A piece of quiet

I have had a lot of time to study the face of grief. How it looks, and feels, up close. We always associate grief with death, but this is death. Just in a different way.

Sometimes I look back at previous blog posts to see what we were doing a year ago. And this week, when I did that, I came across this post. I read it. Soaked in the pictures. Wondered - for the millionth time - how it all comes apart so quickly. Thought and thought about what love really is. How we use the word so loosely, but how it represents so many complex things.  The unconditional, wildly protective, fierce love that I feel for Immy. The love that infuses me when I am with my friends, laughing and leaning on years worth of good times and bad. The love that I have for my family - solid and dependable. The tangled emotions that I feel for the man I have spent my life with, the father of my child. The love we still share, and the grief that accompanies the realization that sometimes it's just not enough. Every day a balance between sorrow and sunshine. Sometimes the scales are tipped more towards one than the other. But I am doing okay. Finding my way. More able to face the hard things, and make the right choices. For me. And for Immy.

My beautiful daughter. In the hours we spend together I am amazed to see how similar we are. We make each other laugh. Her sense of humour - a mirror of mine. Her easy smile - mine. And her sometimes faint melancholy - I am feeling sad, mama - mine too. In the car, we hold hands and listen to music. She falls silent when certain songs play - these are the ones that whisper to her heart. She asks to hear them again and again. She is learning to understand that music can channel our thoughts, our feelings, our hopes. That in our hardest moments it can be an unspoken prayer. That somewhere beneath the lyrics and notes and melodies, there is healing. And peace.

But sometimes she will say say: Mama. Can we just have a piece of quiet? And in this one thing I know more than anything that she is carved from me.

And we switch off the noise, and we hold hands, and we are still. And I feel profoundly grateful that she will understand this lesson that I would like so much to teach her - that in stillness, we find our way. Back to ourselves. Or forwards to the right choices. That sometimes, we need to be still - to breathe through the pain, to hold the hurt close to us, to feel it tearing through us, so that we can release it. So that we can be free.

My tomorrows are still invisible. I am making decisions, slowly. Some are too hard to face, and for now that's okay. I know that I will face them when the time comes.

Moving forward. Bruised, not broken. It's a good place to be.