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The Presence of Absence

I never knew absence could be so present... And that the presence of absence could be so deeply felt. My heart aches, longing to feel the beating of yours once again. Some days I feel pain, then others I feel numb. The nothingness. The emptiness. The absence of your presence.

The silence is so loud that its deafening. I long to hear you say "mama" the way you did. I long to hear you say "I love you" or "I'm on my way home." They say home is where your heart is... My heart is with you and I try to visualize where you are but I've never been "there" and have no image to describe it to my mind's eye. So where does that leave home for me? MY HEART IS WITH YOU...then a voice whispers "and I am with you."

Your absence is always present. I feel it looming in the depths of my soul. But your presence is never truly absent. I still feel your presence in my life, in my days, in our world. The world is still spinning but the gravitational pull of grief has knocked me out of orbit. Some days I feel like I'm floating through space and time, then others I feel like I'm free-falling toward a collision I am incapable of bracing for. My past collides with my future on a daily basis engaging in a tug of war between absence and presence.

I make a choice everyday to try again to just win the battle and not get caught up in thinking about the war. If I think too far ahead I gasp, when I stay in the now I can breathe. Every day is a battle...a lifetime is the war. The war is overwhelming but if I take it one battle at a time I notice my victories adding up. Small victories... some days as simple as cooking, bathing, or going for a walk. Then on more courageous days...doing volunteer work, raising awareness on Sudden Cardiac Arrest, hosting healing calls with other parents. No matter how small the victory I acknowledge my progress. I am scarred but I am still standing. I choose to find your presence in my presence and if I close my eyes and quiet the noise within my own mind long enough, then I feel it like a gush of fresh air...all around me. Your presence is as peaceful as a gentle breeze and when I feel it, I feel purpose...I feel peace.

Your absence is more than I could ever bear...I thank God that your presence is near.

Every time I hear your name or do good for others in your name the absence dissipates. Every time I hug your brother or sit by his bed watching him sleep in the middle of the night the presence fills my heart. Every time one of your friends post #doitfordamani I feel your presence in them. You touched so many lives and planted so many seeds in everyone your encountered. The impact you had will never be erased and your legacy will live on through everyone whose heart you touched. You left us with a lifetime of memories wrapped up in a time loop. I choose to replay the beautiful moments daily and feel your presence in me instead of focusing on the absence. I choose peace not pain. I choose presence not absence. I choose healing.

"Speak not of those who die in the cause of God as dead. They are alive but you perceive it not."

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