Here I sit, reflecting upon these last 9 years that have passed. Wondering what recycled words I’ll write this time. Can I write another poem? Can I find something to express joy and not just the accompanying grief? Should I even write about the cold rage that ever simmers within me just below most people’s threshold of awareness? How my body seems to remember this time of year even when my conscious mind does not, leaving me to puzzle out what could be wrong with me this time for days before the conscious awareness catches up to me of the looming date my family dreads each year is almost upon me? I could write more about this, all these feelings and emotions, but to be honest its all so exhausting to put into words that I don’t find it helpful. It is simple there.
I notice strange thoughts and memories that pop into my mind. Choices made leading up to this day all those years ago. How different the landscape of our world look. What seemed possible and what didn’t. I think about my actions and reactions, I watch my well developed judge try to find the choice points where I really went wrong. Where my ignorance blinded me. It brings up the question of where I live in guilt and shame around this. How though I don’t torment those who love me with these words and thoughts I have of myself; the blame, the never ending guilt, the shame, the rage, how much is still there after all these years. Will it take another 9 years before I can see it differently? I don’t know.
I listen to one of Mom’s favorite songs, Landslide by Stevie Nicks, so much so that we played it at her memorial. How the lyrics fit in some ways, even though the song was written for multiple reasons according to the artist. The simple fact that it was mom’s favorite song is reason enough – but addition of lyrics fitting within the context of my grief make it all the more powerful. I remember her singing her heart out with Stevie in the car with wild abandon. Never embarrassed at the reactions of her children but instead encouraging them to join in. How such a happy memory seems to upwell such pain I still do not fully understand. Will I ever just laugh with the memory like she could?
That is what I miss most. Her laugh, her ability to laugh, her ability to create laughter for others. Her big smile. It was such a gift.