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I thought coming back home would make things easier. I was wrong. It is much more difficult than I anticipated. Everywhere I look there is part of her, her chair in the living room, her wheel chair at the top of the stairs, her bedroom. First thing I did was go into the bedroom. Her smell is still there. I broke down and cried on her bed.
This cannot go on. I have to do something about it, I cannot live this way. I told my houseboy that I want the furniture in the living room rearranged, have taken out the chair where she always sat and brought in a sofa. At least the living room should look different. I cannot break down every time I walk into it, let alone sit in it.
The problem is not that the chair reminds me of her, it is the empty chair that forces the depth of her loss on my mind and soul. Empty. The house feels so empty. Not home anymore.
When I first came in the dogs went crazy, they barked up a storm and rushed down to meet me, jumping up and down with ecstasy. The moment I saw her dog, Cookie, I broke down. She was her shadow, she even slept at her feet. Now Cookie is sticking to me like glue. They too feel the loss.
I have to be strong. I am going to change things around. She will always be with me, on my mind and in my heart, but only her physical presence is missing. There is a saying she always used to say to me الحي ابقي من الميت, loosely translated it means that those alive are more important than the dead. Well, to me she is alive. As long as I keep following her advice, as long as I remember that she had a joie de vivre that was contagious and that her strength of faith carried her through many a heartache and loss. I shall live up to her standard and her expectations. I now realize that the last full conversation I had with her was one where she was trying to tell me how to go on after I lose her. She told me that she had lived a full life, did everything she wanted and regrets nothing. Then she told me something, and repeated it several times. She said: Be a bit more selfish. Live more for yourself. Do what YOU want to do, don’t let anyone or any circumstances pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do. Be more selfish. Continue with your writing, it will fulfill you, take it to its limit, but don’t let it enslave you. Just LIVE. Travel. You always enjoyed that. Be more selfish.
Well Mummy, I will try. Changing your own nature is very difficult, but I will try. The most difficult part would be saying no to what people might think is good for me, but is not what I want to do. Sensitive people will give me the choice, but those who think they know better will insist on imposing their will on mine and will give me a hard time. I hope to God they realize that on their own and give me the space I need.
I am fully aware of how blessed I am, how lucky I am with all my friends. I always regretted not having a sister, but have now found a definite one, and a potential few. My cousins have turned into sisters overnight, and so have my friends. I am indeed blessed.
Don’t worry about me Mummy, I am very well looked after, I have a wonderful support group of family and friends who are looking out for me, ensuring my well being, looking out for my physical as well as mental and emotional health. I feel loved and this is what I desperately need now. I know I still have your love, and want you to rest easy that I will make it. Don’t worry about me, I am a chip off the old block. I shall survive and will follow your advice and live life to its fullest. I am part of you, I have joie de vivre and though it is slightly tarnished nowadays, it will come back in full force . I love you Mumzy and always will. I’ll still talk to you and will probably be guided by things you had said to me or things you had done, when faced with a problem. You will still be here for me. I shall miss your sense of humor, your witty repartee, but you are forever in my heart. Rest in peace and know that with all the tools you gave me I shall survive this loss and will go ahead and live fully as you wished me to. I shall change the look of the house if something in it hurts me, and will know that I have your blessings. You were always a very wise person and I know the last thing you want is for me to be unhappy in any way or form, so I promise you, I shall be happy, I shall live fully, I shall try to fulfill my full potential so that when you look down on me you will see that your efforts have not been wasted and your legacy and views about life are being carried out well, with love and joy. I love you Mummy.
6 March 2014