By Emma K
I could tell you how amazing his smile was, I could tell you how his eyes shone when he was up to no good and that his soul was a bit wild. But my heart longs for the ‘was’ to become ‘is’ and now this will never be. This story is about my grief, which has become my connection to my son now, my son who died in March 2013. He was 18 and his name was Andy.
In the first year after his death I was compelled to survive my grief. I raged against my own dying of the light with an unstoppable passion to change my life. I needed to replicate the values that were important to me and live them to the fullest. I couldn’t live any other way. I moved to the country, started growing vegetables, making cheese, became passionately involved in my community and fell back in love with the nature surrounding me and the slower speed of life.
It was there that I found him again, in a quieter place. I found him in the smile of others who I had helped. I found him in the hard work in the earth on our little farm and the laughter of my other children as they played with chooks, slopped in mud. I found him away from the old house where we got the phone call about his death, away from the routine I could not continue after he was gone. I remembered him as a young boy up a tree and his fascination with bugs and creatures. I remembered his soft nature that attracted children to climb on his strong frame every time I would look up into the branches of the huge elm in the front yard.
It’s coming up to the 2nd year anniversary of his death and I am once again fighting. I am confronted by another added year as I feel like losing him happened yesterday. It is at this time when I find it hard to concentrate, I don’t sleep well, and I feel overwhelmed and scared. But this passes usually with a good cry. Sometimes I have to work harder at it, I’ll take myself down to Melbourne to smother myself in friends and family or decide to build another vegetable patch and sweat and pound at the earth until I’m too tired to feel anything, but it works.
There are some things I will never really enjoy anymore, like photos of family on the wall because his face will never age. My birthday because he’ll never share it with me. But I love the strength I have found in myself. And I love that I appreciate every day.
I always feel my hearts broken pieces, but I like them, they make me who I am and remind me of who he was, so I embrace them.