vickygoestravelling

my journey to health and well being via exotic destinations

Remembering Louise four years on & around the world

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Preparing for hula-hooping at Lovebox, summer 2010

This is now the fourth time that we have had to experience the worst day of our lives: the day that Louise, our beloved daughter, died.

In some ways it is just another day without her; in others it focuses and pinpoints all the grief that is always just there, somewhere, tangible yet intangible, visceral yet surreal. Time is not a great healer, whatever they say. It just makes the pain different; it doesn’t stop you from crying or from dreaming about happier times. Last night, for instance, Louise came to me as a little girl, with her long ringlets, in her thumb-sucking snuggle-rug days. Somehow I knew she was going to die, yet we did all these normal things like giving her and her brother a bath (they were about four and six in the dream). Then she went to bed dressed in a jokey big hat she used to wear. And I looked at her, half asleep, and said to Ross, I can’t believe she is going to die, she is so beautiful. Then I woke up. That pain  – of waking to the reality of forever  – never goes away.

louise 45

The good part about it all is the loving messages that pour in from all over the world, from young and old, the friends who change their FB profiles to photos with her; the flowers they put on the Bench in Camden; the memorials they have in their far-flung places, from London, to Varanasi, to Australia. It is a global embrace of love and healing.

The Bench

The Bench

Big brother Tommy with a bevy of beauties - Lulu and Lana

Big brother Tommy with a bevy of beauties – Lulu and Lana; colour coordinated matelots too!

Louise&James

His ‘n’ hers

 

 

Varanasi

‘With Lou at mother Ganges, Varanasi’

Australia

Australia – ‘She always lit up a room..Like star dust forever will she shine above us and be remembered for the joy and smiles she brought to us all.’

This year we are blessed to have one of Louise’s great friends, Dot, staying with us. She is travelling in Malaysia and popped down. We spend the weekend doing the sorts of things we would have done if Louise were with us – cooking and eating  exotic meals, downing cocktails in hip bars in Chinatown and on top of the world at Ku De Ta, Marina Bay Sand’s hotel (‘as close as you could get to heaven,’ my sister says); cycling round old Singapore on Pulau Ubin (Louise was hopeless on a bike); eating delicious local food in formica-topped restaurants while seated on plastic chairs; wandering round Little India and buying costumes and bindis to dress up in – and eating a vegetarian thali, complete with a little meat, just like Lou would have done. It is a great way to remember her, and we manage to laugh too.

At the Cufflink Club

At the Cufflink Club

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It’s the Year of the Goat

 

At Ku De Ta, Marina Bay SAnds

Bindi babes at Ku De Ta, Marina Bay Sands

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Ross and me at Ku DeTa, sunset

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As near to heaven as you can get…

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Dot posing in Little India, restored shop-houses

This is a brothel I think - Louise would have loved that!

This is a brothel I think – Louise would have loved that!

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Louise would have adored this garuda

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A vegetarian thali – well almost!

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on the bikes at Pulau Ubin, Sunday

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a well-earned beer

Cooking for DOt

Cooking for Dot – just like Lou used to

And of course she is always with us; she just doesn’t grow older like everyone else.

Always having fun...in Australia January 2011

Always having fun…in Australia January 2011

 

I leave you with a link to the song and video Little London Lou by Tim Arnold, the Soho Hobo (recently seen on The Voice), composed in her memory, and the lyrics below

Little London Lou

There was a club on Old Burlington Street
Where we met when she was just fifteen
I’d just got back from Old Siam to sing
About a place of miracles, but

Nobody heard a word,
Until the message found her
She had a way to stir
The wonderful worlds around her

She was sunshine, she was sunshine. She was you and I
When I think of Louise tonight
She was sunshine, she was sunshine. Can you feel the light
When you think of Louise tonight? She was sunshine

She had a way of leading every troupe
A dance a day inside a hula hoop
Made her mark on every London street
Too cool for that X Factor heat

She was just too fine for a dream to be less than perfect
Her eyes on a new design, making each moment worth it

She was sunshine, she was sunshine. She was you and I
When I think of Louise tonight.
She was sunshine, she was sunshine. Can you feel the light
When you think of Louise tonight? She was sunshine

Some of us burn too bright to stay for long enough to find our way

There was a club on Old Burlington Street
Where we met when she was just fifteen
I hardly got to know her well at all
But there’s one thing that I can recall…

She was sunshine, she was sunshine
She was you and I
When I think of Louise tonight
She was sunshine, she was sunshine. Can you feel the light
When you think of Louise tonight?
Think of Louise tonight
Think of Louise tonight

She was sunshine…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: vickyunwin

I am a writer and traveller. Our darling daughter Louise died on 2 March 2011, aged 21 (www.louisecattell.com) and I started writing as therapy. We never know how long we have on this earth, so I live for every day...in November 2013 I was diagnosed and operated on for a malignant soft tissue sarcoma in the calf, followed by 6.5 weeks of radiotherapy, so am embarking on a different kind of journey which you can follow here. I also have another site www.healthylivingwithcancer.co with my blueprint for health and well-being. My husband works in Switzerland so we flit from place to place anywhere else that takes our fancy

7 thoughts on “Remembering Louise four years on & around the world

  1. Wonderful, Vicky. Wish I’d met her xxx

    Sent from Adela’s iPhone

    >

  2. Dearest Ros and Vicky
    thinking of you both yesterday,
    anniversaries are not easy.
    With Love Jane x

  3. Thinking of you so much. In Andalusia on a recce so adding my thoughts to the other global good wishes xxx

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