“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn't. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
It's amazing to me how we can live life thinking we have control, knowing reality and predicted outcomes. I certainly felt that way. Tragedy and its consequences barely crossed my muddled mind. I was focused on 'the juggle'. Children, house, errands, bills, work - how to manage it and allow an element of enjoyment into all of it. "So how will I manage the two little boys on my own at my eldest daughter's netball game?" How can I pick up the girls from school with both my boys asleep in the car?" "How will I scrape the hardened Weetbix off the tiles?" These were just some of daily conundrums. Hardly taxing are they? My cheeks tingle in shame at the extent of my first world problems.
And here I am.
Going through the same motions but with a new perspective. Dealing with daily crap, knowing nothing matters but love, human connection, and soul beautification through giving. Allowing light and love into my life to dig myself out of the depths of darkness and despair. I had a life, but I wasn't living it as I was meant. Hindsight is cruel and taunting.
Today I fantasised about Hami miraculously returning to my arms on Earth. I'm not delusional. Desperate, but not delusional. I imagined how my life would irrevocably change. How every smile would be absorbed to my very core. How every cuddle would be long and heart-felt, his skin constantly stroked and smelt. I would absorb his very essence and give him my time unselfishly, lovingly, unconditionally. That's a second chance I will never have. He is gone from the atmosphere and I'm left with the heavy thud, shortness of breath and the hole. The hole that will never be filled, never healed. It will always be there. I may just get better at living with open wound in my life.
As my husband returns to his demanding job and I turn to my domestic quietness, I struggle with the silence (on the days Little F is at Kindy). I often find myself walking into the boys' room, stroking toys, books and clothes. When I'm out, I imagine Hami at my feet. I think about the mayhem we would potentially be causing at the Supermarket, the sweet giggles that poured out of him, and the loving glances he shot me constantly. There's the thud again. Heavy, oppressive and ever-present.
Today, Little F and I had swimming lessons. He's gradually improving but it's very difficult to watch him in the water still. I fake my smile and give two thumbs up when he paddles a few metres on his own, all the while holding my breath and feeling the pain in my chest. He gazes at me, smiling angelically, waiting for my praise. I give it as enthusiastically as I can.
As he was standing in the shower after his lesson, I realised how different his life has become. There was nothing he would do, without the input of his little brother. If Hami had if been in the shower with him, there would have been laughter, play and sweet moments (and perhaps a fight over the shower spray). Today I watched him stand under the stream in silence watching the bubbles of water dance down his legs and swirl into the drain. He was quiet, retrospective and I just felt incredibly sad. He just won't remember the joy like I will, the incredible lightness Hamish brought to everything. It's up to me to remind him. Not now, not all the time, but he needs to know about the little brother who made him giggle and showed him the less serious side to life.
Today I sat down and did a little writing exercise. I opened my journal and wrote the first words that came into my head. I gave myself a minute to write and this is what I wrote:
In the beginning, life was meant to be simple. It was meant to be about love, pure and simple. Complexities enter and life soon becomes messy and we all need to remember to clean our souls, just like the houses we live in. Some people don't understand this until the worst happens. The unimaginable. Then we are left with confusion and despair. To achieve clarity and enlightenment, you need to cleanse your soul of the 'stuff'. Be brutal and live simply and concentrate on love and living a life of joy. It doesn't need to be messy. It's time to create the change.
I like it. I think I'll try this again very soon.
Thanks for listening.
PS. This week I found out I won the Parenting Express/My Child magazine Short Story competition for 2012. My piece 'Honouring Hamish' will be in the March edition of My Child magazine (Australia).