I want to write. I want to feel something, sit down and let it spill onto the page like I did when Talia was alive. When I was with her I experienced moments of profound sadness or defiant happiness and I immediately wanted to memorialize it in print. I want to feel that, but I’ve given up feelings for the moment. I’ve put them on a safe shelf so that I know where I can go to find them if I feel I need them, but I don’t right now. Maybe I still need them, but I don’t want them. I’m tired of feeling. I’m tired of having my feelings be assessed. I ready to be ignored, and also already missing the attention. I’m glad to not be in the eye of the storm, and also missing the brutal reality of that tornado.
I want to write. My children are in school now. We have survived the summer from hell and I’ve held off feeling much since after the memorial. I dedicated myself to enjoying the rest of summer and being present in their lives. Being fully present wasn’t really a choice for the past two years, no matter how deeply hard I tried. So for a month I’ve put my feeling on a shelf and just enjoyed our newfound freedom of movement and lightness of spirit. But now they are safely in school and I find myself a stay at home mom with no kid at home. An early empty nester of sorts. Time to figure life out I suppose.
I want to write, but I don’t know how to start. I don’t want to look back. I don’t want to remember, even though that’s all I have of Talia now. She exists now only in my memories and if I don’t write, she will be forgotten. Her life imbued mine with meaning while also sapping my life of meaning beyond her. Her life showed me how deeply terrible moments and wonderful silly moments can occur simultaneously. Her life, and the way our family cared for her, have affected those around me in ways I’m only just beginning to hear about.
I want to write of what her life meant and what to make of the suffering she had to endure, yet I don’t have that answer yet. I know that I now live in a world where I know grief. It’s a world where I no longer have the ability to say “I can’t imagine”. I’m in a community of sufferers for whom grief has changed them to the core and, despite my best efforts to not allow it, it has changed me too. I don’t have control over that change. It’s one of many things I don’t have control over. I feel hardened to the world and yet also even more attuned to the struggles of those around me. I know this change in me will propel me towards helping those in need, but for now I need a moment to simply be.
I need to look back, I need to remember. I need Talia to exist on the page so that I can prove to myself, years down the road, that this whole experience really did happen. She was here. She mattered. She was mine and she will be remembered, and it’s time to start feeling again.