In the first awful days and months after Amy's death I benefitted enormously from being a passive recipient of support. Friends and people from school rallied round and paid their condolences. My freezer became full of vegetable lasagne that had been dropped off at my doorstep. More recently there has been an unexpected and cavernous void. Amy is always in my thoughts and of the kids, yet for the most part, 18 months since she died - the outreach that once provided comfort is almost entirely gone. I'd started to grow resentful and sad about this even accepting that people have to get on with their own lives, but I've come to the realisation that probably should have been obvious all along, that when it comes to keeping the memory of Amy alive, that work is up to me.
In many respects Amy's death made me feel out of control. There were so many things we did together, and shared decisions which now rested solely on my shoulders but I think I've decided that taking action is the only way for me and the kids to stay close to her.
While we were in (a very rainy) Sydney on Sunday I spotted a tray of canoli (an Italian pastry cake) for sale. They were Amy's favourite and probably even relegated her love of scones with strawberry jam and cream to second place. I bought one and shared the delicious treat with the kids. We talked about why I had bought it and I told them of how happy their Mum got whenever she saw them for sale (I know Amy would have clapped her hands excitedly in the way that she did when good stuff happened).
I try to teach Audrey and Eli the lessons that I know Amy would have done, of love, kindness and respect (Amy was always far more studious than I ever was and I do worry that she would have contributed a lot more to the kid's school work than I manage to) but it felt good to share the cake with Audrey and Eli and tell them of the love their Mum had for them both (and canoli of course!).