Monday, 25 November 2013

Gifts for Angels & You Magazine Sunday November 24th 2013

Website of the
Michelle Rice’s little daughter Lola died of a brain tumour in 2006. The sadness of visiting her grave was compounded by the lack of grave ornaments that were ‘bright, beautiful and fun – like Lola’, as well as durable and inexpensive, so Michelle started this website to give her family and others ‘a little piece of comfort’. Find funky cherubs (£21.99), coloured stone vases (£16.99) and handmade seed cards (£4.50) in this small, sweet range.

Was so please with our write up from the very lovely "Sarah Stacey" at The Daily Mails "You Magazine" We have been really busy with orders since, happy? yes, but it is always a double edge sword!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Grief at Christmas time

So I have decided to do a small Christmas range, this consists of Gold & silver grave vases and personalized Christmas tree baubles. While the reaction has been lovely, I'm constantly aware of people's opinions. For instance my lovely photographer is always worrying about my products been photographed looking "too cool/beautiful" and I have to constantly remind her that this is what I want as a bereaved parent. Another friend is worried that by me promoting

my Christmas range, it's too, "in your face" ( her words, not mine) .... It's hard to know what is acceptable when advertising it on FB and twitter..
.. " you don't want to look like your making money from people's grief"  was another persons comment.
While I do make a small profit on My products, I am also trying to support the charity "Brain Tumour research", and most of all I started this whole thing for me, it was always about something I could have to put down for My Lola. Why could I not make her grave side look pretty? Especially on her Birthday.... And now Christmas. Every year I have a bag of Christmas ornaments that I place at her grave side. Now I am over the moon by the fact that I have gold & silver vases that I can fill with Holly and hang little decorations from the branches. So please believe me when I say, "Yes, it does make me happy" , to know that after I have finished decorating my tree at home with my other children I can then go to the cemetery and decorate Lola's & my Dad's grave side and this is the exact feeling I want to be able to offer to other bereaved people.
Christmas is a lovely time of year, but also a very hard & difficult time for any person who has Lost a loved one. Knowing that I can't celebrate it with my beautiful eldest daughter and my wonderful Dad, is the worst feeling in the world and Nothing can take this away, but I do get some comfort from knowing I can decorate their grave sides, and on Christmas morning when we go down to the cemetery their grave's are looking festive and lovely, this helps Me..... That is why I do what I do, I am not a Saint, I'm not a business woman I am simply a bereaved Mother & Daughter, trying to cope the best way I know how.
Any comments would be much appreciated.

Monday, 14 October 2013

My birthday.

 Last month was my 38th Birthday.... God it seems much older when you type it! Anyway as much as I haven't look forward to a Birthday since Lola died, I have been able to enjoy the last few and managed to celebrate and genuinely smile and have fun. This year as I sat on my bed and anticipated the stampede of my children bursting in with cards etc, I thought how fast the last 10 years had gone. I remember very clearly being 28 and it took me back to remember how perfect my life was then..... It was only 10 years ago, but Lola was alive and well, as we're my Mother & Father-in-law ( who I loved both dearly, like my own) and of course my Father was alive too. It struck me that in a mere 10years I had lost the most important people in my life,it didn't seem real or fair.... I wasn't 88 years old!!!!  That life feels like a lifetime ago, I was a different person. I didn't have to try to be happy, life was not such an effort I was perfectly happy.... And I probably didn't realize it! Do you ever get that feeling when you are in real physical pain.... Like tooth ache or tummy ache... Thinking I wish I just felt normal, why didn't I appreciate not having these pains before? I know it sounds crazy but I can't remember feeling normal,I over analyze everything, I question myself more now than ever before, I'm like a magnet to any depressing book or movie dispute being upset by the silliest of things. Recently I applied to that amazing website
"" because I thought it would be fantastic if they could stock some of the Gifts for Angels range, I knew it was a risk.... But after the reaction I have had from my customers I thought it was a huge market that they have not yet tapped into. Of course it was a very polite no thank you!!!! It upset me because I no they thought "o no, too sad, too depressing, don't want to be associated with death" yet because of how big they are, they are exactly the people to get my products to those that really need them. It's this attitude that makes people like me feel alone, after all  anything that brings a small amount of comfort in grief will always be welcomed with open arms..... Trust me I know.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Lola's up and coming Birthday

