I like to think that you can read this from wherever you are. I like to think that because it is comforting to me. And comfort, when it comes to the absence of you, is scarce. So I take my threads of hope in there being a hereafter and I try to weave them into something tangible. You, looking over my shoulder from another dimension. Reading about the shock wave of your departure. Knowing that you are missed as much today as this day a year ago.
Truth is Kel, there really isn’t any way of reconciling your departure. It was sudden. You were such a long way from home… you were meant to come back to us. You are meant to be here. I wish you were.
I spoke with you on Facebook messenger, we talked about the kids, your man, how it was all going. You said how tired your were and something awful gripped me. Through all the difficulties to that point you had barely even mentioned feeling low, even though the trials were many. You were in isolation, and glad for the opportunity to rest. Then it went quiet. I hoped then that you were getting lots of rest, that you would bounce back onto my screen and tell me how the weekend had been for you. But then, I saw a message in our patient group. Someone said what a terrible shock it was to hear about your passing. I reeled. I messaged you. Kellie? Did you hear me? Did my thoughts catch in your wake and follow you to where you are?
I wrote to you on messenger for a while after I knew for sure. Not wanting to believe you were truly gone. I’d been your online friend since you messaged me to ask if I would help with your blog and it was a fast-track friendship. I hadn’t known you for very long, but I suspect you had a gift for making everyone feel like your close friend. Warm, funny, irrepressible. That’s how I found you. I enjoyed our friendship and I looked forward to the futures we imagined, cured and cackling with a glass of wine. Trans-tasman trips and girlie weekends. We joked about an arranged marriage for our firstborns, the way Mums like us can. Mums who wish they really could make the world do their bidding, keep their kids happy, safeguard the future. Mums who knew we couldn’t do any such thing.
I wish I knew how your family are. But I never joined your personal Facebook page. We were always in contact via messenger or email and I don’t know how I didn’t think to Facebook friend request you. I wish I had. I would have loved to have seen all the beautiful things your friends have said about you. To share with them this difficult date, a year since you left us. If any of them see this, I hope they know they are not the only ones wishing you were here. Sometimes it helps to know there are others keeping the memories alive too; here we are Kel, a groundswell of grief. Your people.
I miss you Kellie. I miss your profile picture popping up. I miss the laughter that you brought me even on my sickest days. Sometimes I would laugh until the tears squeezed out the corners of my eyes. We were cyber friends, digital buddies, pen-pals of the keyboard kind. When my days were awful, you were a bright spot. You funny, irreverent, girl. I am cast adrift by my grief at your loss, and I knew you for such a short time. I cannot begin to comprehend how your Mum, your Aunty, your best friend are getting on. Your man, your eloquent lad, your beautiful girl. All the people closest to you.
Today, the world has travelled once around the sun since your heart stopped beating. For Mark and Luc and Ash, the rest of your beloved family, your friends; every laborious step of that year has been heavy with longing for you. There will be a silvery path of salt water in the wake of Earth’s orbit, because Kellie, we cannot help but measure our grief for you in tears and time. The earth will keep on traversing that path, and every year as it passes this dreadful date, we will commemorate you. All of the special memories that each of us has. All of the beauty, and liveliness that was you. We will put down our work, our play, our every-day, and remember the way our own worlds stopped the moment we heard about you. The incomprehensible news that you were gone from us. Around the wells of sadness that opened in our hearts, we will ring wreaths of remembering.
If my hopes are real, and somewhere just beyond, your soul is living on; know that we are remembering you. Know that you mattered to us. Know that everything you did and said and loved and created left an indelible print in this world. You’ll be up there wearing some gorgeous jewelled floaty kaftan. Raising a glass with some new friends and old. Rarking it up in celestial style. We miss you Kel.