That first year, I wondered. Would the pain ever go away? Would I ever be able to hear a song without feeling my eyes welling up? Would we ever be able to look forward to Christmas? Would I ever be able to look at mothers and sons out together, enjoying each other’s company without feeling stabs of envy, of anger?
Every morning since Eddie left, I have woken up and for a split second started to luxuriate in the new day. Then suddenly the awful reality kicks me in the stomach and drives me into the foetal position where getting out of bed becomes an effort.
Keep going, keep going. Focus on the trivia, the everyday, the small things. Hang out the washing, peel the potatoes, clean the bath. Don’t stop to think. Don’t listen to music. Don’t go to that place. Because if you do, the grief will hit you like a tidal wave that picks you up and throws you on to the rocks and tosses you around like a piece of flotsam. And you’ll lie there as it recedes, trying to draw breath until the next wave batters down on you. And the next, until you have no strength left, and no will to climb out and the water fills you and becomes you and you become the water.
They say the time will come when we can allow ourselves to feel. When I can wear his big tee shirt and play his awful music, and I can howl into the song because it is part of the music. I can pour out my anger and anguish and let the wind blow it into the skies where the clouds will take it over the horizon. Then the sun will shine through, thin rays of tear-filled light, enough to see a future that is not full of shadows, that is not like a moonless night, that carries just enough warmth to revive the soul.
And my sadness self-indulgent, because I know my boy is alright. That day, one year later, we threw flowers in the sea, and looked up. And there was my sign, written in the sky.