Walking with the spirits

I’ve been missing my friend Leanne lately. Not like I did at first, with the heaving sobs and sense of disbelief. But I wake up and find her name in my heart, like a large rounded river stone. I miss her and I feel like I’ve grown so much since we were friends, and wish she could have seen that. Wish we could have talked again. She’d be so excited about what was happening in my life…

I miss Terry Pratchett too. I’ve never met him, but I find myself reeling over the loss of him, his profound gifts to the world. A finished story now. No more new books. My heart hurts and aches. It spurs me to reach out to my people, reminds me they are all mortal and will not live forever. I must tell them I love them now, must show them they matter.

I miss Tamlorn. In a couple of weeks we’ll be trying again for a baby. I’m excited and almost… Numb. It’s hard to believe it’s happening. It seems unreal and detached. I miss the little one we already had and I’m scared we’ll lose another. I’ve only just dropped the last of the weight I put on with Tam, I fit into my shoes and bras again. It’s strange to be inviting a little living thing back into my body again. Beautiful, wonderful, amazing, but strange.

I was at a wonderful community dinner this week, and as part of the getting to know each other we played a game where we moved around a hall in different groups depending on our answers to different questions. Go up that side if you were born in Adelaide and this side if you were born elsewhere… On of the questions was how many children people had. I stubbornly stood in the group who answered ‘one’, and was relieved when they didn’t ask us any more about our children.

It’s never easy to do, but every time I acknowledge Tam as my child, I feel stronger, and the grief feels… Cleaner. Sweeter somehow. Cold and clear as snow melt. My family feels whole.

The world is a strange and contradictory place, and we are likewise, so full of possibility and confusion and dreams. There’s a whole universe inside every one of us. I find myself simply marvelling at it, wanting to stop and simply be filled with wonder by the people around me. How vulnerable, petty, brilliant, deluded, and beautiful people are. How we get so tangled in the world and lose heart when our dreams die. And yet how resilient we are too, our broken hearts that hope again, almost in spite of us, our tenacity to keep living and keep dreaming and keep learning even when the lessons hurt. I’m proud to be here, glad to be alive, glad to be among people again. Life and death, love and grief, come hand in hand together.

I’m walking down to the edge again, to the sharp place in the dark where a life may be given or taken, where a child may live or die within me. I don’t walk alone. I don’t walk alone in any sense ever, the spirits of my loved ones come with me.

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