Thirty

Since I last saw you.

At different times I’ve felt angry, I’ve felt heartbroken, I’ve felt desperate and I’ve felt like I’ll never be happy again.

Mostly though, mainly, it feels odd.

It will stay with me forever, those few words Dad said to me the day before New Years Eve 2014, the moments I took to take it all in and the sudden, suffocating rush of emotion.

My first reaction was to push him. Push him and the truth he was speaking away, push him angrily for coming to me and saying such ridiculous things.

It was ridiculous.

I’d been at home with the children, I’d put my onesie on after they had gone to bed and watched the soaps. How does something so huge, so life changing, happen without so much as a warning?

Then I cried. I cried and cried and I thought well this is it, I’ll never stop crying.

I cried for you and I cried for me and then I thought of Mum.

Our Mum, mine and yours, the first thing we ever shared.

I cried for Mum and then I stopped crying.

It’s really very odd. Before this if I had ever heard anything similar happening to other people I’d think, how do they carry on? How do they laugh? Go out for dinner? Bicker over what film to watch?

How do they find the energy, the strength?

But somehow, I found it.

I put on my wellies and trudged through the snow, I hugged Mum and Kelsie and Tamzin.

I made cups of tea, I chattered to Dad.

The very next day I laughed and high fived Ethan. Now, I’ve never high fived anyone in my life. Maybe it was delirium.

Bit by bit though it became apparent I did have the strength to do all these things. Days went by and things changed, the tiniest turn of the cog, unnoticeable at the time.

Sam said to me when I was questioning and searching for answers ‘her death is part of your life’ and somehow that helped me take it in.

Death is the end of life but it is not the end of a person.

Almost 2 years since I saw you, but not 2 years without you.

You come up every day. I hear a song. I see a film, a TV show, an actor.

I’m still using your washing basket and your hair straighteners.

Silly little things but its a nod to you every day, a way of touching base.

And so, my reason for putting all this into words, however jumbled it may be.

Today you are 30.

Remember when 30 seemed so old?

The conversations we’d have about what we’d wear when we were old. ‘Imagine The Queen in pedal pushers?!’, we’d fall about laughing at that one every time.

It’s an absolute shame you won’t get to be here today and I’d give anything to change that.

But today, next year, 20 years from now.

For as long as I am alive this day is yours.

Happy Birthday Elly, deffo not the same without you hun.

 

 

Nat Halfpenny

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