Tag Archives: death

she is gone.

23 Oct

i knew it was coming, and yet it was sudden. it has been a while, but i haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it. When it happened, i felt a certain relief – how selfish of me. i could say that “relief” was for her, for her pain to be over, but it wasn’t. it was for me. her gone means i don’t have to hold my breath anymore.

i didn’t know how to mourn. i still don’t. i didn’t cry when i found out, although my mother wailed. she came to me for warmth, but i was as cold as a skeleton, standing rigid in the kitchen. since then, i’ve had sudden outbursts of intense sorrow, sometimes at the most inopportune moments, like while i’m teaching. i put a picture of her on my desk. a beautiful picture. i don’t feel much when i look at it, but if anyone touches the frame, or asks about her, or even looks at it, i feel like i have to hold on to my rolly chair for dear life. i feel like i might fall through the floor. and then i have to breathe deeply inside my head because i feel the dark darkest clouds moving into my mind. sometimes i can’t stop them – and then my eyes fill with tears, and i tilt my head up so that they don’t roll down. sometimes my students notice, and they withdraw – they know me so well, my little babies. they put the picture frame back where it was – in the exact spot – and they go back to their desks, hoping that if they don’t look at me, i won’t cry.
and then sometimes, they just don’t get it. and i don’t expect them to. my spoiled, poorly raised kids – it’s not their fault. it’s not their fault that consuela or luisa picks up after them at home. it’s not their fault that their parents are busy with their own social lives of cocaine and glitz, too busy to notice their beautiful children that i have the honor of spending five days out of the week with. so i don’t blame them for not getting it. what have they ever had to mourn? nothing. nothing.
so sometimes the tears spill out, and then i excuse myself in the middle of class. and they all get very quiet. and when i come back into my classroom, they look at me expectantly, with sadness in their eyes, because they didn’t want to make me cry. and then, for them, even though i’m not done crying or thinking of my dear friend who is long gone, i crack a joke, so they can feel better. so that they see that there was no harm done.

i know one thing: i know that i wouldn’t be able to move past this without my babies. all 300+. the ones i teach now, the ones i taught then. to be loved by so many beautiful little individuals astounds me. it fills my insides with little pink and purple bubbly hearts that pop when they hit the surface. and that popping translates to the love i give to them.
who can imagine that someone would take that away from me. practically the only thing i have left.
but i’ll write about that later. one thing at a time.



27 Jun

what i feel is a light-headedness that is shadowed in tar. my body is uncertain – swaying left, right, up, and down – and the only thing keeping me grounded is this dense, sticky tar surrounding me. the tar is black upon black upon black. it makes it hard to move, to put one foot in front of the other. as soon as i seem to shake the tar, to break free from it for a millisecond, so that i return to my former naivete, it falls down back on my head, suffocating me.

this is what it feels like to know that my friend is dying. that she will soon be dead. at times i forget and i go back to my old happiness – it is so simple, that happiness, like a fluffy pink cloud – but the minute i realize what is going on across the ocean to her, i want to dissolve into the ground because of the weight of the tar on my head.

how can i handle this? for myself, yes, but mostly for her – because it isn’t about me. it is not about me. i’ll worry about me when she’s gone.
how do i make her smile, even laugh, during her final weeks? because that is what i’d like to do, above all. i know when i laugh, i forget about anything else for just a split second. but those split seconds do a wonder of good.

i will think.

floating in pitch black

26 Jun

my friend is dying.
it’s not about me, i know.
i don’t know what to do, though. i feel as if my mind is floating in pitch black – a darkness that is intrusive, dense, overwhelming. i don’t like to linger on what makes me sad. i prefer to be happy, unplagued… but this is too serious, too serious to shoo away.
look how many times i have just used “i”.
when it is completely and utterly not about me.
how dare i.