Day after Thanksgiving.

From "A Broken Heart Still Beats: After your Child Dies": an excerpt from "Threnody" by Ralph Waldo Emerson.]

"The South wind brings
Life, sunshine and desire,
But over the dead he has no power,
The lost, the lost he cannot restore;
And looking over the hills, I mourn
The darling who shall not return.

"Now Love and Pride, alas! in vain,
Up and down their glances strain.
The painted sled stands where it stood;
The kennel by the corded wood;
His gathered sticks to stanch the wall
Of the snow-tower, when snow should fall;
The ominous hole he dug in the sand,
And childhood's castles built or planned;
"But the deep-eyed boy is gone.
"Was there no star that could be sent,
No watcher in the firmament,
No angel from the countless host
That loiters round the crystal coast,
Could stoop to heal that only child,
Nature's sweet marvel undefiled,
And keep the blossom of the earth,
Which all her harvests were not worth?
"Covetous death bereaved us all,
To aggrandize one funeral.
The eager fate which carried thee
Took the largest part of me:
For this losing is true dying;
This is lordly man's down-lying,
This his slow but sure reclining,
Star by star his world resigning."

-L (11/26/10)

"Thinking of her is like dreaming of ice when you're cold..." -M

the weight of your loss
surpasses the strength of my faith
my fate not the same as before
i know now the futility of desire
for what?

starvation bites with the force of survival
lying dormant with eyes all a-flutter
your dreams as fleeting in non-waking
as mine of you are to wake up to
no more

this passing of time like betrayal
now missing an essential piece
and peace a laughable concept
belief an inviable option
so what?

[on: Brother-2's house tomorrow; juice fast ending today; seeing a counselor once a week; Marie's dream-text; mama's otherworldly "journeys"; and all the rest of it...]


[What does it mean 'to grieve'? 'Cuz this is all I've got. And it doesn't feel like something you do at all, so much as something you become. Like it inserts itself into every element of your being, so that there's nothing that looks the same anymore. And it's not like anything has changed, either - except that everything has, but only because your eyesight has been altered; tuned down, as one would turn a volume dial to the left, lowering it. Not completely mute, but moving it to a level just above earshot, where you know you're hearing something but your consciousness can't make out the words inside the sounds, let alone their meaning. So you operate unconsciously, as though your body is directly tuned into the ways of that other world - it's rhythms and reasoning - and continues to participate without the blessing or intention of your mind or heart or soul. Since after all, those things have long since gone silent.]

[-L (11/13/10)]

One Month. (The more time that passes, the harder it is to believe...)

Sweet girl,

Tomorrow's a month from the day you left us. Tonight, a month from the moment the Scion began to swerve; the oncoming traffic suddenly seeming to swirl; the sensation of spinning before...what? Darkness, I suppose. That infinite depth that prepared you for eternal sleep... Or so I'm left to hope. Wishing for the joyous peace of slumber you always loved so well, while you lived and could still choose it for yourself. Bliss.

Your friend Erica found me on Facebook a few days ago. Do you remember her? She's the sweet little blonde girl who you often had your arm around in Debi's photos. (I haven't been able to do the Facebook thing for a while, actually. I know you always flat-out rejected it. Ever since posting the worst news I'll ever be able to dream, I can't seem to bring myself to go back to acting normal on that silly site...I'll always respond to the people who know you, though--promise.) She said she'd visited Debi along with Cory and Brandon (remember those guys?!) and they all found out then what has happened to you. (I can't wait to find out, still.) She wrote how sorry she is, and how she remembered loving you very much. She also told me that she knew how I felt: she had lost her little sister when her sister was only eight years old.

It's moving how invisible memories of now wispy people just come out of the woodwork at a time so sad as this one. How they materialize again, become real, email you their phone numbers with an, 'I miss you!!' attached. (I wonder if you would have sighed sweetly or simply scoffed at such a thing...)

Oh my lovely girl, how I miss you. i think about you constantly, and everything reminds me of you even when i fight the urge for a moment. You'd love my new house and roommates, I think. We have a yellow couch from the 60's sitting on the front porch, that i know would match your vintage (Halloween?) dress perfectly. And your old friend Debbie came up to me at your service to tell me how you two made pancakes as little girls for the first time in our early-morning kitchen in Placentia. And I'm on this silly juice fast, too, except without you this time, and missing you more & more every day.

