Today marks two years of your passing. I still carry this heaviness in my heart that I can’t shake. It lies in wait, then in quiet moments it drowns me, and I feel the day of your death all over again. Despite the days that have past, my soul still feels this jagged tear you left behind when you surrendered your body and took flight.
I remember the day you told me you were going to die with supernatural clarity. We met at Iconik on Christmas Eve, and you gingerly sat with me and explained how they had found cancer taking root in your spine. We had sat in this same coffee shop just weeks before, discussing how you were going to build an online shopping business, your eyes full of enthusiasm for your new venture. You were in remission, then. You were in the clear. You were going to make it. You were a survivor. And in less than 21 days, you found out that cancer had different plans.
I could see the resignation in your eyes that morning. Even though you were one of the most impassioned and determined women I have ever met, you just didn’t want to battle anymore. You didn’t want the burns from radiation and the unending nausea of chemo, a life that felt less lived because it was filled with fighting something dead set on claiming your body.
It was one of the hardest mornings of my life, hearing you talk about how you planned to just wrap it all up, your wild and precious life, over a casual morning coffee. I still feel the helplessness that washed over me like a furious, unleashed gale. I run a finger across the invisible trails left by burning hot tears. I taste the bitter, curdy feeling of coffee swirling across my tongue. I’ve only been back there once, and walking in was like opening a time warp. I saw you sitting in the window seat all over again, your scarf wound around your neck, and I couldn’t bear to stay.
After you broke the news, I took you to an appointment to get a vitamin infusion. You lay on the table and I sat next to you, holding your hand, both of us absorbing and appreciating the silence. You had the softest hands of anyone I’ve ever met, a cross between silk and cashmere. Someone came in and introduced a doctor, and they spoke to you of how illness is manifested on a spiritual level, and how that was where your battle would be won. When they left, you muttered how they didn’t get that you were just going to die, and how you wished that people would leave you to it.
So much has transpired in your absence. Some good, some great, some awful. I would give anything to have you here, to hear your drawl, to see your big, green eyes transmit emotion as you listen, to have the chance to hug your warm body that was always infused with the scent of flowers and delicacy.
I haven’t been to your resting place yet. I drive by the cemetery all the time, your ashes sitting in wait, but I just can’t bring myself to visit you in a place that can’t possibly be big enough to hold everything you were. For me, that will be the day when my heart has recovered enough to fully acknowledge that you left. It will be the day that the scar you’ve left on my heart has finally grown so faint that it blends, becoming barely discernible, but never gone.
Reflections of a woman spawned in a cement cocoon...