The other day I came across the photos taken at your wedding anniversary party last June. It’s almost impossible to believe that was only just over a year ago. So half of that time you were here, even though in some ways it feels like that was a decade ago. And half of that time I have been getting my head around not having you here any more. It just doesn’t feel real that you’ve been gone for six months.
I miss you so much. Every day I think about you, remember something I need to tell you, want to phone you for advice. I remember now that I can’t call you. It’s starting to sink in. I can look at your photo and not dissolve into tears every single time. So I think I’m making progress (begrudgingly) on living without you.
I’ve started to dream about you, always the ‘you’ before you got sick – the energetic happy you with all your hair. I know that’s how you would want to be remembered. I so crave your presence in my life I think my brain is creating that space in my sleep time. The nights that I can and do sleep anyway. I have a new friend, a little blue pill, my chemical sleep. That only started since you went away. Don’t worry though, I’m being careful and not taking them too often.
Did I mention how much I miss you?
Natty misses you heaps too. I often find her in her room with Gee-June looking at the photo of you we keep beside her bed. Her grief pattern seems to echo mine, I guess that’s natural. I can see her bad days being fewer and further between as well but some days it still bites her hard. You’re always with us. On Mothers Day Nat and I spent a few hours doing just what we would have if you were with us. A nice cafe and some casual shopping. I bought her a ‘You Are My Sunshine’ canvas which I told her was from you, and that you’d wanted to buy her one before but we hadn’t found the right thing. She had it hung in her room within minutes of getting home!
You really are always with us. I like to think you can see us through a heaven-lens of understanding, so you can see we’re doing ok but not the bad sad stuff – because it has to be awesome where you are and we don’t want you to see us unhappy.
There is this thing though, I haven’t been home since early March. We went back a couple of times shortly after you left. Everything was so surreal then. Now that I know you’re not there, I’m so terrified of going back. I’m not sure I can face that, I don’t know how to handle it. It’s the sort of problem I need to ring you about – you’d always help me find the right perspective. Yep, need you mum.
There’s stuff I can’t even tell you. It would make you too sad. I had to meet someone the other day and it’s just so wrong. So soon. But my mum you are always in my heart.
We’ve organised a place for your ashes. It’s nice, you’d totally like it – a brand new marble structure in the village cemetery. Lots of sun and nice view. We were going to put your ashes there at Queens Birthday weekend but I was the one who pulled the plug. I just couldn’t go through with it. I know it’s not really you in there but I’m not ready to let go of the last few things we do have to do that link you to this place.
Grief is such a full on journey. A roller coaster really. I expected to be sad, but there’s so much else that goes on as well. I don’t remember ever seeing you grieve. When you lost your parents, or friends, or Aunty Nan or Mrs Val. Did you hide that from us on purpose? I’m not really very good and hiding it. But I’ve decided it’s ok for people to see how I’m really feeling.
I’m glad that you are not in pain anymore. I’m glad your physical battle is over. But I’m not glad you’re not here. I’m not glad you’re not getting to know my new family. They are cool – who knew I would end up with three sons as well! I’m in this new phase of life and I’m so horribly sad that you’re not in it with me. But I’m not getting stuck. I know you would be telling me, ‘Abbie, you have to move on, you can’t change what’s happened, you have to make the best of it’.
I do hear your voice still. The other day I couldn’t wear my grey blazer with the button missing. I’ve worn it a heap of times without the button but your voice was too loud that day. I’ll fix it up before I wear it again. Promise.
Love you mum. Always have. Always will. You will be always missed and never forgotten.