Seven. To many it is considered a lucky number and much history surrounds it. It pops up in many aspects of our human existence – religion, environment, the world we live in, even fairytales.
· The seven days of creation
· 7th heaven
· Seven seas and seven continents
· Seven colours of the rainbow
· Seven year itch
· Seven days of the week
· Seven dwarfs
My father in law, Maurie, likes to recount stories from his past. There is one particular story that seems to pop up often where Maurie recalls the first words of advice his own father in law bestowed upon him on his wedding day:
“Well son, the first seven years are the worst, and after that you don’t care.”
These words stick with me for reasons that could never have been anticipated. Reasons that have nothing to do with marriage of course, and even if they did, I would have to respectfully disagree!
Today I am confronted by my very own 7.
7 years since Olivia died.
My 7 looms like a dark cloud.
But is it different to any other year? Should it be a turning point? Should it be a sign of something more?
As human beings, we continually search for meanings, for answers, for reasons why things happen. We like milestones, we like to categorise, we like to draw conclusions based on beliefs, founded or unfounded.
Seven years. Does it mean the worst is over? Is it going to get easier?
But soon, seven will become 8, 8 will become 9 and 9 becomes 10. Life goes on.
To me, there is no magic in time. Time is arbitrary yet very personal. Time is definitely a factor in helping me deal better with my grief, but the grief never goes away. Time also invariably leads to the need for people to “move on” and for normality to return. How long, how short – there’s no formula. Grief becomes a silent pain as conversations turn to more topical interests and lives become consumed with other stuff.
For many, their journey is inconsolable. There is no positive, there is no silver lining, there is no conversation.
For me, my journey looks like the beginnings of a rainbow after an unrelenting, vicious storm. It’s not quite seven colours, but it’s definitely taking shape. Touched by Olivia, and the people who breathe life into its existence, have all helped put colour back in my world.
To all who have journeyed with me, I thank you, because….,
seven years ago there was no rainbow.
Dedicated to my angel Olivia Maree Perkins. You give me strength to fight the impossible fight and bring happiness to others.
Olivia's grandfather Maurie enjoys the flying fox today at Livvi's Place, Ryde.