Every day I am absolutely amazed at how infiltrated you are into my consciousness. I am tempted sometimes to try to capture it- by using a notepad or the recorder on my iphone- the stream of consciousness way that everything I see or touch leads to you. The other day I’d wished I’d been doing it when I just opened a dresser drawer to find clothes to wear. It went something like this: grey pants- the grey pants- I thought those went really well with a black silk top at Ann Taylor loft- the pants were on sale, the shirt wasn’t- I bought them both. I came home and tried on the outfit for you as I often did. I ended up wearing that black silk shirt to your wake. Shirt- now I need a shirt. There’s the white cotton t-shirt with little bows you brought me back from Japan a couple of months before- I said it looked really Japanese and I was happy with it. There’s my “Brooklyn” hoodie purchased on 7th avenue. You wanted to get it for me- the brown DKNY short sleeved hoodie we saw in Century 21 in downtown Brooklyn and you said, “This is your style,” – the grey and brown striped shirt from Anthropologie that you picked out when we were living out my parents after I’d just had Audrey and I was wearing the same black maternity pants and oversized sweatshirt of yours for a month. “I want to buy you this.” “I have good taste right?” you said.
The problem with trying to capture the way these distinct memories come at you all day on top of the fact that you’re constantly aware that you’re very, very sad- is that they happen very, very quickly The paragraph above that takes a reader thirty seconds to read played in thoughts in about two. Trying to capture the stream of consciousness of grief and loss got me thinking about thinking altogether. Am I the only one amazed that my thoughts seem to come and come before I’ve thought of thinking them? I don’t have to put any effort into putting a thought into words and running it through my head to hear it. They are there, instantly. Without a thought, we have thoughts. So it is with grief thoughts.
Just one simple act of opening a drawer and it is as if I am walking through a sticky invisible web that we spun together of our lives and ourselves. By the time I close the drawer, “Mommy’s just going to get dressed,” I’m live prey for the grief monster who walks this web.
But also, besides the web of connections and memories, there are the moments that stay with me. A moment before you left on one of the trips where you played a beautiful song I didn’t know on a CD and danced with me on Audrey’s play mat while she crawled or walked around us. I was shy and resentful you were leaving…but I loved it. The moment when I was leaving the ER after a series of tests after giving birth when you came to get me and just held me. “I love you.” “I love you too.” The moment I first saw you coming towards me with that guitar on your back, “Julia?”
These moments come to me at least seemingly with no prompt or symbol. They do not come in a flood or a torrent. They come slowly and sit with me, like a companion beside me while I grieve. I close my eyes and believe, momentarily, in time travel.