After all our attempts to comfort ourselves and to make sense out of dying, we are left with a huge hole in the fabric of our lives—“I miss you. I miss you. I miss you.” And then what? The absence begins to feel familiar, the edges of the psychic hole grow less sharp, maybe begin to grow together, so we can walk along without being in perpetual danger of falling into the astonishing abyss of the person’s death. In time, the absence even mutates into another kind of presence. Someone has said that a child who dies is with you in a way a living child cannot be. In some ways that’s true. And, yes, it is a comfort. This is the case not only with children, but with parents and other loved ones who have died and who become part of the community we carry with us wherever we are. Perhaps they become our guardian angels, our link with the other side. But to let them go initially is one of the compromises we are forced to make with life, and our longing for them sometimes makes the prospect of our own death almost all right. — Martha W. Hickman.
As I read this entry in Ms. Hickman’s book, I felt hopeful that just maybe the day will come when I am able to slowly climb outside of the hole of Amy’s death. The same hole which swallowed me up 18 months ago.
Stuck? Hush your mouth. What constitutes stuck? Personally, I am less interested in evaluations based on so little data accumulated by those who have limited interactions with me. The only person qualified to determine if I am “stuck” would be my husband, with whom I spend most of my time.
Amy’s absence is still staggering to me and I have not adjusted to living without her. Yet, during this second year, just as Ms. Hickman alluded to above, I am discovering that Amy is now with me in the most precious and intimate way.
Has Amy become my guardian angel? No, I still struggle with that concept as I cannot wrap my head around the role reversal which is too unnatural for me to process. We did not get to go full circle. Death robbed us of that natural path where I would grow old and Amy would need to take care of an aging parent. However, let me reassure anyone who reads this post, that had we been blessed to complete our life cycles, John and I would have received the most tender loving care by the gentlest soul whom ever crossed our path.
And yes, “our longing for them sometimes makes the prospect of our own death almost all right.” No need to ponder that statement which many parents I have met along the way have also echoed. For now I continue to have one foot on each side of the veil.
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you.
Always remembering Amy.