In the stillness of the night, when no one stirred, and my heart was gently beating, you came to me in my dreams. There was no muffled scream, no tears, no fear. Instead, I felt your sweet breath as you whispered —
“I love you, mum.”
Like guarded pearls, I held your words up to my face. Against my skin, they were shiny, translucent, and so very soft. Reflected in their delicate beauty shimmered the light of purest love. Feelings so deep and eternal that they reached up from my soul and wrapped me in the essence of all that is you.
“I love you, mum.”
I felt suspended in time. The finality of your death, of your leaving, of having to face the rest of my life without you, it all seemed somehow clouded. The anguish, my brokenness, my utter despair, the desolation, they all dissipated, and as they did my own heartbreak floated up towards the heavens leaving me behind.
My mind’s inner images that had been filled with pictures of your torment, your suffering, your last moments in fear, turned vague, hazy, and became distant as they melted into the night skies.
You were so close, my darling, so very close.
You reached out as if to hold my hand. I shuddered as the wound that will not, cannot heal was bathed in your almost touch.
You smiled, that smile of yours, oh my god, that smile that could light up my world. Your spell bathed me in a feeling of calm and then before I could speak, before I could touch you, before I could hold you and never, ever let you go, you faded before my eyes.
I love you so much, I tried to say, but you had gone.
I carry you inside of me, always. I miss you, Alex. I miss everything about you.
But I was alone. Blackness descended and I opened my eyes. It mattered not that it was dark.
No one should ever, ever, ever feel what I have to feel.
No mother should ever have to go through this.
For without you, my child, though my eyes still see, my heart can’t feel the colours. My world is grey, Alex. Without you, my world is grey.
Photo credit: author’s own