Months To Years Winter 2019 Months To Years Winter 2019 - Page 31

we share them with others, whether they’re present We are different versions of ourselves with different shape. because at the time or we recount the story to of them later. As Or people. I will never again be quite the continued same person looki the cancer believing I’m learning, the impulse to share those experiences I was is with each of my three ghosts. Perhaps that’s she w with specific people can be very strong. And when why we say a part of me died with them. progressing? going to get bet those people are gone, that impulse repeatedly purchasing this h short-circuits. “They’re still with you,” people keep saying. And together as proo I do believe them—especially when I feel or hear home eno I’m bombarded now with impulses to share things things that have no earthly source. But another large key with people who can no longer laugh or gasp or element of these foundational relationships is that our gra for both tease. For months after my father died, I’d see these people are not only witnesses or responders— pianos, a mus something and think, I should tell Dad, or Dad they’re also actors. They act upon us. They change studio for her, would love that, or I wonder if Dad… And then us. We learn from them, and in doing so, we become for I’d remember, and either steer rapidly to another more like them. And that, I suppose, writing is one way room in “ “ thought or fall down the long tunnel of grief. which they live on. Such tumbles happened frequently—but at least was stable. That didn’t last. Carole’s death was a gradual, gentle one; I had more time to prepare for what would no longer be. But for over a month after she died, I couldn’t bring myself to bake anything. I’m lucky: I have plenty of people to call. But after each death, the person I wanted most to talk to was the one who was no longer at the other end of the line. If I couldn’t call to tell her about it—or better yet bring her a sample—there didn’t seem a point. “ Sometimes it’s the simplest “ everything else in my life know how to speak Alison trained me. And in the months since I received news of Alison’s of things. My father will never again help me hang a picture. Carole will like never to talk a People cancer survivors ha a new lease on li again discuss someone’s new or renewed s fascinating accent. of purpose, a de But, I know to how drink to hang up a the w picture because my father as they relish ev showed me. I know how to moment make a cup of tea because of tim That Carole taught me. didn’t And I happe with others’ accents because me. All I felt was and grief and l again make me a cup of tea. Alison and I will never sudden death, I’ve become aware of just how often It’s the tritest but the truest thing: I am who I am she springs to mind—how many experiences I file because of the people I’ve loved. away to share with her. I can share them with others, but it isn’t quite the same. If I write this essay and never publish it, perhaps the writing of it would be enough. After all, I write in a Even now, each time any one of these three comes journal decidedly not for the purpose of sharing it to mind, it’s a miniature shock. with others. But I believe we are put on this earth not just to act, but to interact. And art is by its She’s gone. She’s gone. He’s gone. nature interactive. But I’m still here. If I create in isolation, it changes nothing. If I share my creation, it can change everything. 31