That’s exactly what happens to me, each time I look at this special colourful flower. Orange, red, yellow - all the colours that he loved, like his bright orange anorak speeding across the playground. Or the petals that are soft and gentle just like his kind and friendly heart.
From one minute to another, my world changed upside down. How quickly I went from happily skipping to the car to letting my head drop to my chest as a tear ran down my face. A smile turning into a deep frown, as mum told me the sad news about my dear little friend Zane, who had gone to heaven aged just 7. I knew this would be a hard week.
Although Zane didn't go to my school anymore I had seen him just weeks before. He was so funny, even when the game went wrong. He was a delight to be around and saw good in everything. I will never forget his joyful smile and jolly hair. He told me once – “People who say ‘No’ are just scared of what might happen if they say Yes”. I think he meant we should all say yes and live and learn as much as we can, whenever we can. I wonder what he’s saying “yes” to in heaven, right now.
Today I’ll put on my warm clothes and put my TAZ flower on my hat. Now it’s time, to remember my friend two years after that sad day. Now it’s time to celebrate a remarkable little boy who was a friend to so many people. We will remember his smile and his laughing eyes. We will remember the joy and kindness in his heart. I will send this lantern up to you in heaven and hope that you will see it and grab it and send me your smile in return.
We love you Zane and will not forget how special you are. One day we will know the truth about how you died. I won't be confused watching stories of you on the news, not knowing what happened is hurting my brain but I know you are safe with God and having fun once more. I don't need to see it, I just know it.
My TAZ flower reminds me of Zane’s gleaming eyes and rosy cheeks. His glistening white smile shines through. His dancing hair and colourful joy will never fade.
Isn’t it strange how some things can make you remember happy memories and special thoughts? One look, and it all comes flooding back…
My TAZ Flower – by Grace Fothergill (now aged 9)
In loving memory of her dear friend Zane Gbangbola