So this week end will be Lola's 10th Birthday, I sit here and imagine what I would be doing, of course organising her Party which would be on the Saturday at My Mums house, swimming in her pool. John would be doing the BBQ and I would now be busy organising food and drink and party bags, do 10yr olds have party bags? would this be a party she wanted or would she prefer a more grown up cinema and dinner party? who would she invite? these questions have been flying around in my mind now for the last couple of weeks. I always try and make my children's parties special I make a really big deal out of them, and I really think its because I thought I would have so many more with Lola and I didn't. I feel cheated! I feel angry with myself that her last ever Birthday party, her 2nd, was held the day after my Husbands & Sister in laws 40th, and consequently there were a lot more people there than She knew, it turned into something I didn't want but at the time I didn't see it as a big deal! I wish it had just been family, her best friend Harry, cousin Keira and her new baby sister - Ava. I can't believe she will be 10 years old, I last saw her when she was just 2years 8months, I want so badly just to have a small incite into the person she would have become, to see her laugh one more time, play with her sisters, have a conversation, tell me what she wants for dinner, silly things like this would make me the happiest person in the world !I know this can never happen and it breaks my heart even more. My new neighbours who I am very good friends with have their daughter's birthday party on the Saturday, I don't know what to do, my girls will enjoy it, but the guilt of being at another child's birthday party will be so hard and being neighbours its very hard to avoid!
My youngest Daughter is now 2years 11 months, I recently looked through some of Lola's things that I had kept, all her little socks now fit Lila-Bleu and some of her knickers too. I was never able to open this case when my other 2 were little but I am glad I did it this week. Each little pair of socks has a small memory that makes me smile and remember how gorgeous and yummy Lola was, she was my little shadow, we were together all the time. She was my first child and I never thought I could love someone as much as I loved her.....    

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Faith, Religion & Reality -

I have joined various groups over the years, on FB or memorial websites like Gonetoosoon. I have found comfort in being surrounded by other peoples grief, when I say comfort I mean these groups are a place where I feel comfortable.Reading how others have lost their children, how they cope with their grief and how they struggle with their lives at times makes me feel less alone. I have noticed that many of my "American Friends"on these sites have a huge amount of faith. In a way I am envious of this, as since Lola died I have been battling a lot with my faith and God! I was raised a catholic and have also put my girls into a catholic school and when Lola first died I went to church more, and although I was angry with God for taking her, I new she was safe now and with him. As much as I still believe in God, I am drawn further away from the catholic religion and its hypocrisy. I have lost faith in the Priests with the bad press that surrounds them, so many Paedophiles too many to ignore. Isn't it funny how you are brought up to believe something and for years and years you do so just because you were once told to! If you actually stop and consider things how many of us would change it ? As I chose to send my children to a catholic school I find myself in church far more than I would like. On Sunday we were at the Holy Communion of our friends daughter, and as I sat their and listened to the Priest's sermon (which as a child & young adult I never did!) almost everything he said I either questioned or disagreed with. Now I do believe in God, I believe in heaven and I believe that when we die we all go there, I believe in the saints and angels but beyond that I am not sure. I am not nor have I ever been inspired when I go to church, should this not be so? Loosing Lola has opened my eyes more than I would have liked , you see the imperfections in the world in HD, Death becomes a reality, nothing surprises you, and the phrase,  "It'll never happen to me",  is obsolete.

Please note these are My opinions and My feelings, I do not wish to offend anyone.  in memory of My Angel, Lola Rice - Unique Grave side ornaments that are Bright & Beautiful just as she was, for a free brochure you can contact me via the website x

My perfect Lola above, and Precious Plaque grave side ornament available in other styles x

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Birthdays are Hard.

It has been a crazy few weeks so I apologise for no posts but between the technical problems and loads of orders it has been a whirlwind but I am please to say that Gifts for Angels seems to be taking off nicely, so thank you all and please keep passing the word around.
This time of year is very hard, between Today and mid August its when Lola's closest friends/cousins all have their birthdays. This year they all turn the Big 10! There isn't many as Lola never got a chance to go to school, but as I rang my gorgeous Harry to wish him a Happy Birthday Today (he was Lola's Best Friend), I couldn't help but think it should have been Lola ringing him, and Lola going to "Laser Quest today" with him and his friends. Just watching them all grow up so fast is a reminder of how frozen in time I had become, the last time I held my daughter she was a small nearly 3 year old. I want to see her now as a 10 year old, I want to have all my 4 daughters here together with Me. I look at the Year 5 Kids in my kids school and I wonder who would have been Lola's friends? are they a nice class? I go out with my 3 gorgeous girls and I want to scream at people, total strangers just to let everyone know that I should have 4 girls with me!I think every bereaved parent must feel the same, I do appreciate the fact that I have 3 children here. I am fully aware of the fact that some Parents looses their one and only child and my heart breaks for them too. My life is full and busy with 3 kids,a business and a lovely husband that works too hard, but all of this is what keeps me going. Lack of time is my ultimate Super Power when it comes to not getting depressed. Its true, it helps me put her death far, far into the back of my mind, when I say her death I mean exactly how she died, those days leading up to it and her funeral..... of course at the forefront of my mind always is "Lola", but how she Lived, how she was my little buddy my shadow..... This may seem confusing to a lot of you, but if I allowed myself to relive those fate full days I wouldn't get out of bed in the morning! It took all the strength I had to write about those days in such detail on this blog back in February and March and I never re read it. I miss her every day, our Family has a huge hole that can only be filled by her. She was my First Born, My Pride and Joy she made us all Smile and laugh and she brought such joy to our whole family in her short little life, she is missed to eternity and Loved beyond..... x

