Drowning

Help me. I’m drowning.

The air is thick and I cannot breathe it in.

I don’t know which way is up.

Or down.

Or to the side.

I can’t see light. I can’t feel light.

It’s dark and heavy and I don’t know how to move within it.

Help me, I’m drowning.

Drowning in an air everyone else seems able to breathe.

Drowning with my feet flat on the ground.

I don’t know how much longer I can hold my breathe. How much longer I can tread, searching for the surface.

I can’t break it if I don’t know where it is.

I can’t break it if I don’t know where it’s not.

Please, help me.

If you can find me, please, send help.

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Hate

Dear Chopper,

I hate this world without you in it.

I hate every perfect sunset and each breath taking vista.

I hate the warmth of the sun on my skin, muted by the cool breeze blowing across the sands.

I hate the sparkle of light playing on the surface of the water and the sound of the waves crashing down and lapping onto the shore.

I hate all the adventures the world holds – each enthralling new place to explore.

I hate every smile from a stranger and every wag of a passing dog’s tail.

I hate this world, my love, in all its beauty and splendour.

I hate this life, not because it’s cruel and ugly.

Not because it’s been unkind to me.

This universe treats me better than I deserve – I know that. And this earth fills me with an infinite amount of awe and love – I feel it everyday.

I hate it, Chopper.

I hate it so incredibly much simply because it no longer has you in it.

And what good is all that’s beautiful here if I don’t have you to share it with?

What is there to want here?

The emptiness you’ve left is a vacuum. One I’m struggling to breathe within. It doesn’t seem to have a beginning or an end. There’s no light awaiting me somewhere. Just a vast blackness that I’m lost within.

I’m so lost, baby. There seems to be so many directions that ‘up’ doesn’t even seem to come into play. There are endless dimensions and none of them make sense as the right way to go. Like no matter what I choose, I’ll be wandering through a dense darkness forever.

For longer than forever.

I know I can’t have you back. That life in this world for me will forevermore be without you.

Without.

I don’t know how to want a life without you. No matter how perfect it may be. Or how much happiness it holds.

All I want is to be with you. There is nothing else.

New

The new year has never really meant too much to me. It’s a human construct, mostly; and the first of January is just another day.

This year felt very different.

As the clock ticked closer and closer to midnight on the 31st of December 2018, the tears started welling up in my eyes. There was no real trigger but I somehow realised that we were entering a year that has never had Chopper in it. 2019 never got the chance to meet my kid. Chop won’t get the opportunity to make his mark on this year.

And as soon as my conscious brain grasped what the sub was hinting at, I fell apart.

It all of a sudden felt like the clock striking midnight was me taking a step away from Chopper. Leaving him behind in 2018.

And as much as my rational mind knows that simply isn’t true, that it’s just another day… I couldn’t stop sobbing. I held on to the box that housed his ashes and the sadness shook my entire body.

He’s gone. And the year that knew him is gone now too.

And I don’t know how to go a whole year without him. I don’t want a fresh start. I want to rewind. I want to relive each of his 12 years over and over again on repeat, just to get the most time with him.

I have no interest in 2019.

2019 has no Chopper in it.

So I avoid the happy new year greetings… I can’t bring myself to describe it as happy. And I honestly don’t know how I’ll ever be happy without him.

I know.

Hi baby,

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to hold you.

I don’t really know what to do with myself.

I don’t know how to reconcile myself with the thought that I won’t ever hold you again.

I know that I need to honour all the work you’ve put into me. You did so much for me. I know how ungrateful it seems to throw that all away. I know, baby, I know.

But this world, without you in it… It’s horribly empty.

Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a beautiful world, filled with so many beautiful people. I know there’s so much more to explore and so much more love to give. I know, baby, I know.

But it’s a lesser place without you in it. Less shiny. Less interesting. Less loving. Less safe… I could go on and on.

You brought so much to my world; to this world.

Maybe no-one else notices how the skies are a less vibrant shade of blue. Or how the sun’s touch doesn’t feel quite as warm anymore. Maybe their hearts don’t ache when they don’t feel that extra bit of love you filled the air with. It always felt tangible to me.

Maybe no-one else can feel the change 15 October brought to this world. But I can.

And, if it was a sound, it would be deafening.

And I’m so lucky that I have so many incredible people around me that love me and want to help. I know how much support I have available to me. They’re all trying so hard to muffle the sound. They’re holding me close and buying me headphones. I know all this, baby, I know.

I’m overwhelmed with the outpouring of love I’ve felt. I really, truly am.

I know that you and Zoe and Lu have shaped me into the kind of person that can do some good in this world. I know I have the capacity to touch lives in some small way. I’m so grateful that you’ve gifted me this. And I know I need to use it. I know, baby, I know.

But I don’t know how to keep putting one foot in front of the other when you’re not walking beside me. I don’t know how to inhale and exhale over and over again without your body against mine, guiding my breath.

I don’t know how to not want to be with you. I’m struggling to understand what the point of me is without my Chopper.

I know everyone thinks I’ve lost my buddy and my companion. They don’t know. They don’t know how you were my entire world. How you were my best friend, my partner, my family, and, most of all, my kid. They don’t understand that you were my heart. Not a part of it, but its entirety.

And now you’re gone.

And I know I seem ok on the outside. I’m not breaking down. Because my world isn’t collapsing around me. Because my heart isn’t breaking. They’re just gone. My heart, my world… It all just seems to have ceased to exist that moment I felt your last breath leave your body.

So, I know all the things I have to feel and do, baby. Really, I do. But I just want you.

Not today

I knew it was coming. Of course I did. The cancer was too aggressive.

But you were always so strong. You consistently surprised us all by how quickly you responded to treatment.

You wanted to be alive so badly, for me, I know; that I got too confident. And I started to think that maybe you’d make it to Christmas. Maybe to your 13th birthday.

So while I knew it was coming, I didn’t think it would be today.

Continue reading “Not today”

Every morning

Every morning for the last 12 years, I’ve woken up and the first thing I’ve done is to seek you.

I never had to look far when you were young. You’d be pressed up against me in the nook created by my legs or the pit of my arms. As you got older, you moved to the foot of the bed – always in prime position to protect me should the need arise.

But no matter what, as soon as my eyes opened they wanted to find you.

Continue reading “Every morning”