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The missing is like a strange hollow feeling, that’s heavy but echoes at the same time. The weight is loneliness, but the hollow is emptiness and the emptiness echoes with all the things I want to say but can’t or haven’t. I can’t imagine what it feel like to lose a child, because in this they are not lost forever, just away in space and time, but the missing makes me look in the spaces where I expect them to be. And today they’re not there.

I want to be able to appreciate the moment, but the missing gets in the way. As though each moment isn’t whole because of what’s missing, instead of being whole with what’s there. I recall, before I was the mum who had the missing parts, telling my friend who did to make the most of that time without them to focus on herself and what she needed. It seemed like a good idea, and at times (even for me) it is. But it’s like the non-parent giving parenting advice or the parent of a 2 year old giving advice to the parent of a teenager, or the parent of one teenager giving advice to the parent of another teenager. It might work, it might not, and most likely it will just add another layer to the confusion about the best thing to do. I wish instead of telling her to make the most of it I just went to her house and had cups of tea with her, and read magazines and talked about men and make up. Instead of all the things I said to do, which in theory sound good, but in reality set you up to be doing something other than what you’re doing without actually doing it, just thinking about it.

Like today, when I’m thinking I should be doing my exam because all the girls aren’t here, and when they are I can focus on them without the distraction of the exam. But he’s here, and his beautiful 3, and my biggest one and I’m turning myself inside out to be appreciating every moment and not noticing the missing. I’m missing them in that. Not just the 3 who aren’t here but the rest who are.

So how do I honour the missing while honouring the not missing? And how do I honour what I need without feeling like I’m giving in to the missing? And why do I have to ask so many fucking unanswerable questions? What am I missing?


Author Fleur

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