It's possible that this post is a little self-indulgent. I know I'm feeling very vulnerable as I post it. As always, if it's not your cup of tea, please feel totally free to ignore. :-)
DECEMBER 17TH, 2019
Here we are at the “most wonderful time of the year” … perhaps not this year. I have always loved December; it’s my birthday month so I’ve always managed to make it very festive. Everyone just seems a bit lighter, although the busy-ness of the season can become a bit overwhelming for some. This year has such a bittersweetness to it. I am celebrating, and I feel the lightness, but I am feeling the loss of my buddy so keenly at the moment. I think the end of the year is having something to do with it too; I don’t want to leave him behind in “last year”. Because, for me, he is ever-present, and there are times when I just can’t comprehend that he is not here with me. I’m rocked by thoughts that I will forget the ‘realness’ of him; forget his laugh, his smile, his walk, the feel of him hugging me, ALL the things he said (!)
There are some contacts in my phone that I have referenced with his name, to avoid confusion. For three years, the sound of my phone announcing his name as it rang, and seeing “Billy” appear on the screen, would give me a little thrill. I just loved hearing from him and talking to him. It never got old. So recently, I’ve received messages and calls from those “Billy” contacts, and it gives me such a jolt and a yearning, but I don’t want to change it. I’d still give anything to have him back here with us, with me, living and laughing and playing music, and being able to show him how much I love him.
I think that is the difficult thing. I’ve read recently that grief is love with nowhere to go. I totally get that. I think back to some of the things he went through, the pain he endured and the difficult circumstances he found himself in, and my heart hurts for it. I find myself still wishing I could have taken it away, even now it’s over.
Six months since I lay beside him listening to his laboured breathing, feeling his warm hand on the sheet and his beautiful, complicated heart beating madly in his chest. Six months since I woke to find that he’d flown; from one precious moment to the next. Six months since I woke his sister and we cried and sat by him, and then stood in the driveway as they transported his body away from me. I don’t want it to be so, but it is. Arguing with reality will get you nowhere, but for now, I walk in the in-between, wishing it to not be true. What a rare landscape to walk within.
But of course there is always gratitude for all of it. How fortunate I am that I had the chance to love like this, to miss someone in this way, and to have experienced his love and for him to have received mine. I am blessed and broken all at once. And this is where I will be this Christmas.. blessed and broken. I hope that those of you out there who find yourselves in a similar space are able to carry this contradiction with you during this sometimes very challenging time. I will be held firmly in the safety of loving family and friends and for this, I am extraordinarily grateful.
I wish you all some cheer this Christmas. Life is never just one thing. Let’s love it all.