 Precious Plaque Grave side ornaments - Missed to Eternity and Loved Beyond  and
  Daughter Always in My Heart , both available a http://

Thursday, 23 May 2013 / A bad week

So my website is still experiencing technical issues and I am told that most of the material (if not all) has been lost. This is through no fault of my own and there is some dispute between the company that host my site and the main serve in Germany as to the blame! Well I am still non the wiser and unfortunately did get extremely frustrated and unloaded both barrels on the guy that is meant to be sorting it out.   It was the same week that my mobile broke, again through no fault of my own, I then was promised another temporary mobile which I drove into town to collect with 2, 2year old and no double buggy (that bit was my fault!) Only to be told that they didn't have one for me, it was also the same week that we had had a large family argument! So I was partly wanting to burst into tears and partly wanting to physically assault somebody (which of course I never would) , but it really has been a horrendous couple of days...... and I can't help but ask myself would any of this have been such a big deal 7 years ago? Sure I would have been upset over a family argument but would it have kept me awake every night? and yes I am extremely annoyed about my website but would I have been quite so angry and patronising to the person on the other end of the phone? and with my mobile..... would it have really made my blood boil so much?
I just don't remember being such an angry person that can get be so brutally honest with a complete stranger. I know loosing Lola has made me a much tougher but sometimes I need to have a word with myself, try to calm myself down and look at the bigger picture. I normally carry on so well, I'm together and happy on the outside, most of the time.... but when silly things all go wrong it really becomes much more of a big deal than it should. My basic make-up has changed so much, that sometimes I don't recognise myself. I think a psychologist would say that I'm still angry about loosing Lola,and this anger manifest itself when other things go wrong?  I don't  know if I'm angry but I'm definitely still shocked by her death even after 7 years. I miss her every day and sometimes the pain still feels like she died yesterday but because of time I have got better at blocking the pain out. It is something that has to be blocked out in order that I can function properly through each and every day so it is suppressed but I need to be much more aware of other people,  grief is a part of me not an excuse for my behaviour.

I do apologise for the website problems, but you can contact me through FB or my email address below.
www.facebook.cpm/    Precious Plaque and Funky cherubs Grave side ornaments
                                                                     and Grave Vases, delivery 2-5 days please contact me for
                                                                     Prices or a free brochure

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Gone too soon &

I am so pleased that the memorial website gonetoosoon is stocking my Precious Plaque Grave ornaments. This memorial website was such a hugh comfort to me when Lola first passed away. It was before FB, Blogging & tweeting (i think) or at least it was before I was familiar with any of them! So here was a website that I could easily manage, have a tribute page to my daughter where I could light candels and put music on and most importantly it gave me a community of people that shared my grief. It was the first time I didn't feel alone, and this was such a comfort. It really is a wonderful community of people and I am very proud to have them sell my products.  in loving memory of Lola Helena Catherine Rice

Friday, 10 May 2013 unite with memorial website

I am so pleased to inform you all that the wonderful memorial website will be selling my Grave Side ornaments & bright Grave Vases. So I hope that together we can bring others a piece of comfort in their grief.

Precious Plaque range

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Having Fun Again ,

I recently went to a 80s Fancy dress charity night with my husband, my 2 brother-in-laws and sister-in-law and we had such a great time, laughing and dancing all evening it really was a brilliant night. As much as I woke up the next morning feeling rather worse for wear, this was as a result of the cocktails I was quenching my thirst with, not the overwhelming guilt that I used to wake up with some time ago. I can't tell you when it started to feel OK to have a good time, but I can tell you that it does happen. You do learn to laugh and see the fun in life again, even as I shared the hilarious pictures of our night with my 3 lovely girls I felt OK. I know it has been 7 years since Lola died and although I miss her every day, I am able to laugh and have fun without feeling guilty and I am able to enjoy a few drinks without bursting into tears at the end of a night! Time does not ease our pain, but it does help us get used to it. This pain that is constant we learn to carry with us every day, it is part of our new make-up and we can not live without it, nor would I wish to.

Our 1980's Fancy dress night in aid of St Barnabs Hospice, Worthing W.Sussex., organised by Josie & Andy from "Funkylush Events" .

Gifts for Angels : Bright & Beautiful Grave side ornaments & sympathy gifts

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Visiting a Loved one's graveside

