by | Jan 21, 2011 | 3 comments

A part of me is still in denial- I realize.

Last night I decided the hell with it and got out a new dental floss- and left the old one in the medicine cabinet- I just can’t bear to get to the end of that string.

I’d told myself I’d leave your clothes and computer – which are pretty much your only possessions in the apartment- untouched at least for the first year- why move anything?  But I realize now I can’t imagine moving them because a part of me still thinks you need them.  Moving your socks or your T-shirts and taking over those drawers myself will be a giant step towards the acceptance of a lifetime without you moving forward.

I am steeping in the grief tonight…Audrey got overtired and fell asleep silently after flipping through her favorite book of poems in her crib.  My cold has moved into my chest and throat so when I cry out tonight to you and to God, I sound like a seal with my hoarse voice- even more pathetic than usual.

I searched for your name on my email account thinking I might read some old conversations of ours, but never made it past the emails regarding your death that came up as the most recent in the search.  It is part of healing from the trauma I have read- to relive the early days.  So I read a bunch of those exchanges – the first email I sent to friends at 4 am on July 7th announcing your death- and the back and forth from friends and family following.  My words are unreal to me and my writing voice very unfamiliar.  I am completely surprised now to see some of the things I wrote to people.  I am sorry for myself- for that woman who wrote those emails and was in such tremendous shock that she temporarily became someone else.

I sit and read the responses- all something like this, “Oh Julia- my heart is broken and I feel sick.  If there’s anything we can do…”  feeling the tears streaming down my face and dropped off my chin onto my scarf as I read.  You always told me it helped to wear a scarf around your neck, even if you’re inside, when you’re sick.  So…I’ve been wearing one the last couple of days.

I think about a place I could go where I could scream really, really loud- for a long time, and not disturb anyone.

Out of nowhere, Audrey asked to play with “my baby toys!” yesterday so I got out the small bag of toys I’d carefully cleaned and packed away in expectation of another baby in the future, and she played with them, trying, I think… to remember them.  A friend who had been pregnant the same time as me emailed to tell me “In other news”- she’s pregnant and expecting in May.  Of course, of course she is.

There are just so many angles and facets to this…almost an infinite amount.   It turns on an axis- the light hits it a different way and the tragic reality of what has happened is newly realized…bouncing rainbow splotches of pain on my wall like sunlight through my diamond engagement ring.


January 21, 2011


  1. may

    have you read didion's year of magical thinking?

  2. Claire

    I found driving alone at night in the car with the windows closed was the best place for screaming.

  3. Rachel

    You may try Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa ( i know a lot of people use it, its also non alcoholic, though it's effectiveness is not as good as alcohol based cough medicine, but it's still good to use on not so serious scratchy throat.

    apprently ( according to the instruction) children from 2 to 12 can use it.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…

List-making in a Dark Time

List-making in a Dark Time

For any other list-makers out there, I published this on HerStories yesterday.""In this time of quarantine, my lists are offering me space outside of the walls of my home, a way of making sense of chaos, a self-imposed structure on structure-less days, and even a way...

Simple Things

Simple Things

"In our deepest self we keep living with the illusion that we will always be the same." Henri Nowen "It's really very simple," my late spiritual director, Gladys, once said to me. She was talking about how she lived each day, waking up, having a written conversation...

Continuous Living

Continuous Living

"Anxiety turns us toward courage, because the other alternative is despair." Paul Tillich I've claimed "seasonal affective disorder" for years, and that may be so, but I'm starting to realize it's not only summer to fall that is hard for me. It's winter to spring, and...