08/22/2014 11:03 am ET Updated Oct 22, 2014

Since You've Been Gone

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It's been over a year since you've been gone... 5 months and 18 days more since I last had a whiff of your beautiful hair and rose-scented skin. The seasons did their cartwheels, my roots got crushed, my branches got bruised and my heart stopped beating for a while.

As I see the casualties of age through the mirrors hung about, I also see the person I failed to notice for the past few years. Time has become heavier to bear without you around and while I get older, it is hard for me to believe that you will forever remain young in my eyes.

I turn to your picture only to feel a tingle and numbness come over me as though a stranger and a long lost love have appeared. Will my memory fail me? I wonder. The tugs that feed my pain and the pulls that keep me sane are at the hands of my thoughts of you. I have been out of myself and into my thoughts since you've been gone.

Yet while the leaves have turned colors and my breath has fallen dull, my cries of sorrow are no longer tormenting my soul; my prayers for mercy are no longer keeping me awake. I still live... I still love... I still am because of you.

I am the tree and the water that feeds it.

I have more power. I have more faith. I believe.

You are still here. You are still there.

You are where I am and where I will be.

Even despite my mourning, the morning sun you lead has slowly dried off the mist of tears from the windows of my soul. And as the fog ahead clears ever more, I will lead myself through the righteous path you pushed me through.

I am better. I am wiser. I am much stronger.

Yet in spite of my strength, in spite of all that pushes me forward, every so often, my yearning for your comforting arms weakens my steps and I become at odds with Time.

With the arrival of every new day, I want the old days back -- the days I had you closer.

I wish I held your hand as you dozed off. I wish I said I loved you... saw your eyes, heard your voice, felt your kiss just before your dream began. The mysteries of dreams now feeds my soul. The little things mean so much and make me feel more. Sad or sweet, dreams keep me close to you...I don't wish to wake up. I want to feel. I want to dream.

I call your name, I look for you. Are you there?

I don't hear a sound. Here one minute, then vanished the next, delusions and reality have become one of the same for me. Whether awake or asleep, I have never stopped wondering where you are.

As I close my eyes in prayer and open my heart when I feel lost, I find my way back to you and there you are, where you are, watching over me -- I am then found, feeling at home again where in silence, with no sound to be heard, I can still hear your voice... with nobody hovering around, I can still feel your spirit. Priceless pieces of you, your gifts to me, unravel before me and I enter a peaceful daze.

I can see you despite fighting my memories from fading the details. With pictures of you surrounding me your past comes to life, your presence exists and your future lives.

Questions begin to capture me... What was it like? What was it like to feel your soul rising? Did you hear the voices, the whispers around you... the prayers, the songs, the woes? I wonder if you were warm and comfortable. I wonder what your last thought was when the light came through... when God led you.

I dreamt of the day I told you it was your birthday and the day was winding down -- just as you had always wished. I wanted you to know how many people asked about you, wondered where you were. There were more words left to be said... More to be done; more of everything dangling and now withering from the tree.

Time hurts more and despite the daily newness of things, despite the pains that say hello and wave goodbye, Time takes the lead and I must follow.

But oh, how I wish I could follow you. How I wish you would follow me.

I don't know the recipes. I don't know how to sew or plant the flowers. I don't even know all the questions to ask, the answers to say. Yet, I can still hear you. Home is where I hear you the loudest. But flowers speak of you as I do my walks. I see you in the plants you planted, the perfume you infused, the gowns you designed, the style you famed.

The memory of your wise words keeps me going and sadly, I know such memories may fade if you're not around to remind me.

So, don't... please don't fly away... not too far away. I need endless reminders. The possessions you've left behind are not enough to sustain my needs. I need more... more from you, from others, from all who have crossed paths with you.

When your name slips from the tip of any tongue, my ears become hungry for every word that follows and like a student, I am entranced -- wanting to know, learn, memorize and remember all that is shared about you.

Many remember you. Many more love you. I wanted to call you at the funeral, to tell you the room was full with so many who came and those who didn't.

Did you see the flowers we had for you? Your memorial was beautiful. You would have been proud. Words were spoken. Rabbi Klein shed the surface. Pastor Williams shared the secret. Paul told the truth. And I exposed the core -- all in a eulogy I will never write again. The speakers were commanding. The audience was absorbing. Rebecca painted a picture. Sophia bared your soul. Grace revealed your strength and Philip opened your heart. I made a slideshow, something of you I will forever share with your grandchildren. Your story unfolded and even the unexpected took part in the narrative ritual. So many admired you. Hundreds respected you. Strangers revered you.

Because of you, the tower of strength you sustained within has become the legacy you left behind.

For all of You, I am amazed by what I have received and grateful for what I have learned.

With so many questions left unanswered, so many reasons to explain why and so many reasons to understand why not -- I am still carrying on since you've been gone.

I am not afraid to fall asleep knowing you are with me.

With you in my heart, I will live... I will love... I will dream because of You.

And until our eyes meet again, dearest mother, until I am where you are -- above, beyond and over the clouds -- until then, know your heart beats in mine.

May your prayers be fulfilled and may someday, I live forever like you.

Sweet dreams my immortal beloved.