I finally got my whale tattoo done !
Based on the last stanza of “I Cover my Eyes” part III of a series of poems I wrote about illness and shared +ongoing female identities; “I know one day, I will find you again. And we will swim through star-bright water. Two whales under a night sky.”
I didn’t feel much pain during but afterwards, looking at the whale and thinking about what it meant, I felt very sad. I thought about swimming in Leichhardt Pool as a little kid, holding on to my Mum’s back and the smell of chlorine in our hair.
I’m still unlearning the subconscious lessons that grief is something that must strengthen and teach you, and is always linear and focalised. Things I’ve been taught and that we’re all taught to make it less threatening.
I feel a sense of loss every day and each time it feels different. Sometimes I am angry and sullen, mostly I am just regular me but more quiet. Sometimes I feel sadness like it is so much water that I have to swallow. I hope these emotions will quieten down over time, but I also know that I’ll continue to carry some form of them for a long time.
Loss has become part of me, just as this whale has. It continues to change things about who I am, but not in any negative or positive way, just in the way that any loss alters anything remaining. The giving and taking of energy.