I’m running out of words to fully express the grief that stands by the door. I’m running out of tears to cleanse the rough wounds that come with each moment I want to hear her voice. I can call it up in my head and I can pull up videos on my phone.
But in the end, she is gone. And it is Samhain. The time for remembering.
I want to tell you stories about her, but they’re not mythic or complicated. I could tell you about the time she and I went out shopping and got into a fender bender. And it was the first time I swore in front of my mom. The first time I yelled at a stranger in front of her.
Upon realizing the impact left no scar, I got back in the car and kept going.
I can’t recall her exact words, but she was more impressed than embarrassed.
I am the culmination of her stubbornness. I am a child of her fears. I am the movement of her greatest wish for me: to be happy.
And I know I am letting her down right now. I find happy in moments, even joy, but the other parts are what stay with me. The moments of deep loss, of unresolved conversations, of the child I don’t want to have now that she’s gone…those are insistent about taking up space.
I read a report and saw the words that she was terrified in her last moments. And I play out the scene in my head, placing myself beside her. Looking at her face. Stroking her stiff-from-too-much-hairspray hair.
I tell her it will be okay. That it won’t hurt anymore. And I don’t know if I’m talking to myself or if I’m trying to make a home on the pavement too.
Her last moments.
There is a part of me that wants to make sense of this, to grab onto the message, the lesson, the wise realization. But it slips through my fingers. Or perhaps was never meant to be held for long.
Grief is funny like that. And deeper like that. Right now.
In this time where we call to our Beloved Dead, I am clear that we are not calling out, as though they were miles away. She is in my heart.
She is already here.
And what is remembered, lives.