I cant quite believe as I sit here in the early hours of the morning that one whole year has passed by since the death of our sweet angel Heni. I am sitting, in perhaps what could be called the "portal to heaven"... the exact same place that we found her lying peacefully asleep... taken home to rest from her mortal sojourn.
The room has changed. Most of her "things" are lovingly packed away in her memory chest....there is no bed.... and no Her.
The room has moved on... re-purposed in to my new craft room.... but as I sit on the sofa (where she would have been sleeping in her bed) and as I cast my eyes around, I can still see Heni. The bright multi coloured rainbow pompom banner still hangs from the window. Her photos cover the walls in family portraits. Her yearly milestone pictures hang just behind me on the wall. Her purple fluffy blanket lays next to me on the sofa ...and there is one lone piece of clothing that I still keep here in this room. Her fluffy heart dressing gown still hangs behind the door in the same place its always been. Sometimes as I walk by ...I can still see her in my minds eye all wrapped up in it after bath time. Sometimes I take it in my arms, close my eyes and imagine that she is still in it...smiling away and making her noises and smelling of mango and coconut body lotion.
Yes the room and the world moves on.... still rotates... and time passes by on lightening speed...
but many things remain exactly the same.
My love for her remains constant... perhaps even stronger than ever. My desire to be with her again one day, is strengthened and resolute. I think of her every day... and often shed tears... and perhaps I will for the rest of my life. I now don't see that as a bad thing.
To begin with I thought that maybe grief was a journey... something to pass through and come out the other side....but as time has moved on, and life has changed I am coming to realise that the persistence of grief itself is part of loving someone so deeply. That is not to say that grief itself doesn't change... and progress... it just remains.
When you have had the privilege of loving someone... your love for them doesn't just disappear when they leave. It stays behind and goes through a transformation process of itself.
Just as Love is an eternal entity I believe grief is a part of that love too.
I grieve that she is no longer here with me physically...I guess it's the love that is left behind when you no longer have that person with you..... a wierd mathematical equasion that some how works out to be...
Love + presence = Joy
Love - presence = Grief
Perhaps what I am currently learning is that coming to a state of Acceptance doesn't mean that you no longer feel grief. Grief is not necessarily absent when Acceptance arrives, and the two states are not mutually exclusive. Both can exist at the same time and grief "is what it is". We can't rush it, change it or avoid it. We can, however, learn from it.
Heni taught me that (in a round about way)... she taught me to look at things in a different way and be open to what comes my way...she taught me to watch, observe, feel more and try not to judge and go with the flow a little more. With grief you just have to go with the flow.
I still draw every day on what I learned from Heni.
Acceptance of a new life is a journey and a process which takes time. Coming to a place of acceptance doesn't always mean that sadness, tears, or missing a loved one disappear. I think most of us just get better at coping with our sadness and loss.
So as we mark Heni's year passing today, my heart is heavy at her absence... and tears come easily for losing something so precious as her from this life. She is greatly missed and life without her is very very different.
As time continues to pass by and more changes occur in this temporal existence...love and grief are some of the only remains left behind of all of our lost loved ones. Although they are no longer visible to the human eye, I believe our loved ones still feel our love and forever remain a huge part of our lives.