Jesse found his shadow the other day. It was a perfect, beautiful moment, and one I was lucky enough to capture in a photograph. Frozen forever in that frame, the time my son watched his other self dance in the sunlight, surrounded by green grass and fallen autumn leaves.
Long time readers of Love Audrey might already know I lost my Father to Leukemia when I was 22. It was 7 years ago today that my Dad took his last breath, and I still miss him from the very bottom of my soul.
In the past I’ve used these pages to share the thoughts and feelings that whirl through my mind at this time of year*. My mood begins to sink almost as soon as the colours of autumn begin to flourish outside my window. As the leaves transform into vibrant bursts of red and orange and yellow, my heart feels darker, heavier somehow.
Without ever really realising, I feel sad for most of October. Then, as November dawns and I career towards its twentieth day, the emotions that usually lie dormant just beneath the surface of my being suddenly start to rise up inside my chest. They choke me as they sit in the back of my throat and just behind my eyes, waiting and watching the life that carries on without him.
In the three and a half years I’ve been blogging words have provided much solace. Sharing this part of my history has been cathartic, therapeutic and freeing. I’d like to think that those of you who might have lived through similar tragedies have found some comfort in the things I’ve written.
Now that my blog is less private and read more widely by ‘real’ people that know me in the ‘real’ world, I find myself less able to share my deepest, darkest feelings here. Perhaps I’ve already purged that portion of my grief anyway. The part that eats a way at you, filling you with despair and sadness.
The pain is still there, like a chronic disease that no medication can relieve, but I see more beauty in the world these days. This autumn the leaves seemed particularly bright and the sky bluer than before.
I feel thankful I am here, that I am healthy, and that I still hold my Father in my heart and in my head, if not in my arms.
Love Audrey xxx
* If you would like to read more about my experience of grief and loss you’ll find posts here, here and here. I also shared my experience of getting married without my Dad on Love My Dress here. Let it be known that when I re-read some of these recently there was an awful lot of cringing on my part. If nothing else, they’re proof your writing really can improve with practice!