a week forever ago
It's been three years today, Dad.
‘A week forever ago’ was how I described it.
Part of me still doesn't entirely believe it, somehow.
Three years, and I still catch myself reaching for my phone to ask you a question or share a joke.
Three years, and you have missed so much.
And we miss you.
It still seems like yesterday, and there are still bad days.
Days when it hurts to breathe,
When I close my eyes and feel like I'm back in that moment when everything turned to ashes.
… How are you supposed to rebuild from something like that? You can’t.
You either cower in the ruins of what your life used to be,
Finger-painting your face with it until you and it are indistinguishable from one another;
Or you gather the ashes into a little pile and bring them with you.
You leave your scorched and barren ground behind and find a new place,
And build anew.
With the mortar you mix the ashes, so that even the solid walls of your new world hold the comforting echoes of the old.
I sometimes get angry at you for missing so much,
Even though I know it’s not your fault.
And I get angry at myself for not doing all the things I know you’d have been proudest of me for while you were still here to see them.
I sometimes cry at strange things,
And sometimes I will walk a long way out of my way to avoid the cologne section in David Jones,
Where the scent of your hands in the morning lingers like an aromatic ghost.
I keep the picture of us on my wall,
And I still talk to you over the first coffee of the day.
And it helps, just a little,
To know that the movement of my lips and the warmth of my breath
Will in turn move and change atoms in the air,
Making tiny ripples, that make larger ripples,
That will spread and dissipate right across the universe,
All the way to the collection of atoms that you used to be.
© mjc 27 October 2018