The Mending Word

The Mending Word: Part 2

Writings shared from the second session. Prompt: Who Was The Person You Used To Be?

Who was the person I used to be?
In special moments, I can see her – 
The girl I was before losing my parents. 
Youthful, playful, lavishing in the pleasure only time can give you.
Resilient and scared, but so ambitious and fresh-faced. 
A conversationalist 
Who loved learning new things
Arranging wildflower bouquets to live in Honest Tea glass bottles 
That kick around her dreamy Boston apartment 
Or beloved pre-opened, semi broken Subaru 
Who’s largest use was taking her
To the mountains or the coast
Where she would hike, for miles
While wearing a dress
Or a costume.
A creative, spontaneous girl who always made time 
To love so hard
To cook so late
To dance.  
I see glimpses of her 
When I am camping with my partner, 
Or wearing specific clothes 
That no longer fit all that well 
Due to her former yoga time being
replaced with on-hold lines & probate processes 
Hours formally spent on bike rides
Now spent waiting in Social Security lines
For a $255 lump sum death “benefit” 
The government said my brother was entitled to, 
As the child of my mother. 
Who died.
But not I – 
Because I was 22.
Was I not her child, too? 
If so, I feel so different from her child I was – 
While losing my mother felt like the rug
being ripped out from under me
The loss of myself
Tipping like dominoes for months thereafter
Felt like the destruction
of the entire build frame.
Most days
I see myself as I the girl I am now – 
Exhausted and bitter,
terrified and abandoned. 
It takes all that I don’t have
To even see the art and the wildflowers
To put on dirty nightgowns
Or comfortable sweats.
To still try to love and be open to being loved 
With my burning mind 
And aching heart 
And upset stomach
As it turns at the constant thought of death
I know I will never be her again, 
The girl with parents. 
Who was cared for, and held
And was a child
I don’t who I am now 
But I am fucking astonished 
By the capacity in which I can
re-build a house for myself 
Maybe even a life 
And how when I am able 
To be blessed by time
I still know how 
To dance.

– Larissa Claire

I used to feel safe wherever I was. Now I look for safety in every corner. I don’t store it in the same way, and it never lasts as long. 

I used to think that 
crying was cathartic,
now I know it just gives you a headache.

I used to think everything would work out, now I know it doesn’t.
But I’m less worried about it.


I was deaf when she asked me to go out with her more often to spend quality time.
I’m listening now but it’s too late for me and her.
I was unappreciative – though my lot was rough, there were diamonds.
I’m positive I was dealt a great hand despite my misfortunes – I don’t take the good stuff for granted anymore.

I was always busy with friends, school and work.
I still am, but now I make time for what matters.
I was someone who prayed.
I am someone who writes “omg” quite a lot in my texts – but now I contemplate god when I do.
I watched a lot of TV, but I work more in the evenings now.
I was spending my days in the hospital with her. Now I spend my days at home.
I would go to the city every single week, but now I’m more of a homebody.
I didn’t mind being alone – but I really can’t stand it now.
I blamed her for my problems – now, I blame the world for mistreating her.
I used my time without thought – I still do but now I think about death.
I was never keen to spend time with her.
But now I miss her.

Who was I?

She would give a full hug.
She would hold on as if she never wanted it to end – and I never did.

She had a crooked front tooth, and an uneven smile.

Her hair was like mine, then like my sister’s. After that it was a sheitel, worn blonde mush brown – then later a darker brown.

I remember her showing me her new hair color. I told her that it was amazing and I think that’s why she didn’t dye it back.

She liked simple foods and the latest health fads.

We used to eat baked beans with cheese on toast together – this was when we had our best conversations.

Her eyes were the purest: blue, grey, green. When I close my eyes I see them – and then I close them for the last time.

Before, I was hers – seen through her eyes. ‘Always hers’ at the end of every letter.

Now, I’m not her child anymore. So who am I?

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