UK mother Gilli Davidson knew she wanted to spend some time with her nine-year-old daughter before she was gone forever.
Gilli’s daughter Niamh was diagnosed with a Wilms tumour (a rare kidney cancer) when she was six, and died in 2014 after a three-year long battle, the BBC reports.
"The thought that she wouldn't be here was unbearable," Gilli told the BBC.
"She died at home at 1:30 in the afternoon, with me and her dad."
Organ donation was important to the family, and when Niamh passed away, a Brighton funeral director removed and donated the little girl’s eyes—her only body part unaffected by cancer.
After the procedure, Niamh was returned to her mother at home.
"She stayed there, lying on an armchair with her blankets and her cushions," Gilli recollects.
"I couldn't possibly have left her somewhere else. It just didn't feel right. She'd just turned nine years old - it still felt as though she was part of me."
The little girl spent a total of three weeks with her mother. The time was particularly precious to Gilli because she had lost two other children in the 1990s.
"If Niamh had just disappeared out of the house, and then a coffin had arrived and I never saw her again, I'd still be searching..." she explained.
"I was able to wash her. And dress her in her favourite things. The main thing for me was to make her death real.”
Niamh was buried at a touching ceremony with family, friends, neighbourhood pets and balloons.
"The funeral's only the start of saying goodbye, but it's such an important start - it's the beginning of moving on to the next chapter of life without that person,” Gilli added.
This article first published on Marie Claire.