My last feather
I'm not ready to let go of you...
But you need to move on.
When Braith first left me over 17 years ago I cried uncontrollably for months. His first birthday was torturous and the first anniversary of him leaving left a huge hole in my heart.
And then slowly it got easier. I became accustomed to the moments of heaviness around special dates and learnt to talk about him without tears over the years.
But this year, I felt like I was back at the beginning, without control of my deep sadness. Losing Flynn this year added to the heartache, it being a significant birthday also added to the pain.
But the real sadness came from my soul knowing what was coming and it mourned for what I was about to lose.
On Braith's birthday, true to his word, he sent me feathers.
Glen and I walked down the lake where I had scattered his ashes 16 years ago, Glen pointed out a t-shirt of a lady walking by, with two large feathers crossed over the front of her shirt. I only caught a tiny glimpse of the lady as she went by, I felt this feather was for Glen.
Then driving back from Pelican, a road I know quite well, I stopped at traffic lights in Belmont and looked to my left to notice a hair salon that had never caught my attention before, 'Feathers Hair Studio'. There was my feather. I smiled and felt comforted by Braith's presence.
In the evening we parked at Spotlight to pick up balloons to let go for his 18th we were sharing with family. Parked right next to the entrance was a little red car with three falling feather stickers across the rear window. Banjo was with us, I felt these were for all of us.
The evening started off nicely, we had the pavilion to ourselves. We shared words for my boy and let go of our balloons, watching them slowly wonder into the nights sky. Half way through dinner, I had a huge heaviness, I wanted my son there so much. When they brought the cake out, I couldn't stand it any longer. My young nieces couldn't understand why we were leaving before the main event, cake.
I needed to be taken home. I needed to be alone with my sadness.
My brother had slipped me a note over dinner, one part read 'When we release those balloons see Braith being let go'. And this had me thinking, am I trying to hang on so tightly to my boy to keep him around, to receive my feathers of comfort and to have him as my angel that I'm preventing him from moving on?
Maybe he has another life awaiting him.
Maybe he needs to spread those angel wings further than over me and our family.
So as I laid in bed, I spoke to my boy, 'Baby, if I need to let you go, if I need to learn to trust my self and you have more to explore and learn then please send me a white feather tomorrow'.
This was the first feather I didn't want to receive.
The following day I looked at my watch and it was 7pm. I felt relieved I hadn't received my feather, I so desperately wanted my angel to stay.
I sat and had dinner with Banjo and begun to get ready for his basketball game. I shouted out 'I'll grab my bag and then we'll go' as I walked down the hallway to my bedroom.
I looked down, right in front of my door at the end of the long hallway to find a white feather sat lightly at my feet.
Banjo was standing at the top of the hallway and saw my face, mouth opened and shocked. He said 'Is that a feather?' with a smile as usually this is something we celebrate.
I shared it was as he walked toward me to have a closer look and I explained my request to Braith the night before. We both felt a deep sadness.
Will this be our last feather?
It quite possibly may be. Braith may have another life awaiting him. More to learn and explore. I will stain my body with a little white feather to remind me of the comfort I am used to receiving as I prepare myself to let go of the only form of communication I've had with Braith.
I don't want to let go, but I don't want to hold a soul from its journey. If you love something you have to let it go. I let him go, with a deep sorrow, I let him go.
Until we meet again Braith, you will live on in my heart.