Of the many wonderful fund-raising initiatives, the one closest to my heart is the ‘spread some happiness’ book series.
The invaluable experience I gained through working with Thames & Hudson and my absolute love of inspirational, empowering books, made this a natural fit in my fundraising efforts. The first book is going to be sold in my son’s school this week. Parents get a precious, heartwarming, keepsake and we get to give all profits to our chosen charities, so everyone is happy! I plan to roll a series out nationally, so if you want to get involved with the project in your school, do get in touch.
The first book was produced with work by the boys of Wetherby Prep; my son’s school. In fact, it was my son, who stood up in assembly, along with a very suporative teacher, to encourage the boys to spread happiness. He spoke of losing his sister and how he wanted to continue her goodness living on. He spoke of the value of giving and
Mills taught me we come here to grow, love and ideally, have a lot of fun along the way. My own growth was helped, during difficult times, by reading spiritual books and finding re-assurance in nature’s life cycle. So the two pledges that brought such joy to me personally, were from a friend who pledged to grow herbs in her window box and my niece, who pledged to leave her old books, in random places, for strangers to find and make their own. Life is beautiful and really not that complicated.
Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
Death Is Nothing At All by Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918
Off to a wedding related event and missing the fact that Mills won’t be with me, as she would have loved it. Still Manav and Mills best friend Maia is coming and I am sure Mills herself will dip in and out. I just have to feel her and know she is around.
Mills loved to write poems. She had a special pink embroidered book we found on a tripto Rajasthan. Taking the book from her neat stationery unit, in the corner of her bedroom, she would sit and write. Sometimes there was silence and other times, singing and then she would waltz into the kitchen and announce it was time to hear her latest works. We would sit, trying to keep the smirks off our faces as Mills shared her words with a knowing smile that said, ‘it’s great and I am rather charming, don’t you think?’. Well, it always was and she always was and yet, she constantly surprised us with her depth of inner knowing. She loved poems, music and dance and no matter what the activity, Mills was always in the moment. Something, I have yet to learn and I now listen to Mills message of stillness.
Calm is being still.
Be loving when you are still.
Be joyful when you are still.
Stillness means to be steady.
Stillness means to really think for yourself.
Stillness means to listen to yourself.
written by milli kaushal.
It’s been four months since my darling Milli left home; this home, we all share. I can’t say she died because, I don’t see it like that. I have decided to write this blog because perhaps in seeing why I feel the way I do, it may cause a shift in prespective and in doing so, give more joy and less pain. From a totally selfish point of view, I like having a place that allows me to share stories of my girl, because whilst I can’t talk about how she is doing in school, her friendships, planned birthdays and holidays, first boyfriends…..I can indulge in all the lifetimes worth of lessons and beautiful memories she has left behind.
I don’t know anything for certain, but what I FEEL deeply, as a result of Mills life is this:
- We are all born with a pre-determined number of breaths. We come here to laugh, learn, love and grow and then we move on. Before heading off, do as the cheesy card says and as my daughter naturally did. ”Dance as if no one is watching, sing as if no one is listening and live each day as if it were your last”.
- When those we love, leave us physically, they reside within us, in our every action. Accessing the powerful goodness within us is a precious gift and every interaction we have ever had provides us with that gift/that learning.
- At my daughters send-off (sorry, don’t like the word funeral either), I opened with the line ‘when I grow up, I want to be Milli Kaushal’. She had just turned 11, but lived a rich and full life, in which she did more than one could hope for in a much longer span. She was always true to herself and never afraid to show her duality. Mills loved pink, princess and fairies, even when her peers thought it was not cool. In fact, Mills was a life of total passion, love, strength and when necessary, one of beautiful surrender.
Mills life has lead me to the realisation that I was never as brave as my beloved and have spent much time doing what seemed, rather than felt right. There is still a deep longing to hold Mills, to hear her sing, giggle and share her musings on life. Yes, I do miss her but I will not let that deter me from living and as honestly as she did. I do feel vulnerable sharing this journey, as who knows where it might end and indeed how being so exposed will play out. My home, friendships, vocation and all that has seemingly provided a foundation, is on shifting sand but it’s fine and it is a path I can no longer ignore.
Oh, one thing I do know is, I am not good at writing short bullet points!
I will write again very soon but in the meantime, here is a picture of my lovely girl and I in Namibia, on shifting sand! But look, hand in hand we felt safe and I still do, as her love carries me.
Thames & Hudson Family Life Style Travel – Anita Kaushal. Photo Penny Wincer