Visiting a Grave of someone you love can be so hard and some people feel the need to go a lot and others can not bring themselves to even enter the cemetery. For me I have felt both of these emotions during the last 7 years. At the very beginning my husband went every day without fail, he used to say that he just wanted to be near her,but for me it was too final and I could not bring myself to go, it was like I was accepting the fact that my daughter was gone and I was not yet ready to do this.  I remember her 3rd Birthday, it was 4 months after she died and I was distraught, still in shock but also the reality had started to set in. I was physically in pain from grief and I wanted so badly to buy her a present. I remember walking around Toys R Us and looking at all the "Fifi" stuff and "The Wiggles" guitar that I had promised her I would get. I finally settled on a little plastic car with Fifi in, I put it on her grave side and I thought about all the other Mum's and Dad's that had lost children what do they buy? was I being crazy? Over the next few weeks I spent a lot of time looking for things that I could buy and put down for her. The garden centre's had the odd thing, but most things just looked like they belonged in the garden of a retired old man! I wanted something bright, beautiful and fun just as Lola was. Lola loved hearts so the idea of a bright coloured stone heart came to me and I mentioned this to my Mother, who was about to make her annual trip to Sri Lank,
"I'll get one of those made for you," she said "would you like anything written on it?" she asked
I knew the exact words I wanted, it was words My Mother-in-law said to her grand daughters when she was dying
"If you ever need me, I will always be in your heart"
So the first stone heart came back from Sri Lank, bright pink with the words "Always in my heart" . I remember the feeling I had when I first saw it, I new Lola would have loved it and it did make her grave side look so much better. My mum also had one made and placed it in her garden where Lola use to play. This small piece of stone gave me such comfort, that I wanted to share it with others. I spent the next 3-4 years working on designs and bringing products over for friends and family, and eventually "Gifts for Angels" was born. It has given me a great focus and purpose and I am so grateful for this. It was born out of love for my darling Angel Lola, and now I want to offer it to others. I do not have a big mark up on these products, I want to be able to give 10% to brain tumour research.  My philosophy is we buy gifts for our loved ones when they are here with us, so why not when they are gone, because the are never forgotten.
To view the products that are available please go to

Stone shaped heart, Precious Plaque

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Guilt and Grief, a well matched pair

Apologies for the late blog post this week, but sometimes this blog is great therapy for me and other times I just want to pretend my life is fine, and hide from the various emotions that it can bring!
 I previously touched upon, "Guilty Grief", only at the time I was referring to feeling guilty when I grieved for my Father instead of my daughter, but what I have realised over the last few years is that Death and loss bring with it a package of guilt.
Guilt that I should have this massive amount of patience for  my remaining children and be the Best Mother Ever,  when in truth its the complete opposite I have less Patience and I shout, a lot, and have many poor parenting moments!
Then there is the guilt that I didn't do enough with "Lola" I should have taken her swimming in the winter more,  let her eat more chocolate, bought her more toys -  instead of buying her  the cheap rubbish kitchen from Woolworth's I should have bought her the much better one from ELC! Guilt that her last Birthday party ended up being more about me and my friends than her, guilt that I never decorated her bedroom (it was going to be her 3rd Birthday present!)
The guilt didn't stop there, I couldn't understand how I had no idea about the brain tumour, I must have missed the signs! Guilt that I didn't do all I could at the hospital. Guilt that I never had the right flowers at her funeral, guilt that her little white coffin looked cheap and tacky! The guilt came and went so much over the years that as I was just getting use to living with it, my father died! This catapulted my grief back into the forefront of my mind, suddenly I was torn with this overwhelming grief for my dad and guilt that Lola's death was now moved to the side. I got confused over why I was crying, was it for the loss of my Dad or the guilt that it wasn't for Lola? It comforted me to believe that they were together and this thought is what I had to focus on. Two years on from my Father's death I have finally won the guilt battle by realising it is OK to have days and moments when its about Him, not everything has to be about Lola's death.
So I have learnt that guilt and grief go hand in hand and learning to accept your guilt and learn from it enables you to let it go one day at a time. I am not saying I don't carry any guilt anymore, but I did win the fight, it does not consume me.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Are there different types of grief?

Are there different types of grief?
When first confronted with this question I would have said yes, but for myself now I think there are no different types of grief just different stages. Initially I felt so alone that nothing was as important as my grief, only another Parent loosing a child would be the same. I used to get angry with people that compared loosing a parent to what I was going through...It was NOT the same, we expect to bury our Parents it is the natural order of things, but our Children No way! In actual fact, just because it may be the natural order of things does not mean our grief is any less all consuming and devastating. It has taken me some years to realise this and now having lost my Wonderful Dad, it is even more apparent that to loose one you love so much is what hurts the most, not the order in which you love them. How can you measure grief? just because I loved my daughter more than anything in the world, did my Dad's death hurt any less? No.  Even though he was ill for a long time and was 87yrs old, I was still shocked to my very core when he died. I had spent 35years of my life with this strong,
benevolent man and loosing him made me feel even more alone. This presented another issue all together "Guilt" I found I wrestled with my conscience if I cried because I missed my Dad, ridiculous as it sounds that was the case, "Guilty Grief" who new????? I will leave this topic for another evening, I will simply end tonight on a saying I once dismissed,
"Grief is the price of Love". In ever loving memory of Owen Ralph De La Motte, a true gentleman.

Lola and My Dad.
Me and my Dad on the day of my wedding reception.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

How many children do you have?

I recently wrote an article for ABC magazine Sussex, where I addressed a few of the issues surrounding grief. One of the topics I wrote about was the dreaded question,

"How many children do you have?"

