Two Years

Dear Chris,

Well, it’s been two years now. I guess on the bright side, when I woke up, it wasn’t the morning of the first snow. Maybe that’s not the bright side, because the first snow will probably make me cry just like this anniversary of your death does.

Chris and Abby, 1972

Chris and Abby, 1972

Chris and Abby, summer 1973

Chris and Abby, summer 1973

You taught me to swim there, and you know there’s nobody for generations in your family who doesn’t know exactly where this photo was taken. There are so many things I meant to ask you about that place. I thought there’d be more time. Why couldn’t there have been more time? Lots of people get more time with their moms. Yeah, I know, there are also people who don’t get as much. None of that is the point, though. It’s like when Ed was dying, and he said it wasn’t as tragic as if it was happening to a young mom with little kids, and I told him he was wrong, because whoever that person might be, and however sad that story might be, it wasn’t about my father. I don’t think he’d thought about it that way. But you had. He saw what I meant, but you already knew.

I want to have a tantrum, like a toddler, like a teenager. It’s not fair. I hate you being dead. Nothing I can say about it is really any more than that. I can say it lots of ways, with lots of words, but they all just mean the same thing.

Chris, Molly, and Ed, 1975

Chris, Molly, and Ed, 1975

I hate that you’re all gone. It’s all too soon. It’s all too sad. It’s all too hard. It makes me cry. I hate crying. You know that. Everybody knows that. So let’s just have a song instead and we can pretend it’s the song we’re crying about.

I know there are so many tragedies so much vaster, and that I am no orphaned baby daughter, but rather, a full-grown woman who oughta be bringing in the crops before they are left standing, rotted, in November. But man, that sure is a wide, muddy river, and if you were still here, we could talk for hours about rivers of tears in cross-cultural symbolism.

I miss you, Chris. Thank you for my life. For everything.

Love always,

Abigail May

5 thoughts on “Two Years

  1. Hi Abby, Just to say I lost my Mom recently – from your photos I reckon we (and our Moms) are around the same vintage. I know exactly what you mean… at 44 I feel way too young to be motherless, but of course I’m not, at all. My experience was a parent with a long, debilitating illness, that caused lots of pain and frustration on both sides. I too wish I’d had more time.
    All the best,
    C

  2. Love. I lost my son when he was 17. Sixrteen years on I have learned to live with it, but it is still hard sometimes
    Your children are not supposed to die before you. NO, IT’S NOT FAIR
    Sending prayers that the holes in your heart continue to heal.

  3. Oh, Abby. I’m not going to say I know how you feel, because it always rang hollow to me when others said that to me–no one can really know someone else’s grief–but as a fellow orphan, I do know how complicated it all is, at least. And we keep on keeping on, because what the hell else is there to do? But no one should ever mistake that for “being okay”.

    So. In case you ever felt like you needed “permission” to feel angry and sad and not-okay about how unfair it all is despite being an adult, here ya go. It’s not much help, but then, neither is anything else….

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