It’s been a long time since I last wrote here. Life has been good and after everything we’ve been through I certainly know what small things in life can mean. I’ve been thinking about the changing nature of grief,of how it keeps unfolding in new ways as the years roll by. In my own case,I’m onto year four and the pain shrouds itself in myriad ways.
I read somewhere that when someone you love dearly dies,they die in a million places.They are gone not only from the present but from all the life that is yet to come. Mother and Father’s Day are behind us this year and on both these occasions I’ve felt the icy grip of deep sadness. I grieve all the moments we were supposed to have together but couldn’t.
The other thing that really hurts as time passes is that your loved one is not talked about,at least not to me. I would love to hear about my late wife from friends or family once in a while but I find that enveloped in a cold silence the world moves on. To the person who is left behind nothing can be more comforting than talking about their loved one,hearing their name again.
I guess many times people don’t want to bring it up as they find it upsetting or they think they are reminding the griever. But the truths is that we never forgot so there’s no reminding. Sometimes I talk to my son about his mother and try to keep her memory alive. Recently I was pleasantly surprised to find him watching a Harry Potter movie. I told him how much his mother loved the series. She would have been thrilled had she been around.
It’s small inconsequential moments like these when her absence really hurts.She should have been around watching her child grow up, teaching him new things,attending his school functions,fretting over lunches and homework but she got to experience none of it. I remember how much she was looking forward to him being in grade one so that the longer school hours would give her some much needed time to herself.
But life turned out differently.By the time grade one came along,she was gone and I had taken on the role of being both Mom and dad. The year she was diagnosed with cancer,she had at least four trips planned none of which happened. In her honour I made two of those alone as a single parent with my son.
The city and the community I live has already changed so much. There are new shops and facilities that open up but she isn’t around to experience any of it. It’s almost like she’s been left behind frozen in time while the world has moved on. I guess now I understand what it means to die in a million places.
Four years ago around this time I was living my last months of normal pre cancer life with her. I didn’t know it then but I was just months away from my world coming crashing down upon me. But at that time I could see nothing coming ,a long life stretched out in front. But it turned out so differently.
It’s not that I’m not grateful. I’ve come a long way since then. Today I’ve a loving family again and quite honestly I never thought I could experience happiness of any sort again but I do. I’ve regained many things that I thought were lost forever. But I’m no longer the same person that I was. I’ve learned to live with a perpetual void.
I like taking solitary walks. Some days during mornings or at dusk, I just stop to hear the chirping of birds in the distance,I look at the amazing colours in the sky and I pause. In that moment I experience a deep sense of loss and peace at the same time.