When faced with this question you have maybe 1.5 seconds to decide whether or not you feel able to tell the truth and if so are you prepared for the next question? which usually is,
"How old are they?"
Now, the truth depends on so many things, I could just say 3 and deal with the horrendous guilt that comes with that truth or is the person asking worthy enough to know about my Lola and loosing her? and if so am I having a strong enough day to speak this truth? or Will I ever have to meet this person again in a social situation  i.e the check out lady in Tesco? if not I could tell her 4 and give their ages as they would be, this would make me happy initially but guilty that it is not really true & upset because I want it to be true! What if it was a friend of a friend in which case I either go for the 3 children answer or tell the truth or I could use my other answer which is,
"Well I have had 4 children" and when asked the next question just give ages of 3, believe it or not this works and people don't always pick up on the fact that I have given them 3 ages instead of 4! but the ones that do are obviously interested so I usually say,
"My eldest daughter passed away, she had a brain tumour". I find by telling them how she passed it stops any more questions or puzzled expressions. When faced with a large group of new people, for instance a new school I have found it easier to find the biggest gossip, tell them the whole terrible truth and that's it job done!
I watched a program some time ago with "Anne Diamond" , she tragically lost one of her Sons to cot death in 1991. She very clearly stated,
"I am a mother of 5,  4 surviving" I thought at the time how brave, but actually I realise now how necessary it was for her to say that. Like I mentioned earlier there is a terrible guilt that comes when as a mother you don't acknowledge one of your children just because they are no longer here.
So you see, such a simple question becomes a minefield of dilemmas. Only grief has the ability to  turn the most basic into the impossible.

I am a very proud Mother of 4 beautiful girls.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

What have I learnt from my daughter's death?

What have I learnt from my Daughter's death?

That the world goes on, whether you are ready for it or not.
That death can happen to anyone at any time
That Life is short, so appreciate everything
That what does not kill you makes you harder
That you can't change what people think of you
That true friends will always be there, no matter what

That I have no tolerance for stupidity or self pity & I will be blunt about it.
That I will always measure my life from before & after Lola's death.
That as long as I am on this earth I will worry constantly about my children.
That I am not afraid to talk about Lola, or how she died even if it makes others uncomfortable.
That I really have married the best Man on the planet.
That I can laugh & and have fun but after knowing such great sadness I will never be truly happy again.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Learning to live another way -

It has now been 7 years since My daughter Lola died, I am learning to live a different way. I say different because after loosing your child you will never be the same again and your life has to change. I have become harsher, less tolerant of people, and much more cynical. I remember thinking, "Why me?" in actual fact I really should be asking, "Why Not Me?", Death discriminates against no one, it has no pattern. Its like a tornado,  it can come without warning destroying everything in its  path and once its gone it leaves you with unimaginable devastation. In 7 years I am still broken, still in shock and I still miss her in my daily life. Of course I miss Her, but what I mean is when I'm leaving the house or a  place where I am gathering up my other 3 children I still take a moment to check I have them all. I get a huge sense that I have left one or forgotten one. Even though my last 2 children were born after Lola's death I still feel a massive empty space. The pain never leaves and that suites me, its a constant reminder of what I have lost.
 I think the fact that John and I seem very together and fine to the outside world, must make people think we are unbelievably strong, hence the......,
"I don't know how you do it" and
"You two are truly amazing!" comments,

 Firstly I don't remember being given a choice and secondly we have 3 other children 7yrs, 5yrs and 2yrs so we have no option but to be outwardly happy and together and let me tell you this in itself is exhausting, but I don't want to give my kids even a glimpse of our sadness. Its bad enough that they have to be touched by death at such a young age. We speak about Lola all the time and she is very much a part of our family. We send up balloons on her Birthday but we try to keep the anniversary of her death away from them that is why its better to be around other people, the people that shared our loss, the people that loved her like we did, the people that carried us through those first few debilitating days, weeks & months. Being alone is just too hard.         

Lola with her Big Cousin "Shaun", she really adored him.
 The tattoo Shaun had on his 18th Birthday.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Lola's story 6

