My dear auntie,
“I love you more than anyone and everyone put together and will be unhappy for the rest of my life if I never get to spend what time I have left with you….” The feeling I get every time the image of your face danced around my brain bringing me sweet relief for a second until the dreary world of reality comes crashing down upon me like rock squashing a sea star on the bottom of the ocean both crushing and grinding it to bits along the way. That is the shock of life without you.
This I think of my husband. And I alone survive because I was turning into a vampire. The rest I think of my last living aunt who suffered tremendously without my knowledge in poverty and sickness. Far beyond anything I had imagined of the “hard times” she had fallen upon.
It has been far too long since I have allowed myself to think about being happy. Getting through the day, then the next, tolerating life and its infinite demands that leave me exhausted and longing for what spark I have left to finally be extinguished so that people will finally leave me alone and not need something constantly. My life’s blood is spent. You need something and something else, and something still. Be self sufficient! What have you taught me this for only to rely on me for everything?
A crushing burden as I see all that I had hoped to accomplish slip away like a dream into the night while I sit here straining and reaching for the slippery mist of attainment only to look around and see I have gained no greater ground than that first step I took so long ago.
I was supposed to be great by now. I was supposed to mean something. I was supposed to have gotten somewhere in life where I could extend my hand far beyond myself and help those whom I hold dear yet reside outside of these walls. And it is too late. You are beyond my help now. For all my plans and daydreams that you have not and will never know about… I am sorry. You do not know this, nor can you, that I had such designs for you. I was going to succeed in life and lift you up.
You had been battered and bruised… mostly by your own choices. But, I was going to fix it you see. I felt I owed you that because like you reminded me so often, you helped to raise me and were part of my life. I should help you and willingly. You were so difficult so willingly was not all that willing only because I knew. I knew deep down that I would need so much more than I was, and even more than I am right now before I would truly be able to help you to the extent that you required. My meager offerings would have meant nothing in the long run. So, they remained unoffered for fear of succumbing to the anger and pain of such a failure. What good is a meager gift in the face such oppressing need?
Why bother unless I can truly do something of true measure? That only boils down to the guilt that I feel in knowing that for the monumental failure I would have felt based on my own lack, you would have at least felt mildly supported and found comfort in thinking of me, instead of what I fear, may have been thoughts of a cold distance in not understanding why a meager hand was not offered in the very least.
I speak in circles. I know it. I don’t wish it. But, I do know that there is a truth to the words spoken “We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.” And I am bent into spiraling myriads of how you have come to this and what could I have done to lessen your pain along the way. If it was always going to come to this and I believe I knew it to be so, then why did I not against the criticism of others do you the kindness you compelled me to believe I lacked. Do you not know how my heart burns within me for you? Do you not know that my refusal to extend what little nothing I may have was a direct refusal to accept that you would ever be in so small a place as to need what once upon a time would have amounted to lunch money for you?
Oh how the mighty have fallen. I say this not to your shame but in reference to the desolation that I feel. You were a giant in your own mind and on a pedestal in mine. How now can you be gone and so degraded without my knowing?
How could you have faced that deep dark stillness of pain and fear and not have reached out your hand, I would not have failed you although I hardly expect you to believe so.
All the while this sits in a basket called “Had I known.”
And for all I did not know… I feel that I should have. Add this to my shame. For even if I could now… I would be ashamed to face you.
And it has taken two weeks of anguish to write even this much down.
But, here I stand. Wherever you are. For all my past failings. I am with you.
But, not quite because on the very coat tails of your passing the light has shone in my life and success that was needed in order to help you far too late has begun to trickle in. If only I had been bitten sooner.
And my husband, where is he to comfort me now? But a memory, and probably a conjured up one at that. A daydream I fall into as I sink into my pillows as night and dream of what sweet relief I would have had, had he survived and joined me in this life.
I fear I will forever stand in this broken circle of thoughts. Tolerating life, or the lack thereof.
You are gone. And much like reaching for a star twinkling in the night sky. I and my words have no hope of reaching you.