got to work on the most special blanket ever.  The squares in the middle were the ones made by Jacqui and the yarn around the edges were bought by her all those years ago. With just a week or so before Freddie’s expected due date Catherine posted the blanket from Canada to us and as much as it is a gift from her, liked to think that Rik’s mother had a hand in it too.

On 19th August 2013, three days after Freddie’s arrival, Rik and I met with a funeral director and shortly after he had left the house a parcel was delivered.  We knew it was from Canada and therefore most likely from Rik’s family out there, but we didn’t expect the value of this gift until opening it.

Inside was the most beautiful blanket lovingly handmade and wrapped up.  Inside the parcel was also the most amazing letter from Catherine.  She had posted the parcel before she knew Freddie had passed and we are so glad she did.  As Rik and I stood in the kitchen reading her beautifully written letter we were so touched by the thought Catherine had not only put into making the blanket, but also writing the letter.  Rik was in shock at first and was overwhelmed by her kindness and the sentimental value of this item for his child and Jacqui’s grandchild.

“I know that it will be special to you, but please use it.  
Your mum wouldn’t have wanted it to be put on a shelf too special to use.  
She would want it to be a reminder that she loved you and all the great memories you have together”.

We can assure you Catherine that although this gorgeous blanket is sadly currently on a shelf, we hope and promise to use it in the future and create more great memories.



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