On Grief: Five Years Later

I'm slightly pissed off. Mami's anniversary came and went and while I felt soft around the edges, vulnerable and slightly off balance, I managed to keep it together. The wave never hit and I thought "hey, maybe this year it won't."

Twenty fucking days later it does.

Photograph did it. I listen to nothing but Christian music while in the car. Except that lately, I've been wanting to give the kid a feel of something else and have started flipping stations.

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Ed Sheeran's song caught me from the first notes on the guitar. I've always loved the song. Tonight, the Frog Princess heard me humming it and asked what I was singing. I pulled up YouTube and saw the video for the very first time. Yeah...that was a bad move. Scenes from childhood. A baby. Through time and space. Captured in home videos.

She told me it was sad. When I asked her what was sad about it, she said that the part where they talked about kissing made her think of me and how I might  not be with her all the time. The cracking began then.

I put her to bed. I worked,  I chatted with one of my girls. I perused my editorial calendar and then something told me to listen one more time. Two. Three...

So you can keep me Inside the pocket of your ripped jeans Holding me closer 'til our eyes meet You won't ever be alone

Then it happened. The cracking so familiar to those of us that have had the great fortune to have loved well.

You can fit me Inside the necklace you got when you were sixteen Next to your heartbeat where I should be Keep it deep within your soul

It took 20 days for the swell of tears bubble up. It's always there. Don't get me wrong. It's always around. But they'd gone on strike all these days. Refusing to appear thus giving me a false sense of security.

Mami & MeWe keep this love in a photograph We made these memories for ourselves Where our eyes are never closing Hearts are never broken And time's forever frozen still

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And they won't stop. Because this is grief. The words are lovely in so many ways. Probably about a long lost love. But so applicable to all the love in the world.


Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul And it's the only thing that I know, know I swear it will get easier, Remember that with every piece of you Hm, and it's the only thing we take with us when we die

Maybe it was the "photograph" part. That had me looking back at this picture:


And this one...

Mami & Me 6

And this one as well...

Mami & Me 4

When I'm away, I will remember how you kissed me Under the lamppost back on Sixth street Hearing you whisper through the phone, "Wait for me to come home."

My child has been heard saying that she can't wait to see her abuela in heaven. I wish I could bring her abuela down for just one day. Well, maybe one day for her and one day for me. I want the photographs. The memories. The solidarity I felt. The one that told me what I saw was what I got. The words. The no nonsense, no bullshit type of real. The real that has given me the uncanny ability to see through the lack of authenticity in so many (and the ones that she clearly pointed out when she thought I wasn't on my game). Without hate. Without anger. Just as a matter-of-fact. I miss that.

The advice. The arguing our points, each one determined that we were correct. I miss the love. Because no one ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY no one will ever love me like she did. 

Five years later the verdict is this...my heart is still broken and my eyes are very capable of offering tears in place of the words that will not pour out of it. I miss her. And no amount of time will ever change that.