The surgeon Mr Selway, came to see me with what looked like an xray picture, it was in fact the picture from the brain scan. He held it up over a light box and there it was, covering the right side of her brain, it just looked like a dark shadow.  I was now face to face with this "thing" this "Tumour" that was causing us all so much pain. I felt numb, I was on my own at this point and I new there were at least 20 questions I should be asking, information I needed to have and to pass on to John, but all I could do was just stand there nod and stare at this abhorrent thing. He explained that they would have to operate to remove it in the morning and that I should try and get some rest tonight!
I sat down beside my Angel who was still unconscious and started to explain that when she was better Mummy was going to buy her the "Fifi" house that she wanted so desperately and the "Wiggles guitar". I think it was at this point that the terror and fear set in and I think for the first time since it had all started the possible reality hit me, I felt phsically sick and I immediately put the thought out of my head.
"She's going to be fine" I said out loud to myself! John had arrived with his two brothers and I was back to being strong and positive. He wanted to know why they were operating in the morning and not immediately (one of the 20 questions I did not ask!). His brother's left to pick up the rest of the family and were planning to return the next day. The nurses were wonderful, and advised us to go and get something to eat and have a break, we were reluctant but left for a short time. Withing 10 minutes of us leaving our mobile rang... we rushed back to the ward where there were a lot of people around Lola, preparing her for surgery.
"Lola's had a bleed to the brain, we need to operate now!" said someone.
Within minutes she was being taken to theatre, and we were left in the corridor watching her being wheeled away.......
We were shown to a tiny room with two beds, we lay there for a while until John spoke,
"Shall we pray?" he asked. We were desperate, John although been raised a catholic, was in fact an atheist.
We got down on our knees held hands and prayed, prayed so hard and begged God. We would be better, go to church, anything... just make her well.
My Sisters and Brother-in Law arrived at this point it must have been early hours of the morning and they just sat with us waiting. Some hours later the young surgeon, who had taken Lola down, wheeled her back. I noticed the blood on his shoes and I  looked at him with that same desperate star I used in Worthing.
"She's critical", he said. At this point his mobile rang , "Yeah, alright Mate I'll be there in a minute!" he said in a loud and matter-a-fact way. Now, I don't know who was on the phone, it may have been another surgeon calling him to do yet another life saving op, or maybe it was his 'mate' that was waiting for him in the pub. Either way, his complete lack of respect and empathy to Lola, myself and John infuriates me to this day.
We stayed close to Lola, who lay still with a very large plaster over the top of her head. We were scared but hopeful when a lady Dr approached us and explained that Lola would need a great deal of care and recovery time, they weren't exactly sure what type of Tumour it was but if it was what she thought we needed to prepare ourselves for the long road ahead. Well I was just pleased that there would be a road ahead, but some time later that morning we were sat in front of this same DR, Mr Selway the surgeon and a nurse (I think!) it was at this point that they told us, Lola's brain was dead, the only thing keeping her alive was the machines. It is impossible to relay my feelings to you..... even now when I close my eyes and think of that moment my body is numb and I shake myself out of it, I still can not face that moment.
They moved Lola into her own private room, most of the family had arrived now. I remember being in the bathroom, I had to be alone, the pain was so horrendous I could not stand.....
"I don't know what to do, Lola" I said out loud, I felt a warmth around me for maybe 2 seconds I may have imagined this but I just knew she was gone.... That night with all her family around her she was given the last rites. They all kissed her goodbye and left Us alone with our Darling Girl. I held her in my arms as they turned off the machine her little heart was still beating I passed her to John and Lola left this world the same way she had entered it, in the arms of her ever loving Daddy.

It was 7 years today that Lola died and our Love for her will never change, she will always be a huge part of our family. To all those of you that have lost your loved ones, I send you my deepest sympathy and I wish you strength on you journey ahead.   

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Lola's story 5

We had just  been told that our precious daughter had a brain tumour, I had completely gone to pieces. We were then shown into a tiny room to make the necessary phone calls etc and it was at this point that John completely broke down... He fell to the floor with his head in his hands this is when I came to understand the  term "inner strength"!.... I was now kneeling in front of him, telling him that everything was going to be alright, and that these days surgeons could do anything. I was holding it together as John and my sister sobbed. I remember vaguely ringing my mum and dad who were is Spain on holiday, explaining to them and reassuring them that everything was going to be fine.
"Pray for her," I said pulling on my some what distant faith.
Lola and I were then in an ambulance on our way to "Kings College Hospital" in London. Only one of us could go in the ambulance. I sat in there, flashing lights,sirens and all, my Perfect little Girl laying next to me, unaware and helpless, I don't no what I was thinking or feeling it was a mixture of terror, disbelief, shock and desperation. How could this be happening to me ? A question I used to ask a lot, why me ?
We arrived in London in no time at all, there were people there waiting to greet us & we were rushed up to the "Mount Batten" ward on the 10th floor. I remember there were other children in this ward with their parents. After they had finished plugging & hooking My Lola in to various machines I sat next to her stroking her hair and whispering into her ear her favourite story " Goldilocks and the three Bears". After I finished I could hear her little voice in my head saying
"Again, again Mummy".... Like she always use to.
I then sang her the song I had been signing to her since she was born, "You are My Sunshine"...
As I got to the last line of this song the tears started to fall as I slowly sung the last few words......
"please don't take my Sunshine away"..... I have never been able to sing this song again.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Lola's story - 4

