Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Longing We Wrap Ourselves In

It's been a whole month, I can't even go minutes without thinking of you. I relive that day in my mind and it never gets easier. Absolute horror. The tearful message on the other end of the phone, immediate loss of breath, and indescribable pain in my heart. A million questions but all I could scream was one word. Where do we put the longing and how do we build a place inside ourselves strong enough to endure the ache? I love you more than you know, KG

How do we stop counting the days, when it’s the hours that
taunt us and the fact will always remain that it’s every single
minute that you are not near me that attach to me like thousands
of anchors and pull me deeper beneath the surface.  I am drowning
and choking and gasping for breath but it is not the water that
I am drowning in, there are no swallowed fish in these lungs and I cannot
taste the sea.  Drowning not in water but in the sheer volume
of tears that have gone unwiped by fingers taking leave of my
hand they were holding.  Choking not on a lack of air but on the lack
of you and the number of moments left unshared between us.  On the
life that flows beyond us endlessly while we sit on the shore
and wait to be ready to dip our toes in, ready to jump with
our clothes on.  

Is this what you wished for on all of the candles on all of the
birthday cakes from when you were tiny?  Did you watch the smoke
rise to the ceiling and believe with all your little heart that your
wish rose with it, disappearing into everywhere the instant it was
received by whomever would do the receiving.  I want to somehow
tell you that I can feel my childhood inside me, screaming and 
slapping the walls of my chest and when those tiny hands are covered
in the red of this aching and they match the color of those tiny knees
and the weight of it all crumples her tiny body to the floor of my 
insides what then do I say?  Do I apologize and re-light every candle
ever blown out in some weak and hollow attempt to repent for the
madness we will one day face, the longing we will wrap ourselves in?

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Thoughts Will Echo Your Name Until I See You Again

How will I walk steady if the ground should come alive?
And tell me how will I be ready for the world another time?

So am I another slave now to the screamin' in my head?
Or is it a little strange now how the moment's gone and fled?
Brother I gotta tell you that something here is wrong
Oh brother I gotta tell you... This place ain't what I thought

There is a funny thing about travel that inspires me to write. Did you know when you travel on bereavement this is stated somewhere on your plane ticket? I imagine it pops up on the computer screen like a notification. "This person is fragile, handle with care". They treat you differently. Not in a bad way. They just know what you're going through, and that if you start crying while eating their pretzels, they shouldn't take it personally. It's not you, WestJet, it's me.

The moment the plane touched down in Edmonton, it hit me like a bag of bricks. The closer we got to the ground, the harder it was to catch my breath.

I did everything I had to do. I did everything I could to try to find her, and at the same time, try to accept that I now live in a world where she doesn't. 

They told me it would hit me when I least expect it. I don't like this feeling. Waiting to break, so I can start to put the pieces back together. Knowing this despair is playing hide and seek on me, and will pop out from behind the wall it was sheltered by, startling me into a feeling I cannot even begin to imagine. 

On the car ride to the airport, on my way back to Toronto, the empty space in my chest became more apparent. I don't know how describe this. There's a new hole in my heart, yet, my chest feels tight. The turbulence during our descent into the city was no different than what I had been experiencing in my mind. Breathing recycled air, confined to a small space, surrounded by strangers who are no comfort to me. Shaking. Hoping I'll land okay.

I used to think that going to a new place was a wonderful way to escape whatever you needed to escape. Years ago I learned the hard way that this isn't so. You take your heart with you wherever you go-- whether it's whole or in pieces. Placing yourself in a new environment does not magically make you forget whatever you need to forget.

I am being very honest. I don't know if I know how to be anything else. I can be guarded. I can also spill my heart out to anyone that will listen. I go into hiding. I also make myself overly available to those who need me. I hurt, and all I can do is breathe through this pain and loss. Walk it off. I also love who I am and think this life is the most beautiful gift.

I am soaring above the clouds sitting in the window seat and I wonder if this makes me closer to her. I wonder if the warmth on my shoulder during the day and if the tingling running through my hair at night is her. I wonder if I will ever be able to see highways and forests the same way again.

There is knowledge in sadness and I am discovering more of it every day. I take comfort in the amazing people reaching out to me. I am alone with my thoughts at night and have yet to sleep without the lights on. I stare at the flowers that have been gifted to me and see it as another life lesson to appreciate the beauty in everything and everyone before it wilts away.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

You Are A Child Of The Universe No Less Than The Trees And The Stars; You Have A Right To Be Here.

Today is my birthday. There's going to be one more ring on my trunk when they chop me down.

“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about."

The best gifts I received were the amazing words and letters from friends.

Happy birthday. I know you're in a rough time but I want to reflect on the positive. You inspire me. Your motivation and ability to produce in all areas you focus on is flabbergasting in its impressiveness. You're probably the most beautiful girl I've ever had the chance to actually know. Your wit is so sharp and I'm so glad I'm smart enough to pick up on the hilarious jokes you will drop. I envy your emotional strength. I rely on music to deal, but you know not only how to deal but how to help others. You're going to be an amazing mom, the kind I pray ill be able to have as the mother of my kids. I'm so glad we've had another year with you, and I so look forward to all the ways you'll surprise me in the years to come. XO, a kiss and a hug, and a happy birthday to someone extra special in my life. You're the best

Happy birthday Marley. I hope our paths cross again sometime soon. You're in my heart in this time. I think you have an incredible capacity to love and such a passion for life. Kylen couldn't have possibly known a better friend to grow up with. May this year carry you gently deeper into the beauty of what your soul is becoming. May you one day look behind you and see nothing but beauty. May the world feed honey to your heart and care for you in the ways you've cared for others. May it make you cups of tea, read you sad and beautiful stories that echo inside you, lift the covers of it's bed, invite you in and hold you when you need to fall apart

It's been a wild year, the last few weeks especially. I keep thinking of that quote: "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans". We really have no idea what's ahead of us, but today has left me strangely inspired. ““Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Opposite Of Disappearing

This Nicole Krauss quote slapped me square in the face:

"He learned to live with the truth. Not to accept it, but to live with it. It was like living with an elephant. His room was tiny, and every morning he had to squeeze around the truth just to get to the bathroom. To reach the armoire to get a pair of underpants he had to crawl under the truth, praying it wouldn't choose that moment to sit on his face. At night, when he closed his eyes, he felt it looming above him"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bright Side of A Bad Day

October 2011 was life-changing. Too much happened within that one month.
I just finished writing my speech for Kylen's funeral. I'm happy with it. I mean, I cry every time I read it... but I wrote what I needed to say and I'm honored to have the opportunity to share it

“Some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up and touch everything. If you never let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you.” -E.L Konigsburg

“I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Do not search for the answers, which could not be given you now, Because you would not be able to live them. and the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” - Rainer Maria Milke