Since you’ve been gone…

It’s been an uphill task coming to terms with your demise-especially for your mother. That Friday afternoon years ago, when you took your last breath, we were left in heart-wrenching confusion, unable to comprehend what had happened.

For a while, I thought that it was a bad dream and that I would wake up and it would all be over. We all did. Only for the nightmare to drag on and on and as your small body was lowered to the earth, the nightmare turned into inevitable reality; that you had left us, never to come back again.

How were we supposed to move on? How were we to accept that we wouldn’t see you grow, play, teeth, blossom into a young woman, rebel, talk back at your parents, finish school nonetheless, get married and have your own children? Grandchildren even?  I wanted to see all that. Imagine the things we would have done together. Maybe I would have taken you to have your ears pierced, held your hair in a ponytail, allowed you to borrow my lip gloss, taken you shopping for your first bra… you know, things aunts do with their nieces. It would have been something to watch you take your first steps. Watch you fall in love. I would have scolded you though when you faltered, kept bad company, or talked back to your mother in your adolescent years. I would have loved to dish out unwarranted advice even if you would roll your eyes at me like teenagers are wont to do. 

I would have loved to watch you grow, but you left us too soon. You broke our hearts baby girl. You left us crashed. 

Plus, you broke the all-important rule. Yes you did, the unwritten rule that states that no child should ever precede their parents out of this world. But eight years is a long time to hold a grudge neh? I therefore forgive you for that sweetheart!

You would have been turning nine years old today and so I know that today must be a very difficult day for your mother. See, she has tried in the years after you left us to bear the pain though you can tell it has never left her. It never does. 

What she has been doing is coping. Because really, what else is there to do but cope and hope that when one day is done, you will find it within you to wake up the next day with just enough strength to take you to the next couple of minutes…hours…days? Praying each day for a resuscitation with the rising of the sun?

Not to worry though. Through God’s grace, she has borne the pain. One day has turned into a week, a month has turned into a year, one year to eight and a half years. She soldiers on. And when it all seems unbearable, I know she knows in her heart of hearts that we are here.

After all, what is family for?

Happy Birthday Hazel.

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