I didn’t cry today. I didn’t get sad when I talked about you with mummy or uncle Niyi and, to be honest, I almost forgot the anniversary all together. I remembered after my morning ritual of scrolling through Instagram.
Let me explain Instagram to you really quickly because it became a thing after you left: it is an application where you can share photos with captions, kind of like how you posted photos on Facebook but this is more addictive. You can be rest assured I would have opened an account for you.
As I scrolled, I noticed the date in the caption of one of my photos and it hit me that you have been gone 8 years today. I dwelled so much on the passing of time this year that it crippled me and prevented me from moving forward, but you helped me snap out it.
I remembered a line from your journals. It was an entry for your 50th birthday, the year you retired as a lecturer. You wrote that you would rather spend your days doing the things that brought you joy and in that moment of remembering you, remembering your words, it was easy to realise what I needed to do to keep living, to fill my life with love and happiness and that the passage of time is really out of my control and what matters is what I do with the time I have left.
For the first time since you left, I believe I have made peace with your leaving. I no longer have the wrenching pain in the pit of my stomach when I celebrate my accomplishments or special occasions. I have come to accept that you are a part of who I am and because I am present in all my moments, you are present too.
Coming into this place of acceptance doesn’t mean I will stop having conversations with you, sending you updates in letters or dreaming you up in a crowd but, I believe it is one of the many inevitable things about grief: it starts out all consuming and, for a while, it is the only sound you hear, the only thing you feel at the core of your being but gradually you start to recover, the consuming sound becomes a hum, something you can live with that doesn’t cause you to break down.
You have become a part of me in this manner. I see you in the things I do everyday, I remember you in the mannerisms of people around me, in my approach to a particular problem and this brings so much light into my life.
I am glad I didn’t cry today. I am glad I think of you now with a smile on my face. Missing you forever.