I count because I can’t help it. I count because she was my best friend and she’ll never stop mattering to me. I count because numbers are something real that makes sense to me, unlike her absence, which doesn’t. She should be here with me on the island, but she isn’t. And all I can do is hold space for how long it’s been for me since a time when that was my reality.
I remember life with her like a dream I just woke up from- flashing details, some tremendous and metaphorical, others just inflections of scenes from every day living. I remember the sound of her laugh and the snarky jokes she always made. Sometimes it feels like a literal slap in the face- the variation is similar to how my heart being touched by her memory feels now, usually I try to just notice it and keep doing what I’m doing, but sometimes it surprises me and demands attention.
I can’t always write or share her writing because it still kills me inside in some way every time, no matter how much bigger my love than my ache. I don’t always want that visceral reality front and center to my own because I can’t function very well from my knees, which is where it brings me in every sense of the word without fail. I am trying to come to terms with vulnerability and I am making baby steps. And I will share more of her writing at some point, hopefully soon.
I went to hang out with my parents and some friends yesterday and we ended up speaking openly about grief and loss over drinks on the beach- and I realized that that’s what my reality is now: my grief is fully integrated into my joy, and authentic life lies somewhere in between. It felt good to talk with others who have lost someone close, and to talk about memories shared. The grief in the world is exponential with each loss, and my heart is heavy thinking about all the other people out there also in their first stages of grief. I had one of the worst nightmares I’ve had last night that consisted of essentially waking up over and over again to be reminded that my closest friend had died tragically; reliving the hardest part of grieving for my head and heart on repeat.
I sent my still very alive friend a text first thing this morning, even before coffee. My best during the times when I feel helpless is to provide space for myself and other grieving hearts to say, “That is awful. That should never happen. I hear you. I’m so sorry. Life makes no fucking sense sometimes. Thank you for trusting me enough to share. I have no words that can help, but I’m here. This sucks and I hate it for you and I’m here.” And at times I need to hear those words, too. K
I often feel insignificant -and in the grand scheme of things, I absolutely am- but that shouldn’t keep me from sharing what matters to me, just as none of us should ever hold back from doing the small things that help ourselves and others, whatever they may be– doing so is exactly how the world gets better. For me, it’s helping others, prioritize and to be kind and grateful to ourselves, our children and each other. Time is precious and finite. Hold your loved ones tight. I
I wish you were here.
Love you most, M