A Memory

I just had the saddest memory. Yet, “sad” doesn’t even do it justice. It’s heartbreaking, actually. My mind, it cannot derive accurate words for the emotion this memory evokes in me.  The memory of removing myself from the hospital bed...being forced to do ordinary things, such as bathing.  Ordinarily, this would have brought such sweet relief. I would have welcomed the hot water, rushing over my body—exhausted, victorious, and spent. A warrior having just passed through the threshold of pain with purpose.  The first separation...my being alone for a moment in the shower.  But this time, it was different.  The separation, permanent. How do I describe this?  This memory of seeing my profile in the mirror without you in it, too?The absence of your body from mine?No more movement. No more life. My body...empty. Vacant. Void. Hollow. As I recall this memory, I am disbelieving. It’s the first time it has surfaced in the past (almost) sixteen months.  Our bodies separated by a metal door, but our souls separated by worlds. How did I live that moment?  My mind is scarcely allowing me to scratch at its surface.I see myself. I see the mirror. I see the bathroom. The room. I see you. I see you as I walk back to the bed. I walked past your body with its heart that had stopped beating.  I wanted to pretend you were alive.  I wanted to pick you up and feel warmth and breath.  Not the morbidity of holding on to a life that slipped through my hands far too soon.  Numb. I was so numb. And shocked. I stared at myself, and I stared at you. And I could barely see through my swollen eyes. My vision, blurred. I hadn’t slept in 24 hours. Why this memory?  And why now?  A gush of warm water in the bath brought it all back, as I watched the bubbles form Hearts.  Did you find me tonight?  It’s been so long since you have. And I know I haven’t written. But it’s not for the lack ofwords, or thoughts swirling around my mind, or the ever expanding emotions moving through my body and heart.It’s just time. I don’t own it. I can’t obtain it.  But tonight I found time for me after the house went quiet and off to sleep.  And when I’m alone, I always feel you near.  I think you know the depth of my longing. September has been hard. It’s your conception month, and the month began with the feast of your namesake. I’ve had triggers and heartache and a longing so deep, I feel like it might suffocate me. But your brother has also filled me. Sustained me. Brought me joy. But tonight, tonight this memory brings me to my knees and cripples me both with its beauty and pain. And I want to stay in it. Because I want to stay with you. In this memory...I feel you. You are tangible. And found. And present. And I’m actually thankful. How strange is that? Loving you fiercely, baby girl. All the damn time.

Emma JamesComment