It has been a year since loss tore my world apart. 365 days that have seemed interminable but at the same time have flashed past, lightning quick.
I’m can’t, I won’t, use the word anniversary. That conjures up images of celebrations; balloons and champagne, party dresses and lipstick. The polar opposite of this hollowness inside me that’s so acute it has caused my vital organs to shift, my blood to flow a different route. There’s a black, gaping space that may never be filled and I don’t know whether I want it to be.
Grief is like ivy. It curls and twists, blocking out the light, and no matter how much you cut it back it will spring forth again and again whenever, wherever you least expect it.
Life goes on. That much I know to be true. I watch from my window as people scurry like ants, plastic bags brimming with shopping, handles cutting grooves into palms, smiles plastered onto faces. I study those smiles. Are they real? Are they hurting too? Sometimes I go out, I slip into the crowd and pretend I am one of them. That I have not had the very fabric of my universe changed. But I’m afraid. Afraid I may slip down the cracks in the pavement. That I won’t be able to contain the scream that’s always threatening to spew from my lips. I’m rooted to the spot. Frozen in time. Waiting, I’m always waiting, and I’m never quite sure what for.
And so I place one foot in front of the other – what else can I do? I guard my fractured heart. And I wait.