So we were still in accident and emergency at Worthing hospital, by this stage I was clearly in shock and utter disbelief that it had now been some time and yet these professionals were still non the wiser into what was wrong with My Baby.... They had called over a pediatric Dr from the main hospital they had cut off her old H&M top and she now had even more machines around her. There was a mention at this stage of "Menengitis" to the brain, which sent me into a mad panic and I broke down on the phone to my Sister-in-law, "Tracey".... Who was on her way to collect Ava for me. I remember   Her taking Ava and me just telling her to ring around and let the family know. We were then moved into a tiny room somewhere upstairs and here we were left alone just John myself & our Gorgeous Little Girl.... It can't have been long, but I remember the silence as we sat either side of her ... There were no words to exchange, we were both just trying to comprehend the last few hours, how did we get here? So helpless to the fate off our first born baby? Drs & nurses came and went giving us the snippets of information they could, but it was quite clear they were still unsure. My sister, "Francoise" had arrived by this point in tears of worry and so now there were three of us here in silence... The pediatric Dr came back and explained that they were still unsure, and that we would have to go to London, but first they wanted to give Lola a brain scan. As they prepped her to be moved  my mind was blank, I held her hand as she was wheeled down corridors and into the room where the scan was to take place. We were asked to wait outside and it seemed like hours but in reality it must have been more like 20-30 minutes. When the doors eventually opened I looked straight at the Person in charge. He was standing at the head of Lola's bed and my eyes met his, I could feel the desperation of my stare. He looked away..... This spoke volumes to me and I couldn't help but ask,
"Well was everything ok?".....
" We'll speak upstairs," Was the response, his eyes fixed on the floor.
This terrified me, and I new then that there was a major problem, but nothing was to prepare me for the next sentence....

"Lola, has a very large brain tumour covering the right side of her brain".

I wish I could describe to you the strength at which these words hit me, but that would be impossible. I  was sitting down yet I felt like I was falling uncontrollably . My heart stopped and the tears started
streaming, I felt like I was screaming or trying to but would come out. I could feel John's arms holding me tight as if to keep my body together.... I was falling apart....... My life was never going to be the same again.....

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Lola's story 3 do apologise for the late blog post this week, but we have been experiencing Internet connection problems.
I left off last week ranting on a bit about the last GP visit which took place on Monday 20th March 2006. The rest of the day Lola slept a lot, and occasionally complained of a head ache, this was put down to the lack of fluids and dehydration. John got home from work that evening and carried Lola up to our bed to watch a "Pepper Pig" DVD, which she was thrilled about, but soon fell asleep. Lola remained in our bed that night and it must have been the early hours of the morning when she suddenly became full of life! Jumping around singing and making siren noises! I presumed she was better and now wide awake as she had had too much sleep. So, and I hate myself for this next bit - but I got very cross with her and insisted she go back to sleep because, Mummy was very tired still. John took her into the spare room, and although she was still demanding "Mummy" , he managed to get her to sleep eventually. I went happily back into a deep, deep slumber thinking that all was well with my world.
As he had such a late night John decided to stay off work the next day. Lola was on the sofa eating a boiled egg, (the first thing she had eaten in ages) Ava was crawling around on the floor in front of us. "Noddy" had just finished on cebeebies and I was doing an impression of "Policeman Plod", who for those of you that don't know he raises one arm in front of him and says in a very large booming voice, "STOP in the name of PLOD", Lola copied me still from her sofa position and it made me laugh. John and I looked at our little girls with total ore,
"How lucky we are to have such healthy, perfect children" he said and I couldn't have agreed more as I sat next to Lola and gave her a little squeeze. Within minutes her eyes looked glazed and fixed, and her tiny little hands had started to tremble, very gently. I called over to John,
"This looks like a fit," I said very calmly. John jumped up and said that we were going straight to the hospital he rushed up to get dressed while I stayed with Lola, who was not responding to me, her eyes still fixed on one point. John placed her in my arms in the car, where she closed her eyes and I held her tightly. I remember the car ride very clearly,I was calm and positive, she was fine it really wasn't anything major. I know that might sound mad to another Parent reading this, but I was always the optimist and still very much on the mindset of "It won't happen to me!"
We got to Worthing hospital, Lola was still asleep and John carried her in his arms while I carried Ava. We were seen immediately, they kept trying to wake her, but she did not respond, but when they were putting her on various machines and injecting her I could see her tense with pain, so she was awake just not fully. They asked me to have a go and I remember saying,
"Ooh look Lola, Fifi is here.... and Mummy's going to buy you the wiggles guitar, if you wake up now"... nothing, then John tried, he used a very different tactic.
"Now Lola, Daddy will get angry with you, come on now" he said in his angry voice, this caused more of a reaction than my approach, just like with the injections you could see her move a little in response but she still did not wake up fully. Every now and then instead of the gentle tremor she had at home, her body would tense up and slightly twist to one side. The hospital staff confirmed it was in fact a seizure but they still did not know what was causing it. At this point, my still positive, naive or maybe even stupid mind was calm... I even thought if its epilepsy, that's OK it wont hold her back, she won't be able to become a flight attendant!
"Flight attendant...." what the hell was I on?.... I am telling you the truth, you just never expect anything bad to happen to you, especially not your children! I had no great aspiration for my child to become a flight attendant and yet here she was lying in a hospital bed hooked up to every machine you could think off with Doctors, nurses rushing around her and I'm thinking about what career choice she may or my not have!!!!!!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Lola's story, 2

