I have not forgotten the breeze in the branches of the tree outside my bedroom window, and how, during those long mornings, it kept me going. I have not forgotten the way your hair sits on the pillow, braided like a seven-year-old girl's, the sweetest sight I could ever lay my eyes upon.
Nor have I forgotten the way you leaned in to feel me near you, when I kissed you, when I wasn't even sure if you remembered my name anymore, or who I was to you.
I have not forgotten the trips to the supermarket after the hospital, how I cowered in the drinks aisle, behind the diet cola, nor the feeling of something I could barely articulate between us three sisters, feeling so alone in the world without our mother, fussing round your bed like the oldest of souls together, the best of friends, the tiniest of children . We love you; that's as clear as the first morning of June, we love every hair on your head, and brush it with all the tenderness our shaking hearts have within them.
I see your toes in their special white socks, poking out of the bottom of the white bed sheet. It cripples me with love just to look at them. I see your mouth, encased in plastic, and this is the part I find hard to talk about.
I see a loss so big it will never be replaced, by wind or water or earth slide or rain storm. And you are in me with everything I do, you never go away, but also you are somewhere else. And how can that be - that you are always here and yet so far into another place I cannot reach? Here, gone, here, gone, here...awake but asleep, living, breathing, dying, seeing into my eyes, looking away, travelling, sailing, floating, shivering along another shore, a foreign land, in a language I cannot speak.
I have not forgotten how you brought me up, how you taught me to spell, how you always nudged me to look up at the sky, to see those red and violet sunsets, to watch for the blue of the morning. How you are my only mother, how I was born out of you, how I stretch way beyond you into vastness and my own mystery, but always return, a cub to her mother bear, a fox to its hole, a bee to her hive that always was the source of honey and creation. Home. It is so far away now, and yet I carry it between my breasts, under my vest, in this heart here, and in everything I do, everything I want to do and will become, as the last light of this day ebbs into a filament of dust.
Here are your daisies, your buttercups; the box of flowers you planted and that are still growing. They are all for you, and their colour will keep the night alive in your absence. For today you are sleeping, as you have never slept before, and when you awake, I will be there.