Saturday 7 March 2020

Remembering the Future.

Hello everyone.

We are now in March - and we are slowly approaching Mother's Day. Were Kinga still here, I have little doubt she would be thinking up some perfume recommendations right about now - and this blog would continue to be filled with her sage advice, passions, and her unique sparkle. That is the way things should be. Instead, we live in a world without her. A world where her footsteps exist - but she just doesn't any more. This space is now firmly devoted to establishing and preserving her legacy - drawing attention to those footsteps... And expressing grief for those she can no longer take.

I often think of the reality I currently exist in as an alternate timeline - in the main timeline she is still alive. That may sound like a strong case of denial, or a detachment from reality to some - and perhaps that is true on some level. I think this way, because of how strongly I mourn the future that was mapped out for us - the future that would likely exist were she still alive. I do recognise that the future is a fiction, really - we can't see it, or live in it. The best we can do is make predictions about it based on probability. The probability of the future I saw for us was quite high - we had realistic, achievable plans, with so much potential beyond that. The probability of her death... Well, that margin is so slim, it just doesn't register in a world filled with any logic and reason. The future in the main timeline is so, so real to me... The future in this reality... Well unthinkable things can happen to anyone, at any time, here. It is fog, and uncertainty.

Kinga with Cinnamon Roll. One of the very last pictures I have of her.

My mind slips into the main timeline, and daydreams about what we would be doing now, were she alive. When she died, that was easier to envisage - we had immediate plans, such as our 10 year anniversary trip to Cyprus. I was personally applying for teacher training - which, had everything gone well, I would be doing now. Kinga had been coaching me throughout the whole process... She was so charismatic - I had nothing on her. Kinga half wrote a post (much to my own heartbreak), before she died, called 'Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019!', where she listed her goals for the year she never got to see. She wanted to change her job (which, may have inadvertently saved her life), to exercise more regularly, to stick to a more regularly posting schedule... Normal, real plans. Outside of that, we had our own plans for the future. At 26... The future was full of endless possibilities. Possibilities, that were taken from her.

I mentioned that it is Mother's Day this month. It was this, that prompted me to write this post. That likely is an eyebrow raising statement - I understand that. I am a man, with a mother who is alive and well, without children of my own. Kinga was not a mother - besides being a hamster mum, of course (she would be shouting at me if I didn't acknowledge that, quite frankly). She was not pregnant. We weren't trying for children yet. To the average stranger, I would appear to have no tangible reason to talk about this day. However... One of the most certain plans we had - estimated at about two years from the point of her death, and certainly before we were 30, was to start a family.

Edinburgh, 2015. Really, really nice memories there.

Our children don't exist. Literally. They were a thought. A probability. A part of the fictional future I have no access to, but is so damn real to me. Their mother is gone. Frankly, the person whom she believed would be a good father to them is gone too. We hadn't gone beyond planning and talking about them... And yet, their loss burns as hard to me as Kinga's does. When I visit Kinga - as I do often, I think about them. We had names picked out - names that had taken us countless hours and years to actually agree on, no less. Sebastian for a boy. Scarlett for a girl. Names for people that can't exist. That, in this timeline, never did. People, who are no more real to the rest of the world, than another person's imaginary friend.

I mourn thoughts. I grieve for people who were never even conceived. I don't know their faces. I don't know who they would have become. I don't know anything about them. Hell, I don't know for certain that they could have even existed - life has a habit of throwing up additional roadblocks. I've lost the opportunity to meet them. We both lost the chance to find out... Because she is gone. When I lost her, my family became condemned to an eternity as an idea. An unwritten chapter of my life. They exist solely in my head. And yet, they are more real to me than almost any person I know.

This was in Poland, actually. Yeah...

I'm sure there are a few people who question why I chose to talk about this. I debated it myself, to tell you the truth. I have mentioned to a few people how I feel that more than one person is buried with Kinga... I always get puzzled reactions. Her grave is so much more than where her remains are buried. It is the grave of my family. The grave of her future. I want the world to know what it is missing. I want the world to feel her loss - feel my pain - and understand it. Perhaps then, a few people may think twice before they put other people in harms way, through their own selfish and reckless behaviour. The man who killed her did not just take her life, nor her future: he took away the lives of our children too. There are no bodies. No funerals. No eulogies. No-one left behind to speak their names. But they are gone all the same.

The more I talk about her, and spread her story, the more she is alive. So, I keep talking. Our children didn't exist - but if I talk about them too... Then perhaps they can find some form in words, that they were denied by life. I hope that the main timeline is a reality - and that they are that much closer to existing in that world. I hope that there, I am still trying to talk Kinga out of having Hello Kitty wallpaper in their bedrooms (regardless of gender) - even though I know deep down that that is a losing battle. I hope they inherit her beauty, and her fire. I hope she teaches them to not take any crap from people - whilst still acting with thought, dignity and compassion. I hope they live a life of honesty, true to themselves, and on their own scales of success, and do whatever makes them happy. Hell, were she alive, I would never have needed to worry. They could not have asked for a better role model, with Kinga as a mother.

I know as well, that many people in my situation - and there are so, so many of us - feel this way too. Many of us mourn the futures we thought we had - whatever that may have entailed. Many of us mourn children we never had, memories we never made, paths that are no longer open to us... The more I explore my own grief, the more I see the value in talking about it's complexities - in attempting to normalise these feelings, that are likely alien to those who are grief adjacent. Grief is hard enough, without living in fear of judgement for mind-altering feelings that come along with it.

Thank you to all who still read this page. The response to my last post here in particular has been overwhelming. This blog has actually been nominated for the Helen Bailey award through WAY - a charity, whom if you have read my past posts, know has been massive support to me since Kinga was killed. I have to say a massive thank you to whomever nominated me - and all those who voted too. Honestly, regardless of outcome, just being heard, being recognised, keeping her legacy going... These are things that mean more to me than anything else in this world. It has encouraged me to write more about my grief. If people can see themselves in her ripples... Then her legacy is also in helping people. This is still her page though, and I do intend to write a part two to her post highlights soon (I have started the process!).

When I began posting here, I was conflicted. This is her space. Her legacy. I posted to keep it alive. As I take a more active role in managing it however... I realise that it never died. This page still, nearly 15 months after her death, receives 5000 page views a month - and my own posts only account for about a quarter of that. I looked on her business e-mail (which I only recently changed) - and she was still receiving daily brand offers. People still look to her for advice. People are still drawn to her. This part of her legacy never even faded.

She is still so, so present, for so many... And that thought? That does manage to make me smile.

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