I once believed that it would be the landmark events in life—the graduations, weddings, and anniversaries—that would make me feel your absence most keenly. Yet, as I navigate through the maze of grief, I’m finding that it’s often the simpler, everyday moments that bring you to mind most strongly.
When I prepare the children’s lunches, painstakingly cutting the crust off their sandwiches just as you did for me, I’m filled with memories of our shared mornings. And when I’m folding laundry, each fold feels like a tribute to the countless hours you spent making sure everything in our lives was in its rightful place. You approached even the most ordinary chores with such an extraordinary amount of love, care, and patience that it made these simple acts seem almost sacred. Your approach to these seemingly mundane tasks has been a beacon, illuminating the way I parent, the way I care for my family, and most importantly, the way I approach life.
Your absence is deeply felt, but paradoxically, it also serves as a reminder of your ever-present influence in my life. It’s as though you left behind an invisible guidebook, and I find chapters and annotations in the most unexpected places. Your wisdom, sometimes articulated in words and sometimes demonstrated through actions, continues to support me, especially during this labyrinthine journey through grief and toward healing.
For this and much more, I am eternally grateful. You have provided me with an invaluable set of life lessons and virtues, serving as my compass when I felt lost, my anchor when I felt adrift. Your guidance has been like a lighthouse, providing direction when I found myself sailing in stormy emotional waters.
One of the most enduring lessons you imparted was the importance of kindness and empathy. The golden rule you taught me, to “Treat others as you would like to be treated,” has become more than just a saying; it’s a guiding philosophy. Your compassion wasn’t limited to words; you embodied this principle in every action, every choice. You taught me that kindness isn’t just an abstract concept but a daily practice. Your compassion has shown me that even the most minor gestures—holding the door open for someone, lending a listening ear, or offering a comforting word—can have a profound impact on someone’s day, even their life.
Your life was also an exemplar of perseverance, tenacity, and an unyielding commitment to your values. In every challenge you faced, you demonstrated how resilience and grace aren’t just qualities but choices. Choices that we have to make every day, irrespective of the circumstances surrounding us. These teachings have not only shaped me into the person I am today but also provided me with the spiritual and emotional toolkit I need as I embark on this uncertain path toward healing.
As I walk this path, I can almost hear your gentle voice reminding me that healing doesn’t follow a straight line. It’s a winding road filled with unexpected turns and bumps. You’d tell me to show compassion to myself, to remember that it’s perfectly alright to have setbacks, to feel a full range of emotions. This piece of wisdom is something I clutch tightly to my heart, using it as a source of strength and comfort as I navigate this new chapter in my life.
The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and the realisation that it will be our first without you is slowly sinking in. While the thought is undeniably painful, we also find a measure of peace in knowing that you are now beyond any earthly suffering. We intend to honour your memory and keep our traditions alive, particularly when it comes to our Christmas meal. Your beloved recipes for roast chicken and pumpkin fritters will take centre stage, prepared with love and reverence. While we will do our utmost to follow your culinary instructions, we know that the key ingredient—your love—will be irreplaceably absent.
As we have done for Father, a candle will be lit in your honour, not just as a tribute but as a symbol of the enduring light you’ve been in our lives. Your wisdom, your teachings, and your love have endowed us with an invaluable legacy, one we pledge to pass on to your grandchildren. Your guidance has been a beacon for all of us, and your absence leaves a void that words cannot adequately describe.
Thank you, Mom, for being an extraordinary mother, for setting an incredible example, and for showering us with boundless love and care.
Forever in my heart,