There are no new pictures. That’s one of the things you notice when you are dealing with grief. There will never be any more pictures. A simple fact, but it hurts.
To be honest, everything hurts right now. On February 13th, the anniversary of the cancer returning, it was as if a scab was ripped off. The last six weeks have been full of flashbacks — reliving our last days with Callum. And two years later, it is still unbelievably painful.
I often wonder what people think when they see me. I seem to be doing “okay” — back at work, at Tristan’s hockey games, shopping for groceries…all the “normal” stuff.
I try to explain that it’s like being put in an emotional coma. I have to block out all of the grief and the sadness and the loss so that I can function. Every once in a while, I ease out of the coma, and it’s all still there. But to survive, it has to go back, deep inside me. It’s like a constant ache. I know it’s there. I visualize a Callum-size hole in my heart. That’s a lot of pain. And that’s how it feels.
I sometimes worry that I am too busy, just to keep the grief buried. . But Tristan — and Callum — always knew me to be busy. That’s just who I am. And I have tried over this past year to have something positive come out of our grief, by building the classrooms in Kenya.
We have now built 3 classrooms at Kamuketha school. It has been quite a rollercoaster of emotions watching the community support and seeing the excitement in Kenya. It has meant that I have had to learn to talk about Callum without crying. I would give anything to have him here, giving me a punch on the arm again and saying, “Good job, Mom.” Now, I just have to remember that moment, as we walked out of the IWK for the final time. He had chosen to stop treatment, and I had accepted it. It is still one of the hardest moments of my life.
We have been honoured by all the people who have helped us to build the classrooms in Callum’s memory. From the very moment I said what we were doing, people jumped on board. Teresa Mellish at Farmers Helping Farmers has been my constant guide. Diana Tutty and Maggie and Owen Brown started our first fundraiser at Stratford Elementary. And then it took off from there! The 4H Bingo. Stonepark Soccer. Della and the sunflower field. Tonya and the pumpkins. Arm knitting! There were so many amazing moments. I hope that all of you realize how important those moments were to me…helping me to get through another year without Callum. I would not have made it without you.
As we move towards the 2 year anniversary, I hope that everyone will again leave on a light for Callum on the night of April 8th and into the 9th. It was wonderful to see that last year. And please think about him, and talk about him, and write about him.
I am still a bit angry with Callum that he thought people would forget him. “Not you, Mom,” he said, thankfully. Because I hope that he understood that my love for him is imprinted on every cell in my body.
But I hope that no one else has forgotten him. Callum was a very special person. I know that we were lucky to have had him in our lives, even for a short time. I hope that someday I can just feel the joy of having known him and less of this pain.
Love you forever Call-Call.