So this week has been all about love.
How do I feel? I don’t know how to articulate a quick and straightforward answer to that.
I wake up on Valentines Day and the first person I think about is Edward. Edward is the first person I think about every day in fact. Edward is ALWAYS in my head the minute I wake, and ALWAYS in my head as I drift off to sleep. My love for Edward is forever. My love for all my children is forever.
My love for my children is shown in hugs, kisses and cuddles; it is shown in championing their achievements; sharing a joke; sharing in all those family occasions … big occasions as well as the every day; its showing an interest, its supporting, its being there; its picking up broken pieces when times are not so great; its worrying, its nagging, its arguing; its listening; its understanding; its being ourselves. Belonging, safe, together, family, home. But for one of my children, my love is different. Because one of my children was taken from me …. Suddenly …. Far too soon … far too young. My heart cannot cope with that child not being here. I’m grieving. My heart is broken. My love for him has nowhere to go. There is a part of me that died when he went; yet there is a part of him still in me …. With me … Always. In my heart, in my mind and in my soul.
I go on … I have to … I love my family … I have to go on for them. “I don’t know how you do it” they say to me. I didn’t have a choice I say. I have to go on for my other children, for my husband, for me. But I go on with Edward in my heart and in my mind. He is with me wherever I am, whatever I do. He is still very much a part of my family, he may not physically be here, but my goodness he’s here in spirit. We talk of him, we talk to him, we hold on to all those memories – the good and the bad – each and every one of them important and special. We are lucky to have had Edward in our lives, giving us those memories, giving us love, allowing us to love.
I’m lucky. I have known love. I have felt love. Deep, meaningful, unconditional love. Love which goes on …. Forever. I read that grief is love with no place to go. Love hurts. Do I agree? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Because loss is painful, grief is painful, missing someone so badly is painful … this pain is greater than any I have ever known. The day I lost Edward it felt as if someone had taken hold of my heart and literally ripped it in two…. the pain was real, the pain was physical, as well as emotional. And it is still incredibly painful and raw, there are still many days I cannot bear the pain, I literally cannot breathe, and I cannot see through the tears…. but it is the loss which causes the pain, not love. Love is the only bit that isn’t painful. Love is special. Love goes on forever.
by Elizabeth Dee
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[This piece was originally published by The Edward Dee Fund; republished by Elizabeth Dee on Life Chez Dee on 20th January 2021]