Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Let Her Go

So much has happened recently, I can barely put it into words. It feels like life has never been so full, so empty, so beautiful, so painful or so complicated.

Where should I start? Firstly, it has been 6 months and 2 days since my Grandma Betty passed away. She spent her whole working life teaching primary school and she was one of the first people I called when I was accepted into Teacher’s College. It has been 6 months without hearing her voice. 6 months
without her hugs. 6 months. 6 months. 6 months.

I have just spent the last few weeks on my first professional practice in a school, teaching a class of twenty-eight 11 and 12 year olds. It was amazing, and I wholeheartedly believe that teaching is where I should be. Every day I would learn something new, and every day I had new things I wanted to tell my Grandma about. Every day I came home with the same heaviness that comes with wanting to talk to someone, but knowing they aren’t on the other end of the phone.

My Grandma lived life to the full, and delighted in the simple joys life had to offer. While in a class I was stuck daily of all the things I love about life, little things that Grandma taught me make up life. it was also these simple things that I know I will never get to do with Hope. Simple things like school assemblies and kids going up to get their first certificate; reading spelling words out just like my mama did with me; seeing children learn and grow and live everyday.

I never realised how unpredictable my emotions would be while on my pracitce. I anticipated some emotions, after all I was going to be around children and that was obviously going to be hard. But I could handle it, right? I mean, I figured that I knew what things would set me off, and I was ready. I was prepared. I really should try and stop thinking like that! Not only was I unprepared for the different moments that did set me off, I also underestimated the sharpness and the ferocity with which those moments would come.

A little 5 year old coming and giving me a hug.

Working through a math problem with one of my students.

Saying good morning to my students as they entered the classroom every morning with their parents.

All moments that made my soul lift up. All moments that brought back the crushing blow of my own reality-that I will never have moments life this with my girl. All moments that I will never get to share with my Grandma.

And all through the busyness and the paperwork and the teaching and the learning and the joy of being where I wanted to be, questions kept rolling round and round the back of my mind. One in particular, kept poking through to the forefront of my thinking. What colour would her eyes have been?

An educated guess would say blue, like most of my family. And that’s nice to think about, Hope being part of the family and sharing this special trait. But there’s a roadblock to this, and it’s a big one for me. I don’t know that her eyes were blue because I never got to see them. That irreplaceable, unmatchable moment when a mama gets to look into her baby’s eyes for the first time is a moment I will forever mourn. That moment has been going round and round in my head and shows no sign of moving out. Every time I try to consol myself and convince myself that she would have had blue eyes like me, like her nana and aunty and great-grandparents, there’s still a small voice that says “but you don’t really know, do you?”.

Getting to see children learn and smile and sing and breathe and live will never be any less of a joy as it was during my time with my class. But that reminder that my baby girl will never grow up to fill one of those seats, never get to bring home her first certificate, never get to complain about math homework or delight in learning a new spelling word…that will never be any less painful.

So lately my mind has been twisting and turning trying to make sense of all this grief. Mourning my Grandma, one of my favourite people in the whole world who was always there my whole life. Mourning my baby girl, who was here for too brief a moment.

I heard a song recently by Passenger called “Let her go”, suggested by my mum. One line in particular really hit home : "You see her when you fall asleep but never to touch and never to keep because you loved her too much".

I miss my Grandma and I miss Hope. My heart has never been so broken, and my life has never been so full.

1 comment:

  1. How did I not know you had this blog!? It's beautiful. Love this post, totally identify as we've already talked about. Thinking of you and Hope always <3