They say that writing can help you process your grief. Have you ever really wondered who the 'they' is anyway? And yet we all do what 'they' say. But I think it might help in this case, because despite knowing that you were a big fan of not holding back your emotions, I'm not so good at it. The whole wear-those-emotions-on-your-sleeve bit has just never been my thing. So where were we? Grieving, ah yes, grieving. One word that sums up a world of emotions. Sometimes I miss you and I start to cry at weird moments like when washing the dishes and remembering how you had Kelsey and I wash our dishes with just a trickle of water to save energy. In a weird way those moments reassure me that I'm normal and it's normal to be sad and this is the way death works.
But mostly I'm just numb. Unable to comprehend, really, how in one single afternoon you could have been ripped from the fabric of our lives. Gone, just like that. Are we all just one car accident away from life forever changed? I play a game of maybe's in my mind. Maybe if you'd have lived closer to me I'd be able to wrap my mind better around the fact that you won't be coming back. Maybe if you'd just have waited to take off your coat or had your seat belt on, things would be different. Maybe you stopped being angry at God. Maybe your last few moments were peaceful and not fear-filled.
But the maybe game takes me around in circles so to stop my dizzying spiral I focus on what I do know: how you used to get down on all fours and pretend to eat my toes when I was small. I thought it was the best thing ever. You actually did manage to eat my daughter's toes this last Christmas! (Don't worry, she's got about a 2 second attention span so I'm sure she wasn't traumatized) Christmases long ago and the little stocking that you sometimes opened with us. Your deep soul laugh and rumor has it that it got you kicked out of a restaurant a long time ago. European reminiscing for you and dreaming for me. My first pair of 'real' chopsticks from Chinatown in Seattle. Your beautiful garden on that corner city plot. The way you said Beetle Bomb and teaching me how to play 10 High. Your insistence on 'real' hugs. Your talent for making beaded jewelry. Living downstairs for a summer in your basement apartment. My tour of the city that you took me on when I first moved to Seattle for school. Hearing that you had gotten into a food fight with your sister at Christmas. These are what I'll set my mind to dwell on and these are some of the things I'll remember. Happy things and gratitude for those times spent with you. So thank you. Thank you for teaching me how to eat with chopsticks and how to slough cards and taking a bit of time to get down on your hands and knees to play in my 5 year old world. My life would not have been what it was if you hadn't.
Your Grateful Niece