THE BEREAVED – May Williams Ward
In the next room, in the low chair,
In the soft dark, are you there?
I do not ask it when sun is laid
Through the checkered window in yellow plaid-
But in the deep dark…In the low chair
In the next room, are you there?
I want you there….
This morning while trying to rinse dried oats off Peter’s breakfast bowl I looked over at Dempsey who was lost in a TV program…. She was sitting on our sofa, munching on dry vegemite toast, in her jammies…her school clothes waiting to be slipped into, piled neatly next to her.
“Darlin, you’re going to be late if you don’t get organized” I whined at her.
“Mummy, come sit with me and watch,” she said, patting the cushion next to her.
I filled the sink with the dirty breakfast dishes, dried my hands on a tea-towel and decided we had half an hour before we had to leave…..I hate saying no to a simple request of spending a bit of time with her. So I snuggled up on the couch beside her to see what had caught her attention so deeply.
She was watching American Idol which I had TIVO’d for her last Wednesday night.
I had no idea watching this talent show would reduce me to tears….at 7.30 in the morning! After all, it’s just a TV show right? But it was soooooooooo moving……….
And I find now, after experiencing grief that these moments of unpredictable reactions to other peoples’ ‘stories’ can transform me into a blubbering mess! It’s that gift of compassion grief brings into your world….mixed and stirred with the craving for what my child who’s missing would have wanted out of life……
Watching some of the contestants live out their dream, and being told “You’re going to Hollywood Baby!” had such a powerful effect on me. You see it’s the longing for Savannah that prompts the tears…the wondering, and the reflecting, and the not knowing what my little girl’s dreams were is what constricts my throat with pain.
When Savannah was alive, she would say “I want to be a dolphin trainer Mummy!” That was her dream…. But today, I wonder whether she'd want to be dancer or a writer or a teacher……or just anything! It’s that mystery and unfairness that I don’t get to know, or see, or experience WHAT she would’ve been….even how she would’ve enjoyed sitting with Demps and me watching bloody American Idol!
And I feel ripped off when these emotions hit that I’ll never know…I can only envision…and it’s painful!
The simple fact is I miss my child. I miss the little things, like feeling a tight hug or even a smile from Savannah. I can say with confidence and conviction that I’ll feel like this until I die. For all my days……
I can’t watch movies where they show little girls being reunited into their mother’s arms…. or Gray’s Anatomy when they depict a storyline about curing a child’s disease. It’s heart wrenching as I know my little girl will never be returned to me and will never escape what happened to her.
And I know I can’t change my circumstances…I will always be saddened sometimes and curious…and that's part of being the mother of a child who died, that was stolen and that I’ll never see again. But I can still dream…and imagine………
You see every night before I go to bed, I check in on Dempsey. I stack up the scattered books she’s read that are laying on the carpet. I gently pull the blanket up over her shoulders and tap off her touch light.
I gaze at Dempsey’s innocence, lost in dreamland, tucked up safe under the blankets…she will always be my miracle and I know I’ll enjoy watching her live out her ambitions in this life.
However, some nights she looks like her sister as she sleeps...I see Savannah and the similarities are comforting……. On those nights I linger alone for just a bit longer and imagine……
Wishing you sunshine if your cup is blue! x