It has been one month since my aunt died unexpectedly at the age of 50. At the beginning, while I was still overseas, my brain could not stop narrating as it happened. I needed to write and share and process. I figured this would fast-track my grieving process so I could come out triumphant on … Continue reading What I know about grief so far…
The couch is covered with a decade's worth of papers, as we sift through trying to make meaning of it all. Birth certificate. Life insurance. Bank statements. Utility bills. Vacation cancellation policies. Paystubs. Marriage license. Pensions. Cellphone contracts. Drivers licenses. Rent invoices. Passports. Property taxes. Receipts. Immigration papers. Death certificate. It all feels so horribly … Continue reading The bureaucracy of dying.
A million questions run through my head each day; questions that even the almighty Google search can't answer: What do I do with my dead aunt's lingerie? What words can I say to soothe my mother? What urn would my aunt have liked most - the one with the butterflies or the one with the … Continue reading Dear Google…help me!
Mr. J's voice provides me with momentary relief each night during our scheduled call - a promise of a sense of normalcy after I wake up from this nightmare. My heart pangs for our home and our happy and simple life; free of any legitimate concerns. I feel guilty clutching onto this solace, with none … Continue reading Vim tears.
The four of us cling onto each other, forming the grief squad. Our days fall into a familiar routine: cleaning, sorting, crying, convincing each other to eat, forced evening walks and sporadic (somewhat guilty) laughter, usually when we discover a hidden memory we can share with the rest that we had long forgotten about. We … Continue reading The grief squad.
There is nothing more unsettling than watching my mother fall apart, realizing my own ineptness at comforting her. Every night, I hold her sobbing body in my dead aunt's bed, while we take turns telling stories, desperately hanging onto the memories I already feel slipping away. I only pull up my aunt's voice in my … Continue reading Grief (cont’d).
If I stretch my arms out far enough I can graze the edges of my grief with my fingertips, pushing it away to make room for my mother's grief, which she is unable to hold back as it crashes against her relentlessly. Nothing will ever be the same again. I stumble through the hospital corridors … Continue reading Jubilee garden.
All the bad days of my life combined don't come close to this living hell. I stare begrudgingly at the carefree couple sitting across from me on the train, clearly on their way to somewhere filled with laughter and friends and ice-cream that trickles down their hands as the sun shines down on them on … Continue reading The train of doom.
I wince thinking back to last week, sitting in my solarium, clinking wine glasses with Mr. J, thinking to myself that life has never been this happy or good or fucking easy. Infinite possibilities stretched out before me; a safety net of love and support lay beneath me. I see my aunt's message come through … Continue reading Life interrupted.