Abbi’s Last Christmas

When Liz and Tim Banks adopted their daughters Debbie (9) and Abbi (7) fifteen  years ago, an elderly parishioner gave each of the girls a crocheted angel.  The angels were hung up in their bedrooms. Later on Abbi’s angel would hang on her drip stand in hospital, where she was being treated for leukaemia – and just after Christmas last year, Abbi’s parents placed it alongside their daughter in her coffin.

In this Christmas edition of Things Unseen, Abbi’s family tell Rosie Dawson about their life with – and now without – her.  A few nights before she died, Abbi told her mother of how she had seen angels around her bed.  Liz reflects on how she tries to hold on to the Christian message of hope brought by the angels 2000 years ago while continuing to grieve for Abbi.

You can download the song Becky Higg wrote for Abbi from

All proceeds go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

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  • A very beautiful and moving interview with a special family who show courage and faith amidst the depths of their vulnerability and grief. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Exceedingly moving tribute to the power of courage and faith!!

  • I salute the courage that it must have taken from Liz and Tim Banks to share this story at a very poignant time. An excellent listen.

  • This is a very beautiful and moving interview. What a wonderful family that Abbi grew up in. Becky Higg’s song for Abbi is also quite incredible. The words are so perfect and she has an exquisite voice. Many prayers for all of you who are grieving Abbi all at this time. (Btw, if you’re interested, Lorna Byrne has a wonderful reflection on angels and Christmas in her book Angels In My Hair). God bless.

  • Unmissable half hour of powerful-vulnerable radio. If you ever wondered if Angels are real this is a half hour you shouldn’t miss. Beautifully produced by Rosie Dawson and thank you to Abbi’s family for your raw honesty at such a painful time. Amidst the tinsel and jangling we think of you and others carrying such loss.

  • Beautiful words from the hearts of our beautiful friends parents and sister.

    Abbie will be with Emma and I know they will
    Both be so proud of us.

    Because life without them will never be the same.
    I know my immense love has now developed into immense grief

    Yet we still wake and function each day,
    Their hearts stopped beating and somehow ours carried on?……

  • A lovely tribute to Abbi by Liz, Tim and Debbie. In the cruel way that life just carries on around I had forgotten that you would be facing your first Christmas without her. Bless you all x

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