Writings shared from the tenth and final session.
A Guide, A Reminder
You need to take more pictures
You carry that device everywhere
And for what
Get her in front of the camera
Because one day you’ll run out
One day you’ll collect all the moments she was captured
There’ll be no more images to discover
And then she’ll really be gone
You need to calm down
You will grieve hard
But you don’t need to ruin Christmas with all your screaming
Others will grieve differently than you
You need to let them
You need to stand up for yourself
No one else will
Or they won’t know how
Not like you can
People will tell you to get out of your grief bubble when you’re not ready
Stand your ground
You don’t need to prove yourself
You can take more time off work
It won’t make you a failure
You don’t need to lie
Tell them when your heart can’t take it
Tell them you just don’t fucking want to go
You’re too busy wrapping your arms around your body so you’re insides don’t fall
You’re too busy taking hot baths to slow down your heartbeat
Your heart will keep breaking
As some who you hoped to cling to will disappoint you
Your heart will be a cistern for all the tears you’re too afraid to let fall
Let them fall
Every drop that hits the floor will turn into a tidal wave
But look to your left
Your husband – your heart
Look to your right
Your brother, your father – your home
Look behind you
Your cousins and closest friends – your spirit
Look in front of you
Your grandmothers, your tias
They will guide you from this day forward
These are the ones that will never let you drown.
– Andrina, Member of the Mending Word
To my younger self
Time itself doesn’t heal but if you have the blessing of time, you can surely make space for healing.
If I could really talk to you, I’d have you fix all my mistakes. You’d be more present and aware of what’s to come. You’d know things in advance and you would be protected from the trauma of finding out first hand.
I think about you and wonder: how did you walk through life so oblivious to this pain? How did you hold your head so high, and think you knew so much? this pain was inevitable because: no one survives life
It still amazes me how many people are walking around the world having never experienced this yet. Anyone lucky enough to be doing so, you will one day be able to pinpoint without much contemplation. Of course they might experience pain – but seeing how finite life is first hand, changes people. One second it’s there and the next, gone.
I like to think that you have become a softer person. A more thoughtful person. That you are now someone who would notice pain in others and know exactly how to help the hurt. But I can’t tell you that’s fully true.
I’m human just like you and I’m going to take things for granted. But at least for now, you get to do that without feeling guilt, anguish or frustration. You get to live like tomorrow is inevitable. What a beautiful way to be: full of naivete.
I wish you could hear me tell you to stop being so goddamn independent. You can’t keep going like this because it’s too lonely. You’re going to find that it isn’t the right path for you.
Remember, the people who know you love you even though you might not always believe that. You’re actually likable enough that soon, someone is going to want to marry you. They will want to spend the rest of their limited earthly days with you and marry you anywhere any way – even in middle of a global pandemic.
Oh yeah – the pandemic. That’s coming. And you will thank Madonna and big tits that your mother dies before that. You’ll know that compared to those who couldn’t be by the bedside and ultimately graveside of their parents, that you were one of the lucky ones!
But it’s not all sarcasm.
You are lucky.
The woman you marry, she brings you back to life after you almost die from the sorrow. She holds you up and helps you realize that you still have time to live and love. That it’s not your time die.
You still have a dad. He’s not a model father – far from it. But he’s alive and his love for you is still there despite his inability to take on the true role that comes with the word “father”
You have friends who still hold you up and understand you despite everything.
You have some of the best siblings out there. Understanding people. Real people. Fun people. You’ve been blessed to have unlimited access to their love as part of the whole sibling thing. How amazing and beautiful that they love you unconditionally.
And, you’ll always have the memory of her and you have her coat that you cleaned and repaired with every bit of effort you had left in you – and some of her jewelry.
You still think about her all the time – but you have so much in your life that’s whole and happy and true – you have much to look forward to.
My dear girl – you are to be a woman and the world gives you no choice. Remember to hold on to your dear life.
– Member of The Mending Word