This is a very difficult piece to write, but I feel that I must. On Thursday 5th February 2009 riding her bike to work, a friend and colleague Eilidh Cairns was involved in an accident and passed away a short time later.
Eilidh was full of life, and lived her short life to the full. She was very comfortable with who she was and made no excuse for that and we all loved her for it.
Her passing has hit all that knew her very hard, and that is right and proper and no words that you can say can take that hurt and grief away and nor should it. Denial, Anger, Depression are all part of the process before Acceptance can help you to heal.
Some people entrust in religion at such times to help them, and others do not have such a crutch. My belief is that when you are in a relationship with someone, whether that is friend, relative or lover that you exchange a piece of your hearts and entrust the other with its care. Between those pieces a thread joins you. The stronger the friendship; the deeper the love, the larger the piece and the thicker and brighter the thread. When that person is taken from you, the thread is broken and you feel the pain of that part of your heart that you have given; however what you must remember is that you still have part of their heart and you are honour-bound to look after it and do what is right by it.
So when you have partied too hard and dragged yourself into work; when you have woken early because it has snowed and a smile creeps across your face, and everyday in everything you do, doff your cap, tip a wink and take Eilidh Cairns with you.
Sleep well Chicken
A memorial bike ride, commemorating Eilidh and to draw attention to cycling safety in London took place on Saturday 7th March. Hundreds of her friends, family and members of cycling forums traced her route to Notting Hill. There are some photos here, it made the local ITV news here and a very touching video tribute can be found here.
Sleep well Chicken.
It has been over three months since Eilidh’s accident and we are no closer to knowing exactly what happened that morning. To try and jog people’s memories Eilidh’s friends and family handed out leaflets appealing for witnesses and have produced a short video to be broadcast. This twofold: to ask if you saw anything on the morning of Thursday 5th February 2009, however insignificant you think it may be, to contact the police to help piece together the jigsaw of what happened and secondly to raise awareness of the safety of cyclists and prevent accidents like this from happening.
So please if you saw anything on the morning of Thursday 5th February 2009, the week of the heavy snow, please watch this video and contact the witness line on 020 7388 6806.
Eilidh’s memory has been honoured with a ghostbike, the first city approved ghost cycle in London. Ghostbikes are small and sombre memorials for cyclists who are killed or hit on a street. A bike frame is painted white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise ordinary street.
Eilidh’s mum, Heather, has been working with her local M.E.P. to try and get a E.U. declaration signed to get H.G.V.’s fitted with sensors and cameras to remove their blind spot. They need your assistance so please pop by to www.eilidhcairns.com and see how you are able to help.
It has been over three years since Eilidh’s death but not only is cyclists’ safety still an issue (only yesterday a cyclist was knocked down and killed by an official Olympics bus) but the driver involved in Eilidh’s accident has still been affecting other’s lives. Yesterday however he was sentenced over the death of Ms Nora Gutmann whom he ran down in June 2011 on a light controlled pedestrian crossing and falsifying the data from his tachograph of the lorry his was driving. This is not the forum for a detailed write up of the details of the sentence but if you are interested please click here.