I always struggle with the preamble – I’m never really sure where to start when it comes time to get things down on paper (or rather in type-face, as the case may be). But here we are and I feel like I’m at the beginning of some big things in my life. So, where to start?
On my mind this evening is a date that seems to have crept up on me. It’s a date that holds great importance in my life but I will never ever celebrate it. I will, however, observe it with great emotion and a good deal of self care. This weekend marks two years since my Aunt Lynda passed away. (I really hate that term, by the way. ‘Passed away’ is such a stupid euphemism that’s somehow meant to cushion the blow of something that’s impossible to cushion.) Two years of life moving forward. Two years of experiences that warranted the need for comfort and all-consuming hugs, milestones to be celebrated, and plans that call for at least a little excitement. I have a list as long as my arms and legs all put together – a list of all the things that I wish that I could have shared and certainly would have shared with Lynda if I’d had the option to do so. I’ve often found it difficult to celebrate even the larger successes. And many of the grievances I’ve had seem so small in comparison to the loss of this incredibly special person in my life.
I do my best not to get too maudlin so late at night, but grief is a crafty beast. It creeps up and settles in the heart and makes it difficult to breathe and damn near impossible to see things clearly. It really can just take over everything no matter how hard you try to work through it. They say it gets easier with time, but I think it only gets more familiar. The weight that we carry simply becomes part of our bodies and we learn to walk a little differently to accommodate it. It doesn’t go away. It’s still heavy. But we’ve learned what it weighs and how to carry it and sometimes, we even get a little bit stronger under the struggle. That’s how I’m feeling tonight. I’ve grown used to the weight of missing her and the pang that I feel when I think of the things I’d tell her if I could.
Even though there are a million things I wish I could talk to her about, if she walked in to the room right now and I only had a few minutes, all I’d want is to give her the biggest hug and to tell her that I love her and to hear her laugh. Those are the things that I miss most.
It’s so strange and shitty and surreal to think of all these things that we’ve all experienced, all the life that has happened without her here to commiserate or celebrate or simply participate. But that’s how life works. It moves forward. We move forward. And we keep going. And eventually, hopefully, it does get just a little bit easier.