Tag Archives: death

The forever ache

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He’s gone. A son has left this Earth. Dead. Murdered. And his parents must live on …

Here yesterday, breathing and eating, playing with his own son of two years old. Talking to his father where the chain of three – the son playing with the father who talks to his father – is strong and intertwines with those soul fibres we cannot see but only feel.

This morning, that connection is gone and the link is broken to swing wildly in howling gales as it desperately attempts to grasp at something to counter that missing link. It will swing forever, now that a son is gone to that land of somewhere else.

A chasmic abyss gapes, where a father and mother will struggle to manoeuvre the black hole within. Pining aches within hearts far heavier than all hearts together can bear, and so devastating and crushing that they will never mend or repair.

There is no end, just deep, dark grief. Blackness. A suffering beyond all others that grows emotion in the heart of any parent.

I sit by my son’s bed today, where those emotions swell in my own heart, for my own children who last night looked up at the ceiling of our dining room where we ate together, at the twenty plus tiny spiders that Harriet Huntsman has just given birth to … their awe at that life in its own ecosystem above us, of which we’re part of, and their reluctance to disturb it. Because it is life.

As I sit here and my son nuzzles the side of his face into the cup of my hand, preparing to wake for a new day of opportunity, his warmth exudes to fill me with an instant glow that no other can give. It’s a glow that can so desolately be wrenched from me without any notice.

The vulnerability to life is real. A flick of a switch or click of a finger can finish it, end it to give way to an avalanche of pining aches that swirl floods that want to burst.

Today, a son’s life is gone, snatched by another. Pining aches in hearts will last forever.

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Mourning twilight

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I spot imposing black gates approach and my thoughts scatter like ants before a storm. The car turns right and through the formidable entry, travelling a short distance before it stops. My senses sharpen and time slows. I sit up straight, and hear Henry click the engine off … watch him move to open his door … his suit rubbing against the upholstery … thud. I stiffen. I hear his steps clip the asphalt, and my door opens. I can barely breathe. The emotions we left half an hour earlier at the church, smother me. People everywhere, shuffling in black suits, dresses and polished shoes that belong in offices. Black engulfs me.

Henry leads me out of the car and slams my door shut. I gasp and breathe deep, unwittingly consuming the sorrow that surrounds me to sour my swallow. No one speaks. The stares of good intentions penetrate me to my core. I see the tears and crumpled tissues … the sombreness. I’m not thinking anymore and simply move and do what I am told. My senses smother to merge as one blob.

Then suddenly through an opening, my eyes fix on the green-grass matting around a dark rectangle on the ground. There it is. The grave. Dad is going into that hole! Tears stream down my cheeks. I can’t move. I feel hands on my arms, supporting me. It’s Freddy and Obie. I slump against Obie and drop my head onto his chest. I sob. I feel Freddy’s arms around us. Someone in painted pink fingernails and gold rings hands me a clump of tissues.

I know I have to compose myself to get through the rest of the funeral. I take a deep breath and mop at my face with damp tissues, then from nowhere, David appears to guide us forward. I notice Henry leading Mum towards the grave with my aunt and uncle holding her by an elbow each. Two lines of people stand either side of us with heads bowed as we walk behind Mum and through their silent guard of honour.

Finally, we reach the green matting surrounding the edge of that deep hole. I stand close to my brothers, drawing what strength they may have left in them. Mum’s beside us. And then there’s Dad, in that coffin with his favourite red tulips sprawled across the top, balancing on green, nylon straps. We wait.

The priest begins to speak. ‘We come to our final farewell …’ I hear nothing else after those first few words and just stare at the coffin, mesmerised by the reality that Dad is laying inside. The coffin begins to descend into the hole, revealing craggy walls of rich, brown earth as it lowers down, down, down, until I can no longer see it. A shiver sweeps over me. The coffin is gone. Dad is gone.

David breaks my trance by handing my brothers and me a red tulip each from a basket. ‘Your last goodbye,’ he murmurs. Tears roll again.

‘Come on,’ says Freddy gently. ‘We’ll do this together.’

I watch Mum throw her tulip down before merging into the arms of those gathered around her. I kiss the tulip and see Freddy and Obie do the same.

‘Bye, Dad,’ I whisper. I toss the flower into the hole with my brothers’ flowers. Thud, three times. I step back from the hole and linger with Freddy and Obie, trembling in waves of shivers.

* An excerpt from my Snippets of Sadie novel that I’m currently working on.

Shattered beyond collection

smattered heartTwo mothers speak of the friend who has just lost her son in a most senseless act. Eyes brim weepy as a son’s life has ended, as a mother’s life fades grey.

How does a mother reason with a son gone, a life of future cut short without cause?

Weeps seep from eye sockets.

The friends lift their glasses and sip at the Shiraz, eager to wash down emotions that clog their throats. How do a mother and father ever come to terms with such loss? And his siblings?

Hearts shatter into the tiniest, minuscule of fragments, strewn beyond collection.

To lose a son is one thing, but to lose him at the mercy of another, after going out with friends one night, is unfathomable. Chased, and slain.

Buttery river rapids churn through a bottomless, vast chasm that is my gut.

I remember holding my son and catching a whiff of his musk cologne as we danced together the night before, our first dance as mother and young man. Emotions catch in my throat again.

Our friend and mother won’t have those opportunities. No more first-times, family dinners and holidays together, nor kisses hello. I swallow hard as my eyelashes soak in sadness. I think of my son again, who will walk home from a friend’s party tonight.

Weepy eyes, and buttery rapids dive down and around in that vast chasm, smashing into hardened cliffs and bouncing into inside ethers.

This senseless act has set a hardened, cement path in a family’s life that they could never have imagined, one that will never be removed no matter how hard any jackhammer can attempt to drill at it.

As my friend speaks to me, I notice speckled salt spots on the glass of my spectacles. I pick a tissue and rub them clean. Being a mother, I cannot help but think of that mother, what she must be feeling. I will never understand. Selfishly, I never want to.

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