Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Loss Demands to be Felt

I went and visited the street where my sister's fate was decided today. I guess I was feeling something, loss, fear, grief? And I just wanted to see it. It's hard to avoid a single street you've lived no more than 20 minutes from for 26 years but some how I had managed it.

Today I stopped avoiding it. I parked my car, got out and stood right there, right in the middle of that deadly street.

You know what's amazing? Even 20+ years later I could stand there for 10 minutes without a single car passing. How does a thing like this happen? How does a little girl die, where I can stand without interruption? How is that even possible? It should not be possible on a street like this. A perfectly ordinary one-way-street in a smallish town. Does anyone who lives here still remember?

Could you be any more ordinary?

Despite my desire not to remember I walked right to the final spot where she stood on her own two feet. There was no marker there. I looked disbelieving at the pavement. How did I remember? How did I know? I expected there to be something there, some clue, or memorial, to see blood still marking the pavement. I'm not sure why I expected the earth to hold some marker for this lost soul. But nothing was there. The ground betrayed the loss in its normalcy. Just as this quiet street had betrayed life. Only in my mind was that spot irrevocably marked. Where she had stood before the impact, the place where I remember her body laying on the pavement. It was as clear as the day it happened. But only for me. No one else would remember, other than the driver, no one else was there. What was she thinking? How long was she aware? Where is the driver now? What did he carry through his life?

Reflexively I picture my own blissfully little ignorant bouncy six year old. She's about the same size now as my sister was when breath left her body. Unimaginable.

I looked up from Blair's spot and instinctively looked to where I had been standing, an 8 year old witnessing the unthinkable. It was as if her gaze was holding mine. I took my place in the story. My feet cemented there on the ground now as they had been so many years ago, as unmovable now as then. As helpless now as then. The view was the exact same, nothing had changed.
Our ordinary home, still there.

It is simply ludicrous. How many minutes have I been standing on this same street, in these same places without so much as a cyclist, let alone a car passing? 

Loss has no logic. It refuses reason. It can be buried, or memorialized, but it will be felt. Time will pass, but it is a lie that it heals. Nothing changes. It will demand to be felt whenever it chooses. 

Blair, I still see you. In my daughter's sass, walk, when she dons her leotard and attempts cartwheels in the middle of the living room, in her love of animals and on Granada Ave. You are not forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. If I'm right, Blair remembers her big sister too, so brave and equally sassy. She wishes you hadn't had to witness that awful moment, but it's part of you and your story now. And she loves who you were and who you are. She's got to be at least as proud of you as I am.

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