“Your coffin reached the monstrous hole. And a part of me went down into the muddy earth with you and lay down next to you and died with you.”
― Rosamund Lupton, Sister
After the murder, my prayers went something like this:
“Help me. God, help me. Please, fucking help me.”
I’m not certain whether I said these words aloud, or if they were stuck in my throat like something ready to explode. I don’t know whether I was alive when it was all happening. When it was all done. When she took her final breath.
What I mean to say is, I don’t know how I survived that dark, ugly, indescribable day and all the insufferable days afterward.
How I walked and talked and even applied makeup on the morning of her funeral.
How I put on a black and white dress, nylons, and brushed my hair, my teeth.
How I stood at the mirror with my stupid lipstick wondering how the hell we got here, how she was gone and I was here.
How the monster managed to shoot her three times in the head without me trying to save her, say goodbye.
I would’ve killed him with my bare hands. I would’ve broken every finger so he’d never pick up a gun. I would’ve sewn his lips together. I would have…I would have…
But I didn’t hear her when she cried out my name.
I remember my mom and I ironing seven salmon colored shirts for the pallbearers and wishing we were ironing them for a wedding, a baptism, some kind of celebration.
“Mom, is this real; is this happening?” I asked.
“Yes, honey.” She answered.
And we continued ironing those stiff, funeral shirts numbly, dizzily, in slow motion without uttering another word.
After the murder, my friend, Jeanie, brought me a case of Cupcake Merlot. I drank a bottle a day until they were all gone. And this couldn’t even deaden the pain, the massive loss of her—because grief is born into the world, but doesn’t die. It lives inside but doesn’t forget. It bites you at the most unexpected times with its decayed, sharp fangs.
That’s the whole truth in case you’ve been wondering.
The world is made up of people who are uncomfortable with death and mourning and your stories about the past. They only want to hear about the living.
You need to adjust into who you used to be, who you once were before your heart shattered into a million pieces.
You need to put on a mask of feathers, bright red lipstick, and smile as if you were completely functional, normal.
Nothing will ever be normal again.
You must learn to breathe in between the aches, the pains, the solitude, and the twisting of organs. In the beginning, the in-betweens are brief and fleeting, but you can still find God, still find flickers of light.
After the murder, syllables begged me to write them down, release them from the dark corners of my mind. And this is what saved me from turning into oncoming traffic, drinking myself into oblivion, and sticking my head inside an oven. It would have been easy to die. Easy to become nothing. But I decided to live instead.
*If you are being abused in ANY way whatsoever, help is available.
Call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline 1-800-799-7233
Photo Credit: @Kim Sisto Robinson All Rights Reserved