“So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out, keep ya head up.... and handle it.” -Tupac

Beautiful Girl,

We're living in a new world now. An uglier world, one in which your smile is no longer a part. A darker, confusing world, where carefree trips to Vegas can end in a sterile hospital, and everyday stressors vanish in a cloud of obsolescence. I find it impossible to believe I could cease grieving for that sweet world of eleven days ago—that world which held you in it, healthy and fearless. Held an image of our family when we could still remember being whole and fully intact.

I tried to describe this new world to J yesterday, whose slight distraction pained rather than charmed me for the first time—another fluke of the new paradigm, I suppose. I told her to imagine a tall glass, meant to be filled with the waters of joy like a liquid happiness. I told her I did not know whether my glass in this world has been hewed down so that it physically holds less happiness than before...or else that my glass is the same height and breadth as always, only now it has been punctured with an ever seeping hole, so that it no longer sustains such joy as it once held, but rather, must leak from the moment I begin to fill it. I don't yet know which glass is mine in this inadequate and inferior new world, but I know my capacity for happiness is not what it was; gravely diminished am I, and yet heavy with the loss of you.

I keep saying that you lived regretless, brave and true. I tell everyone with pride and frustration that we had no lessons to learn—you and I, and our beautiful family—about giving each other our best in appreciation and gratitude. I say these things to illustrate just how stupid, pointless, and utterly mistaken this fucked-up circumstance of your dying really is: we don't need to lose you to recognize how much we love and straight-up fucking need you. And yet here we are anyway, and for no reason at all, here you're not.

-L (10/20/10)

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