It was a warm day three years ago, it started off like any other. The only difference was a sweet robin tapped on my bedroom window early in the morning. I thought it strange, he hadn’t done that before.
I remember the exact moment when we got the call in the early afternoon. After I heard the words “he’s gone” I began to feel everything spin around me really fast like a supernova, then my whole body and mind went completely numb. We had visitors at the time, a kind man and his son, I don’t know what they saw or what I looked like, I’ve never asked, they were probably as shell-shocked as I was.
There’s a kind of knowing and a disbelief at the same time, when a loved one dies…
Then a stillness fell and all movement ceased, I couldn’t hear the birds or see the sky anymore, though I knew it was blue, not a breath of air stirred. I think the birds were honoring the moment. I lay on the floor in my bedroom hidden behind the bed and I told God over and over that I didn’t hate him. Something in me knew that I had a capacity for bitterness, but that day it dissolved completely. I have not been angry with God one day since my Stevie passed and I can’t explain why. Perhaps words are more powerful than we think.
It was an incredibly long day, the kind that seems to have no end and all around there was movement and goings on, people still living their lives, but in the numbness, I felt no movement at all. You know that saying, the world stood still, well that’s how it felt.
When I think back, I knew I was completely surrounded. I felt like I was being gently held in another dimension of time, like God was closer than my skin. The pain lay in the pit of my stomach like a heavy rock and I gave in to it. I was light and heavy at the same time.
When Pete phoned my brothers and sister, I could hear his voice in the distance as each time he broke down. I blocked my ears; the pain was just too much.
Like a zombie going through the motions I knew I had to get to my eldest son in Port Elizabeth, so I started packing a case. I didn’t even know what I was doing, or what I was putting in the case, I just knew we had to go.
I had seen Steve the day before, he had been with us for 6 weeks recovering from a broken heal. I waved him goodbye never for a minute thinking it would be my last sighting of him on this earth plain.
On looking back now, it doesn’t hurt as much, the pain has softened somewhat. I have been on an incredible journey since that day, I’ve been awoken to unimaginable sights and wonders. Don’t get me wrong, I have cried rivers of tears, I have spoken out my regrets and my terrible sadness, but I have never questioned why God took him. Something in me knew that he had done his work here on earth and it was his time to return to the light.
That night I looked up at the night sky hoping to catch a glimpse of my crazy diamond. You see when a child changes worlds a part of you goes with them and you forever search for signs of them, I think it’s quite natural.
The day that my Stevie went to live with God is etched forever into my memory with a mixture of intense love and pain. If I knew that I was separated from him it would feel much worse. It almost felt as though he was with me in the form we take when we die, along with the host of heaven, so alive that he touched me with his magical powers.
I know him so well, his heart of compassion lives on in so many of us. He would want me to say that he wasn’t always perfect, he was deeply flawed but he had a great capacity for love, even more so now. Perhaps those of us who are broken wide open see things others don’t, we feel deeply. If we allow the mystical nature of ourselves to come alive within us, we will understand that love can never die!
Rumi says that “death is our wedding with eternity” and I believe it. I will celebrate my Stevie forever until we are together in eternity, and then even more!
to be continued…