Them December Shivers

Summer Solstice today. Ascension, enlightenment, return to the divine. Also, not coincidentally I am sure, the anniversary of my friend, Natalie’s, passing from this physical world into another, five years ago.

Time moves quickly when you count it in years. Yet, some memories stay. On this day, five years ago, I did not care about Summer Solstice and whether it was today or yesterday or tomorrow. I was exhausted. Emotionally fatigued. I had visited Nat at the hospital, sat with her, chatted to her, apologised to her, said goodbye to her.

I had been carrying a lot of guilt for not having been around as much. I dropped out of contact after another failed pregnancy attempt. Within myself, I hadn’t been sure how to reconnect after grief and had hidden myself in a new friendship to try to find a way through, that also ultimately failed. Then, I was grieving that.

It is what it is. Life sometimes gets in the way and you just don’t expect your friends will die.

When I arrived home that afternoon, I just sat on my lounge, staring at the wall, absentmindedly patting my dog. I was waiting for the text from her husband or kids to let me know she had moved on. Waiting. Reflecting on how her passing would impact so many people, but more importantly, her husband, brother, parents and kids.

Abruptly, my dog jumped from the lounge and moved in front of the chair Nat had always sat in, tail wagging and barking. I felt her.

Then, shortly after, the message came.

Nat’s passing has taught me a lot. I always believed that there was more, that our soul lives did not end with our bodies. I had always believed that souls could still communicate with those on this earthly plane if we were open to it.

Nat and I have had many wonderful conversations since her passing. Sceptics might argue that it is the way I have processed my grief and my guilt, and not really real. But, I believe otherwise.

At first, obviously, I thought I was going crazy. It took me a while to realise that it wasn’t just me making stuff up, projecting my thoughts into an alternate reality. Her voice was real, her smile, her laugh, her being.

One of my friends during this time, a medium, contacted me one night with a message from Nat. It was undeniable that Nat was communicating because my friend had no way of knowing about the information she shared with me. In fact, only two people outside Nat and myself knew about it. It centred around a conversation Nat and I had had a couple of years earlier concerning her treatment.

The message that was delivered to me was so specific that it validated her reality beyond this earthly plane. It also validated my conversations with her. I felt like I had my friend back.

It is because of Nat that I gave IVF another go. She had always hoped I would conceive so that she could sneakily feed my child meat (spare your judgements here – not interested lol). We used to laugh, well, she did. Initially I was angry with Nat. I needed to blame something outside of myself and I patched into any tiny betrayal I perceived to emote outside of myself.

However, that miscarriage has fertilised a whole new way of life for me, albeit a childless one. My life is rich and blessed. I vowed when Nat passed that I would live fully. For the most part, I have succeeded in keeping this promise. It is funny what motivates us sometimes.

I still speak to Nat. She is still in my thoughts and part of my life. I know that she is around, checking in on all of us. We still chat and we sometimes argue. But, the love is constant.

We all learn how to keep moving forward after a loss, after a while, and it is important to assimilate the loss and move forward. It’s also okay that getting to this takes time, and can be a process of one step forward three hundred steps back. Grief is a funny (not so funny) thing. It can completely paralyse us, and it can stimulate and nurture rich new growth.

It really takes work, trust, patience and faith. Well, it has for me.

I still struggle. I like to keep today clear so that I don’t feel overwhelmed to be something I’m not feeling. It doesn’t always work. I try to navigate it and be kind to myself, trusting that if I make plans thinking I’ll be okay, and I’m not, I can cancel them.

You just never know. And, that is okay. We live for ourselves, not others, and we are not responsible for their perceptions.

Ahhhhh. It’s also okay to be enlightened and say, F this Shit.

Oh, and Nat was an amazing Mum. Knowing every day was precious, she mummed her way. She had faith that it worked for her and her boys were absolutely loved. She was not perfect (as she laughs and asks if I’m sure), but she gave it all she could. That’s all anyone can do.

It’s okay to make mistakes; come from a place of love, and all will be okay.

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