Dear Aunty Dot c/o Heaven
Yesterday, as we were walking along the river we found some pinky purple bluebells, Arya was delighted and insisted we stop and pick them all. Just the purpley ones. My mind drifted to the last time that we delightedly picked bluebells together… Almost exactly 3 years ago, in the woods. When we got back from the walk and into signal again I was called by mam and told that she had had the call and it was nearly the end. That you were leaving us.
This is the exact photo of those bluebells I was holding in my hand when I heard those words. When I knew you were going. When I was crystal frozen in the moment of…. Do I drop everything in my life and run to you for the last time? This photo was taken at the very second in my life that I felt the most helpless, the most useless and the most resigned in my whole life. They all told me not to come. To remember you as you were. That I wouldn’t want to see you that way. That you didn’t want me to see you that way.
Oh that journey. The absence of your voice. I listened to them.
The next morning when I walked into Josephs bedroom, he said to me in his little sleepy voice. “Aunty Dot is dead mam.” Your “beauty boy” told me. 4 years old. Just awake. I imagine you couldn’t go anywhere without giving him a kiss goodbye.
You were there when I pushed him out into this world. Your face is all I could see. Your voice the only one I could hear.
He was right of course. I do not know the words that my mam said to me. That day has been buried so so deep within my heart as the day the meteor hit me. The day every part of me was broken like a wasted planet. I cursed the Universe that day. I hated everyone and everything. I howled. I screamed. I couldn’t move. To have you stolen from me. You were stolen from me. No plan or legitimate reason on this Earth made any sense. How could that ever be part of a bigger picture. How could you have been stolen. You did not just die, fall asleep and not wake up. Death/ God/ Fate crept in in camouflage, flipped the bird at me and stole my Aunty Dot. All of the things I have ever suffered, all of the tears I have shed, all of the pain I take in for others, all of the goods and magics I weave light into and you steal my Aunty Dot. You don’t let her die an old lady with all of us around her. You take her in vitality and beauty and necessity and joy. In the time before my daughter will know her laugh and her hands. In the time where it is the worst. You will never be forgiven for it. Never.
Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.
This quote had me looking for you. I see feathers when I need them. I have little robins that appear when I am peaceful. So so much more. And yesterday you changed the flowers that make me sad now, my favourite colour. Purpleypink.
I know it was you. You are never far away. And yet, you are so so far away.
When I was little and I wasn’t allowed to speak with you on the phone and we used to write our secret letters via Nana, we used to tell each other what we had been doing, well I have been doing lots of things.
All of my grief, (and its pretty bad i could stay asleep forever some days) has been funnelled into busyness. Into making pretty things. Into creating new things. I have made some wonderful wonderful friends, people I adore and wish you could have met or known. I make jewellery now. My early fascination with little shining things has evolved into making jewellery. I am getting ok at it now. I keep reading and learning everyday. I have a lovely Wendy who lights a fire under my arse the way you used to do. I thank the nice gods ( the ones in no way involved in people theft) for her everyday. And for Sue, Amber, Suzi, Debbie to name a tiny tiny few of the amazing people who have come around in another form.
They make me brave.
Arya is like me. I don’t know whether that is a blessing or a curse. On the makeup, picking flowers and inches away from rolling her eyes at everyone. Some mornings I wonder if you are giving her night classes when she is asleep because somehow you are in her blueprint as if we share a mind through our dna. The exciting thing is she will never have any hurt in her life. I promise you that. I can shape her into what we should have been if our hearts had been light and free.
Joseph is new and different. He is phenomenal in every way. Knows everything. Learns eidetically. Is like Adrian but also like my dad. He is soft and gentle. Cheeky. But you probably know this.
Your Luce is going to Uni. She’s so bloody beautiful and has no idea just how much. She will be ok.
Mam has grown up. She’s almost sensible. I am enjoying it rather than looking for the flying pigs.
Daniel had a little boy. James. We see him when we can.
I find I have absolutely nothing to twist about as anything that annoys or upsets me is promptly removed from my life now. Maybe this was the secret all along.
I hope heaven is indeed ok, that you have a long free makeup counter and plenty to enjoy. That Uncle Keith and Nana are behaving themselves. That Nana isn’t finding two husbands problematic. That you have shown Grandad where the library is and settled him in a good chair.
I miss you so much. All of you. Look after all of my best.
I will see you again.