Loss is meant to make us see the fragility of life. It is meant to make us see how much life should be cherished. How much it should be lived. Loss is meant to make us open our own doors outwards into the world and explore the beauty it holds, for we now truly understand that any tomorrow may be our last. Loss is meant to make us live.
But, honestly? I think I’ve lived less without you.
It was easy to ignore how much I had put my life on hold in those early months. My grief for you made it incredibly easy to put my life on morbid repeat; get up, walk around the house endlessly and go to sleep, only to be faced with the same routine the following day. Not wanting to see friends because I was so fed up with my own unhappiness that I convinced myself they wouldn’t want to be around me either. Not wanting to go to work so much and face the sympathy ‘head tilts’ over the reception desk that I quit my job altogether. Struggling with the anxiety of being pregnant with your little sister and my grief for you that I started to build a wall around myself.
I thought I was being smart. I thought if I could build my defences high enough then nothing would ever hurt me again.
But I wasn’t smart.
I didn’t understand that Grief can still seep through the smallest of gaps. I didn’t realise that Grief has a best friend called Anxiety who I’ve become well acquainted with over the past two and a half years. . . .
Do you remember what I told you when the time came for us to say Goodbye? I told you that I would live for you. And I’ve tried. I found a new photography venture after leaving work. Our family expanded with the arrival of your little sister. I’ve continued to write our story. I’ve smiled. I’ve laughed. I’ve had days that have ended where I’ve wished they could go on forever.
But I think it is an honest realisation to admit to you that I have lived less without you. I think it’s only fair to say that I deliberately made my world smaller. I deliberately cocooned myself. I was never the person who flung open the doors and shouted at life to Bring It On. Nor am I ever going to be. And nor do I want to.
Let me tell you why . . . .
I have lived less without you. But this is my journey of healing as your mummy. And sometimes I’m going to trip. Sometimes I’m going to stumble. Sometimes I’m going to fall and it may take me longer to rise.
But let me tell you one very important thing, my darling. As I’ve sat here reflecting on the time between our last embrace and now, I’ve realised that I don’t need to feel guilty. For a long time I felt like I’d let you down. That my promise to live for you had been broken.
But it’s not. It never will be.
I thought I had to do the grand gestures to make people see it. I thought the fact that I haven’t been grabbing every opportunity due to my own anxieties and grief, or the fact that sometimes staying inside feels like the gentler option meant that I was letting you down.
But I’m not.
It breaks my heart, but life gifted me with the one thing it could never give to you.
I have had the time to do everything I have done so far in your name. I still have the time to do everything I want to do in your honour. I have the time to slowly but surely start taking my wall down brick by brick. I have the time to find my key to the outside world and fling those doors open if I choose to . . .
Yes, I may have lived less without you. But I will always live for you.
And I will never break that promise.
I love you always,