Sunday, 18 May 2014


'You just don't get it at all, do you?'

Taken from 'The Sense of an Ending' by Julian Barnes


Nearly six years later, as spring turns to summer.
I'm trying to pinpoint what, precisely, it is that still hurts.
What prevents my limbs from moving loosely.
A hurt at once so brain stabbing-ly sharp and so thudding-ly dull.
Fitting every description.  Every metaphor.
Yet none at all.

A childhood spent lost in one too many novels expects a resolution.

That Georgina's death will yield something for me to 'get.'
At which point, I will ditch that tiny body by the side of the road, click my heels and waltz off into the sunset.

But I just don't get it at all.
I don't even get that there is, in all probability, nothing to get.


It's one of those mornings. Mornings where nothing goes according to plan.
Where every act is a conflict of wills. Eating. Dressing. Brushing teeth. Getting into the car.
Where every negotiation, every bribe and plea ends up escalating into a stand off.
I'm tired. Too tired to fight. A lazy parent.

I huff and puff into the car. Then I sigh.
As tears crowd into my eyes. Frustrated by images of death, tiny broken children and promises that I cannot keep. The song on the radio. Trite and sickly, pulling at my tear ducts.

Jessica reaches out her hand.
'Do you need a hug Mummy? I think you should go slow and steady. Only one argument at a time'

And I wonder how she became so wise whilst I remained so foolish.
But I just don't get it at all, do I?


I wake up. She wakes up.

She smiles. The baby with the dimpled wrists and the blue eyes.
The little sister.

She pats my face. Pat. Pat. Pat. Pat. In tentative Morse code.

She falls asleep once again.

Consolation. My eye pressed against her closed eye.
My mouth pressed into the space behind her ear.
Soured milk and baby skin.

And where I had thought there could be nothing, spaces barren or undetected.
Extra corridors and rooms open up. Doors flapping.
In the wake of that patting hand.

Consolation floods.
A furious saturation.
Then dries up again.

But I just don't get it at all.


I don't write here often.
But it isn't because I don't think about her.
Like many blogs, it is a furious flurry of posts.
That tends to silence.

But she settles into my bones.
As her name dangles around my heart and lungs.
Years pass.
She is there. In my marrow. My alveoli.
The little cavity. In me.
Neurons, synapses and valves.
Whatever it is that causes a thought. Or a breath.
Autonomic. Conscious.

I still linger here. A stupid fool, jaw flapping. Speechless. That she left me.
I'm still so sad that she left.

I just don't get it at all. Treading my own strange circular path of unmet expectations.

I have been here before and I know the way.
I have been here before though I know I am lost.

Both equally true.
I know how this goes. An unresolvable cycle. A little better, a little worse.
But, in the greater scheme of things, I am utterly, utterly lost.

Six years. Quite a long time. But not long enough.
Because I just don't get it at all. Still.