Once we were four

Loss is still too sharp, too fresh for me to write about remembrance. All through the day, we kept the candle lit. Because his presence is still here with us.

Yesterday, while waiting for the train, my youngest son said: “We used to be four waiting on this platform. Now, we are only three.”

Our favorite shops, the streets we walked, the museums we visited, the places we ate at–Once we were four. Now, we are three.

I watched my eldest son wrestle with a technical problem. What’s an HD cable again? The little things we take for granted take on gigantic proportions.

Who will build my legos with me? My youngest son asks.

Let’s go traveling, my eldest son says. He taps the floor with his foot restlessly. I understand the hidden message in his words.

If it were possible to leave this dream, if we could wake up in another place, in another time, would we find the one who has left us behind?

I am filled with an urge to bundle up my children and take them with me everywhere.

Instead, I remind them to go to bed early. I remind them there are classes in the morning. That each day is a fulfillment of the promises they made at their father’s deathbed.

You must be happy, I tell them. You must become the best you can be. This is what your father would want.

We hold each other when we cry. We hug each other and say: It’s okay to be sad. Our tears are like tiny lights that guide the footsteps of the dear departed.

We are surrounded by love. We are surrounded by light. We lighted the candle this morning, a reminder that these dark days will also pass. Time will come when our smiles and our laughter will no longer carry the echo of our grief.