So here we are. You. Me. And some words I want to, (or should I say need to?) share with you as though you were right beside me.
This grief shit is hard. Really hard. Probably the hardest journey I’ve EVER been on and yet probably the most transformative journey too.
It’s easy with hindsight to see just how similar we are. Both the first born and eldest daughter. Both the mediators in various family dramas. Both often going out of our ways to make sure our loved ones felt loved. And then there’s the most obvious similarity of all – I’m almost a mirror image of you. Flipping through old family albums after we lost you I would sometimes do a double take as I realised I wasn’t looking at a picture of myself that I didn’t remember taking, but a picture of you! You’ll be glad to know I’m still taking a leaf out of your book in embracing colours and patterns, whether they match or not. You should see my trainer collection now – an ode to the brightly coloured African prints you so often wore with pride.
I feel lucky that I got to spend almost 35 years of my life with you. It’s more than a lot of people get and yet it still doesn’t feel like it was enough. I wasn’t ready to lose you. It still feels unfair. So unfair. And yet on this journey, I can’t do anything but try to save myself, even though I so desperately also want to save everyone else from their hurt, pain, sorrow – whatever you want to call it almost 2.5 years on.
My therapist, Francis, has official names for the way I sometimes feel aka PTSD and depression. It was hard to read that in black and white. You’ll be proud to know though, that in the last year I learnt about PTG (post-traumatic growth) and that’s given me a whole new perspective. This grief thing is a bloody rollercoaster.
Sooo I wanna get a tattoo. I know, I know – you think I’m crazy. BUT…what if I told you that you’re the inspiration behind it?! I want something permanent on me that reminds me you’ve always got my back. I have the ring you gave each of us with our names engraved. And I have another phoenix ring that reminds me I will always rise despite how hard something may seem. And yet I can take them both off – so I think I’m going to get the tattoo! I’m thinking of your name in Arabic and maybe a quote from you. Remember when I was working from yours during lockdown and you told me I was brilliant at what I do? That memory keeps replaying in my head. I am bloody brilliant, even if it often takes a whole lot of bravery to get there. Thanks for reminding me.
You still mean the world to me.
Your Bravely Brilliant Daughter,