Facebook reminded me this morning that it has been six years since you left us.
While I slept in my bed, tossing and turning all night from my burgeoning belly and little life growing inside, you went to sleep, alone, and never woke up.
Before the sun had a chance to rise, I heard someone open our front door – a soft voice from downstairs asked whether anyone was up.
As soon as I saw mom standing in our living room, red eyes rimmed with tears, I knew you were gone.
‘Funny’ thing is, you weren’t even sick – at least not in the physical sense. You were only 51.
I wanted to break down, shut down and forget, but that wasn’t an option. It still isn’t.
Your second beautiful granddaughter was just a month shy of being born. I had to be strong and go on for her and her older sister. Force food down my throat when I was too devastated to eat a single bite.
Do you know she reminds me so much of you? The resemblance is uncanny.
She has your cheeky smile and auburn hair — We decided to name her after you.
Zoe is Greek for ‘life’, and her middle name is James. She’ll be 6 next month.
I’ve never really had time to grieve your death. After all, I had a newborn to contend with just weeks after your funeral. Her birth brought great comfort in your death.
It has taken some time, but I no longer have to close my eyes and take a deep breath when we pass by the emergency shelter in downtown Vancouver… the place where you took your last breath.
Slowly but surely, I’m healing.
I regret that I never did get to know you, nor did you truly get to know me. The family fills me in on stories of days gone past that happened before I was born — the ‘good ol’ days,’ they call them.
I’m sorry we haven’t been to visit your grave — I haven’t been able to bear the thought — it makes it all seem so much more real.
Besides, it doesn’t always feel like you’re really, truly gone. There are times I can hear your laughter or feel you standing next to me.
I’m sure your life didn’t turn out the way you expected or wanted it, but it wasn’t a waste. Not one single bit.
Please don’t ever worry about me. I’m sad, but I’m not broken.
I married a really good man who takes wonderful care of us, I’ve managed to make somewhat of a career doing what I love and am head over heels in love with your two granddaughters. They complete me in ways I never knew was possible.
You were greatly loved, you are still loved, and you’re missed dearly here on Earth.
Love always, from your ‘Baba’