Second anniversary

Anniversaries of death are difficult times when you relive all of those days in slow motion.


Tomorrow is the second anniversary of our daughter Anisha’s death. I would blog about other things, but it is really the only thing on my mind. It feels like it has been approaching for months. There is a corridor from her birthday in December to her funeral in March which we just have to go down because there is no other path to take. At every turn in that path we are reliving what happened two years ago. This week we relive it twice because it is not just the date that she died, but the day of the week that she died. So on Wednesday we relived everything from what we were doing to what we were eating. I will never be able to eat what we had on that night again because we were sitting down to dinner, chatting away about the rest of the week, assuming that the future was guaranteed, at the very moment that she was killed.

On Tuesday it was my final Facetime conversation with her and only son, showing her the second hand screen I had got for him from a charity shop. I told her it was like ‘Cine-nish’, the cubby hole we had created for her when she was younger with an old VHS player. We would make Cine-nish tickets and go and sit in the cubby hole on cushions with popcorn. She, of course, loved the idea of reinventing it for only son. In that Facetime call she also asked only son for advice on what ipad to get for her studies. She took him up on it too because the ipad was winging its way to her by the next day, although she never saw it.

Tomorrow I will stay up until 2am which is when the police came. Sometimes I imagine that if I hadn’t opened the door to them all that followed would never have happened. Sometimes I still wake up hearing that knock on the door. The shock of someone so vibrant being gone in an instant makes it so hard to believe, even now.

As I write, I am surrounded by Anisha. I can see a photo of her every which way I look. I loved to see her. I still love to see her beautiful face. I cannot be without that. I’m trying to focus on her life now, rather than her death. I’ve spent enough time dealing with the various forms of the justice system. I recently got to see all the files in the absence of an inquest. I needed to know everything, I needed to find her at her last moments. I felt it was my responsibility as her mum. I couldn’t bear that she was just on the side of a road without us.

Now is the time to celebrate her life because she packed a lot in and she lit the world up in ways that words cannot adequately describe. She is, in many ways, more present now than ever, but she is, of course, also very much absent, missing out on all that the world has to offer. Time is such a strange thing and she loved to debate the meaning of time. The air in our house is full of all the years of her presence. She has imprinted herself on it so she is all around us, watching Eurovision, laughing with her siblings, making her spicy vegan curry.

She used to wake me up at night sometimes – very gently – when she suffered from migraines. I would half-open my eyes, suspended between sleep and ‘real’ life, and see her shadowy figure. I see it now. We sense her in every corner. How can we be sad for so long when she brought us such immense joy?

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