Lola was 2years 8moths old and Ava was now 11months.It was a bright Saturday morning in March and the girls were in their play room drinking their milk. I gave Lola a cuddle, and she promptly through up right down the back of my dressing gown!
"Sorry Mummy", she said..... I picked her up reassuring her that it was all ok. She seemed fine in herself at this point. She did not have a temperature but was very tired. She didn't eat all day, and just had little bits to drink, by the evening I called the Dr, who reassured me it was most likely a tummy bug and that there was a lot going round and just to let her have plenty of rest and push fluids. Sunday morning came and she seemed a little brighter, but still not her usual bubbly self, John asked if she wanted to go to the park and that seemed to perk her up. I got her ready to go and she was sick again, but she insisted on going with her Daddy to the park and they had a lovely time although John knew she was not herself. The next morning she was complaining that her head hurt, she still had not eaten and so I called the Dr and demanded a home visit. The Dr arrived and after checking her over for about 3miniutes (if that)  gave his diagnosis,
"Tummy bug, little one will get it next", he said as he smiled at Ava in my arms, and that was that. I stupidly never thought to question him. This brings me to a question for all you reading this, how many times do you take yourself, your kids, parents to the Doctor and ever question what they say? after all they are only human? do you think its possible for a Dr to be rubbish at his job? why not? there are some people that take great pride in there jobs and do what ever it is they do to the best of their ability, and then there are those who will always do the minimum require because they just can't be bothered! or maybe its just that they have become complacent in there work? My Doctor was nice, did he really take his time examining "Lola".... No, if he had would he have noticed her tumour? may be, may be not and if so would she be here now? its very unlikely but we will never know the true answer to that question. I think its very easy to get caught up in life, and just simply forget that these people we go to regularly are GPs - GENERAL practitioner's, they can not possible know everything, you have to have a little faith in yourself and your instincts, do not be afraid to asked to be referred to a specialist. I am not against GPs at all, but please don't be afraid to question them.
Lola with her Grandpa , my Dad. xx

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Lola's story, 1

Lola was born on 14th July 2003, she was  healthy and well and as she was delivered by Cesarean section, was held up to me briefly before being handed over to her very nervous but totally in ore Daddy. It was a hard transition for me at first but John was such a natural and she loved by everyone. My best friend had her son, Harry a month before and also Keira  , Lola's cousin was born the same year. Life was good, yes like most young couples starting out money was tight but we managed to buy our first house with help from my parents and we soon decided to have another baby.... well John decided I was not at all sure after all Lola was just 1year old. Anyway we went for it and our 2nd daughter Ava was born in April 2005, Lola was just 21mths and loved her little sister totally. There was no jealousy, or tantrums she was such a lovely natured little girls that she was just happy. Lola was very advanced in all that she did strangely, she would recite and remember nursery rhymes easily and was so advanced in her speech even the Health Visitors were impressed.She had a high forhead and my Dad used to say..... "She's got a good brain in there"......

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Gifts for angels - Lola's story

Hello All, it has been nearly 7 years since my daughter, Lola, passed away... And as I set up "Gifts for Angels" in her memory I thought it was about time I told her story to the world. Over the next few weeks I will attempt to relay to you the "Wonder" that was my Lola and thoses fateful days in March when we lost her ..... In doing so I wish not only to honor her memory but raise awareness of Brain Tumours and the devastation they cause. sadly I am not the only parent out there that has lost a child and talking or reading about other people's experiences can help so please feel free to forward onto anyone you may know that is struggling with their own grief.
Thank you, Michelle x

Monday, 4 February 2013

Valentines Gifts at

Valentines heart Grave side ornament, memorial gifts, for those we have loved & lost, available at , for all UK deliveries please allow 2-3 working days.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Gifts for Angels - SEO help!

Top of google page as grave ornaments!!!! Hooray, but what else do people look for when shopping for someone's grave side????? All the research points to the term "Grave ornaments" and yet this is not reflecting in my sales.... any ideas?
Grave Vase    offering comfort, celebrating life .........

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Funky cherub grave side ornaments available at gifts for angels

So I designed a range of grave side ornaments that are bright, beautiful and fun just as Lola was. Have a look at the "funky cherub" range at
I have had some positive, all be it heart breaking feed back from customers that have purchased some of my products for children that have lost parents or grand parents, they can keep them in a special corner in their garden. I welcome all feed back and you can contact me at michelle@ in ever loving memory of my angel, "Lola Rice"

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Gifts for angels,supporting brain tumour research

Thank you to Vicki at "Families magazine Sussex coast" for the ad and write up on  supporting brain tumour research. Most people are unaware that brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and people under 40yrs in the U.K and yet  less than 1% of the national cancer research budget is allocated here.
Lola was misdiagnosed until she had a seizure and even then in A&E they still took hours before they gave her a brain scan.... To read some of what we went through & why I started this business please go to the website

Monday, 7 January 2013

New year, gifts for angels

So happy new year to all, feeling full of great ideas for gifts for angels, have had plenty of requests for our new brochure, if anyone would like some just go to the website and contact me   Unique bright & beautiful grave ornaments, grave vases & sympathy gifts.