(Next time, I'd like to remember YOU.)

-L (11/9/10)



Beautiful girl,

Finally got you a pink pen, darlin'. And I dyed my hair today --> dark brown. Almost black. It dawned on me that when we used to talk about hair and such, your least favorite qualities--somewhere between blonde & brown; something between straight & curly--were in fact MY qualities! So for the moment, I'm dark and curly. But you know me: I'm bound to let it do what it wants to by tomorrow...

You were that way, too, weren't you? Well...on occasion, anyway. Like when you lived up here with me, when Jake was just down the road. And you had those months--first waiting for and then mourning the loss of one of your luckiest loves. I didn't understand then how you could just go to work and come home, sleeping all the rest of the time. I didn't know where your smile had went most days, or how your already limited patience had become even more scarce. I get it now, though. Perfectly well.

The difference is that your transition then was that of a butterfly before it dreamt of wings. (I don't foresee the same fate for me now, nor would i welcome it: there's no flying away from this--and god knows I'd have never chosen to lose you.) I just hope that this new transition of yours helps you to become something even more beautiful and unique...though i can't imagine what that could be, or why the bloody fuck you needed anything more. We certainly didn't.

But yes, my hair is black, and yesterday i lost my wallet (but whatever, right?), and as of today, mama has her first tattoo, which is dedicated to you. And there's plenty more where that one came from. We're redefining, all of us, and done with the knock-off notion of permanence. At one point we may have believed in it, quietly and in the background, but we will be tricked no more.

Last night I spoke with mom and it reminded me how hard this really is. You forget sometimes once you get used to feeling hollow; become familiar with the constant sadness until it's almost a comfort. It's like breathing--you know you're doing it, but mostly there's no thought involved; no conscious effort or intention. Until you suddenly focus on it for a moment, and only then does it strike you as bizarre. But again, this isn't often.

God, i'm rambling. And neglecting my stupid homework. What I'm trying to describe to you is mom's sense of peace, and how seeing it made me feel farther from you than ever. Why can I not feel you or see you in my dreams?! Why can't I feel you in the air around me, or manage to convince myself that you'd hate to see me so sad--and then somehow even do something about it? I know it's all one day at a time, but still, all i've seen for the last 21 days are your unborn children; your unmatched future husband, who will never know how wonderful his life with you would have been. All I see is the look you'd get when you were watching a sad movie, or listening to a sullen song. It's that haunted expression that haunts me even more than your electric smile does, or your rogue tongue stretching over your cheek, or your explosive laugh, or your distinct style and taste and bright, dry humor. How you'd keep everything close to you--carry it around--but were never really afraid of losing anything anymore...

So yeah, still hard. Though Jake made my heart soar even as i wept when he told me that he knows you still exist somewhere, but are just too far away for us to visit you now. When I told him my sad glass story, he told me how he firmly believes that a person's capacity for joy is matched only by their capacity for sorrow.

["Your joy is your sorrow unmasked... The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain." -Khalil Gibran]

Think of our ocean, and how it carved away gradually that beautiful cave in Davenport where you and i would so often go with our mochas in hand, or after a coupla bowls of clam chowda. It's the angry waves--the cold, dark, powerful flooding of rainwater--that carved out that hole with a one-track mind bent on drowning. But in the morning, when the tide fell back again, we'd look at the shiny quartz and limestone reflecting the sun-kissed sea. How lovely it had become! How the sight struck our hearts softly with awe, and left us grateful to be the ones to've seen...

Jake says that in this way you may have given us all a tremendous gift--though the sun has yet to rise in this new world of ours. That while you've carved out a hole in our hearts with the sharp edge of sorrow, leaving a great expanse in your wake, perhaps now we are capable of holding more joy than we otherwise could have fit in a whole lifetime? Yet still just a shadow of the immensity you embodied, even in a life so brief as yours.

["When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." -Khalil Gibran]

-L (10/30/10)