Grief is such that it lodges itself in your throat until you either have to swallow hard or cry it out. The problem with the crying route is it is like disengaging a cork which is clogging up a hole in a pipe, and when unplugged, a deluge explodes from within. Once you let one cry out, the others topple out uncontrollably. Crying only makes me think of more reasons why I will miss my dear aunt.
I will never get another card with her perfect Russian-schooled cursive handwriting. I will miss her face. Her white skin with more wrinkles than her young age deserved. Her green eyes; sparkling with kindness. She was my second mother for the four years she lived in our house with us. She was the only one to come with me to my wedding dress fitting. She was there the day both my babies were born. She was a saint before she died; what does that make her after death?
I want to write about something else. I have just over a month left in my 365 project. I’m supposed to be shaping it all up in a neat bow and crafting paragraphs about lessons learned and planning my steps forward. I’m supposed to be focused on my book publication and getting an agent and really, I’m supposed to care deeply about getting to the fireworks ending of my project and instead life has swept the leg out from underneath me.
I didn’t think her death would hit me as hard as it has. I knew the ritual of the funeral would be a tear-fest and maybe there would be a few consequent sobbing showers, but somehow every song makes me miss her, everything I’m seeing is from her eyes and how she would think about it all. It wasn’t always this way, but for now, she’s all I can think about and all I can write about. It’s every grief stage and it’s cliche and I know it will pass but I could only be right here, right now.
Earlier today Pandora served up one of my favorite gypsy punk bands: Diego’s Umbrella. They played their version of Hava Nagila and it was as if I was socked in the gut; my insides turned and I bawled like a baby knowing my aunt would never dance another hora with us.
Ironically she is in my life in these last few days more than she was physically in the last few years. In death, she has become just what they said: everywhere. This realization is profound and painful at the same time. She is in the clouds and in my vintage typewriter on my desk and in the soft sweater I wear; because I hate itchy ones, just like her. She was my hypochondria soul mate and now I’m left feeling crazy without her validation.
There is nothing we can do to give death the middle finger other than live – out loud and with intention – on the borrowed time we have.