Your Haunted Lullaby

I guess I should have known it would come – the sorrow and the ache after a day of celebrating one’s birth, one’s additional year upon thIs magnificent earth. It often quietly arrives at this time, no matter how joyous the day has been. And it was a good day, a blessed day, at times a happy day.

And even when your name was mentioned in passing by another and I felt the swell of shame and the sting of fear curdle within me, I managed to keep moving and to keep holding onto the beauty of the moment I was in.

But I am alone now and it hurts. 

It hurts to think of each one of these days when you were here, haunting me through life. 

It hurts to think of every day like this that has passed where you have been ever-present in your absence through death.

I began to accept something this year. I cannot say I accepted it fully, I have moments of doubt and denial still, but I know that true acceptance began somewhere in this whirlpool of a year… I began to accept who you were, who you are and who you are going to be in my life, living or not. I began to accept how much I have clung onto an impossible fairytale only to replace it with a horror-story, replaying over and over in the tangled web of my mind. 

I saw your face on a photograph today, and in the spirit of the hour I turned my head to forget what I had seen, to not allow you to drag me into yet another of your twisted clutches. But it is etched in my memory, your face is always etched in my memory. You are always with me, within me, apart from me, and always there. Here.

I have smiled, I have laughed and I have loved today, and I have been grateful for it all. Yet now, though I do not make a sound and no tears are falling on the outside, I am weeping for the loss this year bestowed upon me and the loss that was bestowed upon me every year when I did not even know what I was losing. 

Because you were never mine. And though I was never yours you stole all I knew of my life from my tiny hands.  

image © Mariann Martland

Now, as my day ends, I begin to ache for all I never had, for all that you took from me and for every ‘gift’ you gave to me.

I hear your voice in the distance, muffled by the sounds of my grief, wishing me a “Happy Birthday,” saying, “Night Night, Sleep Tight” as you sing to me your haunted lullaby.

I hope you do not join me in my dreams tonight.


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