Sometimes, while I’m busy doing the most mundane and everyday task, I’ll remember you, my dear, sweet Emma. And it leaves me breathless, off-balance with the intensity, the raw reality of the memory. I can almost not believe that this is part of our history – that you existed here with us. It’s like humming the tune to a song you didn’t know you had learned.
It’s hard to realise that this is part of our present and even harder to accept that it is part of our future too – this empty space that you left behind. The many firsts we won’t have with you – first day of school, first swim on your own, first time riding a bike, first music lesson, first exam, first dance, first boyfriend… Excruciating that we only have “lasts” with you – last smile, last day, last meal, last laugh, last hug, last breath…
But in our future we need to keep reminding ourselves in those breathless and off-balance moments, that there is still hope. Not that you will return to us – that would be foolish. But hope for joy, for healing, for peace. The fine line between remembering this and keeping your memory alive is like walking a tight rope – balancing just right. If I fall to the left I am consumed by the pain of what you went through, of you no longer being here, of what we have missed out on. And if I fall the other way, it feels like I am betraying you. I dare not forget who you were – who you are – and the change you brought about just by existing.
However, I must see that I am not alone on that tight rope. My friends and family cheer for me to keep upright, to keep going, walking the endless thin line. But more importantly, I have a balance beam – God is with me, keeping me on my feet. And if and when I fall, He is the net under the rope that catches. He is the ladder that I use to climb back up to the tight rope to try again. He is my Hope.
And so while I remember you Emma, I must remember to have Hope – to hold on to the Hope that God provides.
If you would like to read more about our story please get hold of a copy of my book, “Losing Emma, Finding Hope.” If you live in South Africa, please email me (losingemma.findinghope at gmail.com). Otherwise, if you live outside of South Africa, it is available on Amazon as a paperback or kindle.