Our Billie: Learning to Live with Every Family's Worst by Ian Clayton

By Ian Clayton

'An mind-blowing paintings' - Joanne Harris. each parent's worst nightmare grew to become a truth for Ian Clayton. On a quick vacation holiday in Hay-on-Wye, he took his nine-year-old twins canoeing, and in a freak coincidence his daughter Billie was once drowned. In a remarkably frank and vibrant method, Clayton describes what occurred on that spring day, his determined makes an attempt to avoid wasting his little ones, after which what it felt like years later to come back nose to nose with the lads who employed out the canoe. yet "Our Billie" isn't really a narrative of bitterness and recrimination. in its place it is the tale of ways a family members makes an attempt to come back to phrases with whatever which is not sensible in any respect. via his stories of Billie and his splendidly affectionate portrait of the small city in Yorkshire the place the relations has lived for generations, he weaves a narrative of loss and remembering, of gratitude and forgiveness.

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Ian’s writing celebrates his daughter’s life, and he, Heather and Edward have somehow found a way to grieve for her, remember her and include her in their family without being maudlin and without allowing a tragic accident to destroy three more lives. Billie, I’m sure, would be proud. Jenni Murray, October 2009 Introduction: Why I wanted to write this book We buried our Billie at noon on a blustery spring morning in May 2006. The first swallow to come back home flew over our heads as we lowered her wickerwork coffin into a hole that had been dug in the sandstone earth at North Featherstone cemetery.

I’m holding an image of Billie: she looks like the little hippie she was, long flowing Indian skirt, mucky vest, hair all over her face and she’s shaking a small egg filled with rice. Edward is banging away on the piano. We all sing: When you grow up, what would you like to be? A mother or a father with a fine family … We segue straight into ‘The Sun Has Got His Hat On’ and then Edward plays ‘A Groovy Kind Of Love’ and we never know all the words to that one. In my mind’s eye I’m in the tap room of the Greyhound pub in Pontefract now.

She said, We are here today to say goodbye to Billie Holiday Clayton, who died on 12 April at the age of nine. As religion did not play a part in the life of Billie and her family, I have been asked to lead the ceremony today. My name is Lynn and I work with the British Humanist Association. Humanists believe that we can lead good lives without being religious and that we can take responsibility for ourselves and our world and lead the best life that we can. Everyone who knew Billie will be feeling an immense sadness and loss.

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