The last few days I have been thinking about you more than usual. Your absence is palpable. Perhaps it is because we are about to welcome a new family member. Your sister, Natalie, is about to give birth and you are not here to witness it. I really missed having you with me yesterday while I was sitting with Natalie at the hospital. I really feel your absence. It pains me to think of you. We also have to organise your headstone at the cemetery. This is very painful to go through. Thank goodness I have my sister. I don’t know what I would do without her.
Words can’t convey adequately how much I miss you. They float into the wind when I speak them, they float here on the page, but they do not in any way, show or declare, how much I am hurting, how painful the wounds are, how desperately I miss you, how awful it is to contemplate your passing. Simply, no words.
How can it be almost one year that you have been gone from us? 11 months on the 23rd to the 25th of this month. 3 days, because we know that you passed between the Wednesday and the Friday morning of that week. Forever etched into my memory. And then your funeral on the 125th of September. I remember these dates as if it happened yesterday and they will forever remain etched closely to the surface of my brain, with no removal, no forgetting possible.
How do I contemplate a headstone for your grave? How do I think about a gravesite for you, my son? What kind of cruelty is this? What kind of joke is this that god has played with me? I know that you are not at the gravesite because I feel you with me all the time. I feel you walking with me, I feel your arm around my shoulders, I feel your words breathing against my cheek. You tell me how you are going, you tell me to be strong, that I can do it, you tell me all these things, so how can it be that you are buried somewhere?
A mother’s grief. My grief.
We simply miss you and it is so damn painful that we barely speak about it. Tears flow freely now, as I write, that shouldn’t be – you are here with me as I write. You are here with me giving me strength to carry on. You are here with me showing me how to live without you. You know how much pain I am in but you make it better because I know that you are here. I can access your spirit. Your spirit floats all around me. You are blessing everything that I do. Everything that I do these days, I do in honour of you, for you, for your memory, so that you will live on forever with us, even if it is in another dimension.
This dimension I have become so familiar with – there is no name for it, I just know that it is where you are. Where you can be found, whenever I need to talk to you, to hug you, to cry with you, to tell you about what I am doing, ha, as if you don’t know what I am doing, – you know exactly what I am doing.
Am I going crazy here without you? Have I built up another world for you out of yearning, out of pain, out of missing you so much that it is actually unbearable? I count each day without you. I count each breath without you. If only I had picked up the phone that Wednesday morning. Would it have made a difference? This question tortures me. Tortures me. There is no pain in this world that is greater than this. Nothing that anyone can do to me that hurts more than this. It is freeing in a way. Knowing that nothing can hurt me more than this, I am therefore going to be spared further pain, because there is no pain greater than this one. This pain without you. Thinking of your gorgeous face, your smell, what you wore, your jeans, your T-shirts. Your shoes. Your fingernails. Your beard. Your hair. That I used to comb to one side when you were little, with water, to plaster it down. How cute it was.
You were a gorgeous little boy growing up. Never caused any trouble. Just always interrupted me when I was on the phone. But that’s it. That is all I remember. I remember so much more but it is too much – I can’t do it. I can’t remember it all, it is too much to bear. Living without you is too much to bear. The pain of one year without you is too much to bear. What have I done for this year? Nothing except mourn. Mourn every single day, every minute, every second of every day.