It was three years ago today that I had an unexpected knock at the door, just prior to 8am as I was about to leave for work. It was a couple of local police officers who had the unenviable task of informing us that Abhi, my 17 year old son, had in the early hours of that morning taken his life. As I write this, I feel reasonably calm but I have at times been in dread for the last week thinking of this cruel anniversary, and how it might affect me.
I myself have confronted death twice this year, once in a motorcycle accident at the start of the year and again with pneumonia mid-year. I wasn't afraid on either occasion, at least not obviously so. And while I miss Abhi terribly, I feel confident that, as I felt for myself, death is not the end. There are six billion people in this world, and every one of them will die. Billions have come before us and every one of them have also died. It seems the most natural thing in the world, and I think that our fear of death is both natural and yet largely unfounded. Unfounded, because we fear the unknown.
As I lay on the footpath in a crumpled heap earlier in the year, I knew there was immense pain, and yet I felt divorced from it. As I closed my eyes to meditate, thinking that I may be leaving my body, I accepted that this may be the end. I felt thankful that I had kissed my partner and younger son good-bye. But Death spared me another day.
What I'm trying to say is that while we may miss a loved one who has left us - and that leaving could be moving interstate or overseas, and not just by death - I do firmly believe that if it is meant to be, we will be together again. The difference between death and someone moving is that the former is final, complete, irreversible. But we must all be separated at some time.
Still, I carry the grief of a parent who has lost a child, and I don't know if that will ever go away. There's a place in my heart, it seems, that is empty. I loved Abhi and I love him still. I talk to him sometimes, but I don't think he hears me. Wherever he is, I'm sure he has moved on, to fulfill his destiny, whatever that may be. And now we are left to fulfill ours.