When I explained why I’d chosen the first decoration, Elodie was annoyed with me. “But I’ve got lots of joy in my life,” she told me. “It feels wrong not to have an angel for Juliette like we usually do.” She’s quite right. She chose this one on the left, but while she was looking, another one had caught her eye.
A few days before Juliette died, we all visited an otter sanctuary in Suffolk. It was one of those magical English summer days days where the sun rippled on sparkling clear water, otters heads bobbed and dragonflies and kingfishers flashed through the reeds, The children gathered feathers to turn into native american head dresses later, and Juliette brimmed with health. The colour and brilliance and brevity of the dragonfly is a beautiful symbol, and though the vivid purple hue is not one often found in the creature, it was one of Juliette’s favourite colours. So here it is!
Once in hospital, Juliette made me a purple, blue and pink brooch from a kit in the shape of a dragonfly. I keep it in a drawer next to my bed.