From Elin Williams – ‘My Blurred World’
This will be a very personal post about grief so please read with care and respect, like you always do.
I originally penned this in Welsh which is also live on here if you’re one for reading in the language.
I don’t usually publish such personal accounts of my life beyond the usual details of my life as a disabled person, but this is something I feel compelled to share. Grief affects everyone in different ways and it’s important to respect that. I’ve naturally taken to writing in order to remedy some of my own emotions, and it has resulted in this open letter, if you will, to a person who was a pillar in our family. I hope it reaches her somehow.
GRIEF: SAYING GOODBYE
A beat of sadness pulses in the space that you have left. It’s something incommunicable but wholey recognisable as grief.
The feeling swells in the space your laughter once filled. Everything around me has seemed to become a symbol, an anecdote, a reminder. Once forgotten moments flood my memories, amplified and vibrant in every way. The recollection of the happy times curl my lips into a smile that I wish could remain, but then the reminder claws, attaching itself to the memories and dragging them into the recesses of reality. You’re no longer here.
I stretch my arms when morning comes, reaching for a new memory to hold on to and cherish. I hope that the sun will lick the darkness away, that the birdsong and the continuous hum of life will overwrite the soundtrack that replays in my mind. I miss you. I know that it will get easier with time, people keep telling me that, but right now, I feel consumed, sad, numb.
I know it’s okay to feel that way. It’s okay to spend time alone, to remember, process, and digest. I know you’d tell me that.
Photos adorn the table, offering snapshots of times well spent. The smiles captured are mirrored again as the ones you have left, your loved ones, your family, cringe at the questionable outfits and hairstyles.
Said photos are described to me, fuelling my own memories, the ones not seen but wholeheartedly remembered. All of the stories and moments logged into the corner of my mind that is completely yours.
I remember how we shared stories, listened and laughed. I remember how you caressed my worries with your wise words when I stole any free moment I had in school to spend it with you. I remember how, when I was in my darkest moments, you provided light, comfort and a side of freshly baked cakes to subdue the harshness of reality. Your cakes were always the answer.
I remember the applause you offered when my brother and I performed our duets or piano pieces, and I will always smile when I remember how you cherished our homemade CD’s, despite our tracks being questionable at best.
It’s small things like that that we will hold close to our hearts.
Those moments and so many others. Let’s not forget all those times watching The Chase and concluding that we weren’t, in fact, clever enough.
I will miss learning new things from you but I’ll carry the things you taught me like badges of honour because I know you felt proud whenever you passed on a fragment of your talent. Although, I could never claim to have inherited your baking skills.
I will miss your stories, your laughs, and your striking one-liners. I will miss hearing you dissecting the latest family gossip and hearing the smile in your voice whenever you talked about your loved ones.
I will smile as I recall those times, I will smile when I’m reminded of how you kept your prized possessions by your side, and I will always be grateful and humbled for the fact that a printed book of my blog posts was amongst them.
Your unwavering support was always so enveloping and encouraging.
And that only leads me to say thank you. Thank you for all of it, and all the other things that are left unsaid.
I’m so thankful for the times we had with you, and all the memories that we can now thread together to create a comfort blanket, just like the ones you used to knit.
It feels like the love I had for you has no place to go now, and thinking of your absence keeps winding me. But I know you wouldn’t want us to be sad.
The sky has an extra star now and I know that you’ll be shining down on us, day and night, providing light, just like you always have done.
We will cherish your memory just like you cherished all of us, your family, during your lifetime. And I’ll take solace in the fact that a part of you will be living on in us.