How can you hug a spirit?

When my mum was alive, she sat in the same chair each night, listening to talk shows on her wireless. She usually had headphones on, turning the volume on her hearing aid to zero; probably to avoid my father’s pointless comments of the day from The Liverpool Echo. In her younger days, she would maybe smoke two cigarettes throughout the evening, whilst occasionally sipping gently a Cinzano Bianco, reflecting her character

I recall, sitting by my mums feet as a child, whilst my father sat alone on the couch. My older siblings were all out busy exploring their youth. By her side was a white mushroom lamp, and when she passed away, this was my memento, no gold interested me. The lamp is still the last light I see before I sleep.

My mum passed away in 2004 after a long illness, and slowly I have morphed to the place where she was happy and peaceful. My father has also passed, and now the couch remains empty. I could sit anywhere, but I graduate towards my mum’s chair, switch the radio on and instead of a Cinzano Bianco, a herbal tea is my choice of beverage.

To sit in her chair, copying her ways brings me comfort and worry in equal measures. There are times when I feel I haven’t moved on, almost as if the emotions of a grieving child are still at the raw stage. But tonight, I can feel her warmth and love comforting me. Feeling safe and loved I just want to embrace her and tell her that I love and miss her, but how can you hug a spirit?

Her home has undergone many changes throughout the years, colours, shapes and furniture; making the home almost unrecognisable from my childhood. But the bricks still hold the voices from the past, occasionally whispering tales of yesteryear, and tonight, as I seek comfort in mum’s chair, the only voices I hear are soothing and loving.

Kev Lea

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