She asked me what the hardest thing was that I have experienced since you passed, and how I have dealt with it. It was one of several questions that were part of a new project I am undertaking. But, you know this already as I have no doubt you had a hand in continually bringing it back into my awareness.
I sometimes take a minute to stop and think about an answer before replying. Yes, yes, I hear you, ‘perhaps you should do that more often mum 😊’, but in this case, and despite my pause, my answer remained the same.
Hands down, the hardest thing to wrap my head around is the thought of people not remembering you. The concept that if you are not remembered your life didn’t count. I look at your picture and even I question myself sometimes.
Were you really here? Or was I just having a wonderful dream?
If I can think that on an off moment, then what hope do I have of making sure the rest of the world knows who you are and remembers you.
‘Think gratitude‘ my mind yells at me. Look at all the things that have been done in Ben’s name and what you continue to do. And the kids – they will surely tell their children and grandchildren about that crazy kid Ben they knew at school when they were young.
My response included that everything I do is still all about you 😊. More often than not, it’s what keeps me going, and I’m totally okay with that. It matters less and less these days what other people think. They are not me and do not walk in my shoes.
My gorgeous cousin messaged me this week and shared something he had read about how ‘souls are still aware and take an active interest in what is happening in the world. Thus proving they are still considered alive’. I had to include this as it fits in so well with the ramblings of today’s post.
I also received this in a daily email I subscribe to – rather randomly timed I thought.
I remember a friend telling me not long after you left that she had lost her daughter five years prior. She wasn’t much older than you. This mum shared that she had never gotten over it and some days were still awful even that far along.
I thought to myself ‘Wow, I can’t be like that. I seriously have to have my sh*t together in five years’ time.’ This week we are only 4 years along but I realise how right she was. And how wrong I was.
It’s a weird phenomenon how this grief thing works. I have built a life around you and around missing you. I count my many blessings to have met some incredible people along the way. Paths I have crossed that I suspect you have guided me to, that I never would have gone down before.
I am often in awe of how much I now know I don’t know.
Speaking to someone recently we agreed that when you lose someone you love, the relationship doesn’t end. It just takes on a new form and sometimes takes a little more awareness to make it work.
I know you are around me but I have to tell you Benny, I still have moments where I can’t see past what feels like a thick wall of fog and it stings my eyes making the tears fall for what seems like forever.
It can feel impossible to drag myself out of the moment and perhaps why I have so much respect for and appreciation of the benefits of yoga. It doesn’t matter what my headspace looks like, I get to let go of everything as soon as I walk into the room.
Sometimes I am sure I move through a physical veil of permission almost a request, that I leave everything at the door when I step inside.
Do you remember years ago you asked me one night after a rough day, ‘Are you going to yoga tonight?’ Being the delinquent, I was (am) I replied ‘No!’ You were instantly focussed on me, ‘Why not? You should go.’ ‘I don’t want to go’. ‘Mum! you need to go to Yoga tonight! Tell me what needs to be done so you can go?’
You would have been all of 12 or 13yo. I smile now but sometimes you drove me nuts seeming to know what I needed before I knew.
I try and share memories like these with people and in posts because I don’t know what happens to me if I forget them. Half the time I can’t remember why I walk into a room and walk out of a shop forgetting what I originally went in for. How else can I be sure I won’t forget precious memories like these?
And yet as I write this, I am so grateful that our relationship continues today in the way that it does. Maybe you will always remind me of the things that matter? Maybe you will always make sure that what’s important will stay with me. As long as I continue to do what I do for the reasons I do it, then perhaps a part of you will stay with me forever as well.
I have learned that the key to happiness or just simple survival is to maintain a healthy balance of mind, body, and spirit and to be completely accepting of where and who I am.
Thanks to you, I never feel alone and I can comfortably be at peace in a room full of chaos.
My outer world does not determine my inner reality.
Finally, I want to share a story from a very special and truly beautiful man who sent you off so perfectly.
But before I do, Benny, you know how much I love you, I tell you all the time. I feel so blessed to have gotten to where I am today and I am honored that we get to work together moving forward.
Thank you for choosing me to be your mum. I am beyond lucky and I hope I can live up to what I would want the best mum in the world to be!
We are all thinking of you, and you are loved beyond what words can describe.
“I am not a good gardener, but I do own a shovel. I bought it in three sections – the flat digging blade, the top handle part and the wooden post. The digging part was the part I broke first, so I went to Bunnings and bought a new part and fixed it on.
The handle was second to go, and I did the same – Off to Bunnings to replace that part. Finally, when pushing too hard the timber post snapped in half so off I went to replace that. I then realised that although I had just repaired the shovel, it didn’t have any physical connection to what I had bought in the first place… all the parts were brand new, but outwardly it still looked like my shovel.
The human body is similar – every seven years or so every cell is replaced. After that period of time, there is nothing in your body that is the same as it was 7 years prior. Unlike the shovel though, there actually is something still there.
There is something there that doesn’t and hasn’t changed, but you can’t find it in skin and bones.
That is in essence Ben – that central something, element, or energy that would shine through the eyes, but was not the eyes – that is the true essence of Ben. You can, and do, continue a relationship with that aspect of him. Continue to talk and to listen softly and you can hear him here and there.
The cells may have died, but the central essence of Ben hasn’t…” – Robyn D.
Dalya xx 💙