There are times in all our lives, as families, when we gather together and celebrate an occasion. My own family is relatively large, so a family gathering is a loud, noisy affair. The house is filled with the clan, all dressed up and there is food and drink aplenty. These are wonderful family occasions, and in future weeks, months and years we recall such happy days and moments with great fondness.
It is inevitable over the years that while the family may increase in size due to the arrival of partners and babies, a time comes when a significant family member is missing. In my own family our Dad has now missed more occasions than he attended. Yet with each occasion his loss is still felt. His death, too young, still a tragedy in all our lives.
Today close to my home, is a family celebrating an event. They are a big family so a large number are gathered. The house is full of noise, and talk, food and drink. The day is fine and there are a couple of bouncy castles outside for all the younger clan members. Within the house everyone is chatting, and there is much laughter.
However, despite the crowds, the absence of one is deeply felt. The silence of his missing screaming inside our heads. Without realising it we look for him, and once again feel his loss anew. A handsome cheeky boy, missing from the pack.
As I drive in the gates and see the crowd, I miss him. As I look at the bouncy castles and do not see his blond head at the top of one, doing all he is not allowed do, I miss him. As I hear them calling each others names, I miss him. As I see his young sister wearing a locket around her neck, I miss him. As I look around his home, I miss him. I miss him everywhere that he is not.
This is the new normal for this family. Life going on, minus one. The tears so well hidden, and a world of words unspoken. Today as I began to write this I hoped by the end I would have found some comfort. But I have not.
Sometimes there really are no words.