I could picture him with his big smile and warm greeting as he saw me come into the room "hey Deb!!!!". Big big smile. Then he offers me a coffee and says "you go back to bed, I've got it covered here". Because that's exactly what he would have said on a Saturday morning. He loved me so much. We were best friends. We understood each other. He'd even bring me coffee and toast in bed on a regular basis. It wasn't always like that. We had rough times too. We drifted apart and barely connected for a while. But whatever we had in the beginning re-surfaced a couple of years ago. It was hidden. So hidden it was invisible, but it came back.
I can feel his presence in the house. It's real. It's lovely. He's wearing a grey t-shirt and black jeans and he's singing at the top of his voice. The boys are lying in bed, just waking up and rolling their eyes as they hear their Dad sing a Led Zeppelin or Queen song at the top of his lungs, thinking he sounds just like Robert Plant or, even more optimistic, Freddie Mercury, but in reality sounding way out of tune and flat as a pancake! He was musically gifted when it came to bass guitar but singing? I shudder at the memory!
He's washing last night's cups and plates and he's talking to the dog like the dog is understanding everything. "Well Doug, it's just you and me boy. Any plans for today Doug? Got a hole to dig? A neighbour to terrorise? Birds to chase? I know I know, it's all pressure pressure pressure Doug. Go on out and see if you can find some bitches." Then he opens the back door and Doug runs out, oblivious to the 'conversation' but feeling happy that D is there for him.
Diarmuid then comes into the bedroom where I am and where Aisling has joined me. He gives her the biggest smile in the world as only he could do and says "hey princess!! Look at you, the sweetest girl in the world, give me a hug. You're just too cute altogether." She smiles and runs to him and they hug as if they're squishing the life out of each other. He then resumes 'Whole Lotta Love' or perhaps he's moved on to Robert Palmer and is 'singing' the chorus of 'Addicted to Love' and Aisling, just like her brothers, rolls her eyes, shakes her head and smiles.
This is all so real. He can't be gone. Don't tell me he's gone. Shut the fuck up. We want him back now and if I have to pretend he's here in order to make it seem real then so be it. I prefer the pretence of him being here than the reality of many others. I can't bear the children's pain.
I haven't moved on, not even a teeny bit. In fact, I haven't caught up yet to the moment he died. Yes, I know in my head that he's dead but in my heart I haven't processed it. Not at all. He's not dead, not today. He's real.