Incoherent notes

Letters: Dear friend

Dear friend,

Thank you for the text/call/email/letter/message. It's ok that you do not know what to say. I don't either. Grief leaves everyone speechless. It is a silent monk who will stand quietly by you, reminding you it exists, no matter how close or far you are from the person lost.

No, you cannot understand how I am feeling right now. If you lost your partner, it would probably feel different. That's fine. All of our loves and lives are different. So are our losses. I appreciate that you are here to listen and that you want me to know I am loved.

I am sorry I did not get back to you sooner. It's been painful and while it's OK for me to talk about it, some days it is hard to talk at all. Know that I saw your message and thought of you, as you thought of me, with care and compassion. You see, this is the lost year. We have all lost something. Someone. We all hurt a little. We all need to be gentle. Even when we need to be angry, it should be kind. The pandemic has made this hard, for all of us.

You want me to know that you are here for me? You want to do something, anything to feel like you are helping? It's simple. Love your close people. Tell them you love them. Every minute. It is never too much. I thought we were sappy because we said I love you multiple times a day. Now I know for sure that Justin knew, in every moment, that I loved him.

Oh, you want to do something for me? I am not hungry. But I do need peace. And to focus on the good things. I'm not sure I want company. I would love your escape cabin in the woods. Definitely send me that photo of Justin. I wish I had more framed. Please, tell me about your life and remind me living is something that is worth doing. Even with its problems. Yes, your problems may feel like they pale to mine, but they matter. I find solace in reminding you that you matter.

I'm glad to hear my laugh too. It's nice to forget for a minute. It's also nice to remember the past. I love that story or that thing that reminds you of Justin. I forgot he said or did that.

Oh, friend. No, I do not really want to recount the details. I want to cherish the good things. Please, do not tell me or remind me of bad things. He was not perfect. Nor am I. Would you want to be remembered for your failures? Would you want your loved ones to retain the memory of their last fight with you? Or whatever pain we cause each other in life? You're not helping me, and it actively hurts. Good memories only, please. Please, don't ask how he died, ask me how he lived. I love talking about him. I still say we and our. Because he is here. I want to say his name. I do not want Justin forgotten.

Did I forget to say thank you? For being here, in spirit. I forget a lot these days. Not because my mind is occupied with sad, but my mind and body are exhausted. Grief likes to make me run in mental circles. It is occupying. But mostly waiting. Sort of like the guy who won't get up for the elderly woman on the train. He knows what he is doing. He sees you all scowling. He does not care.

No, I do not know what I want to do next. I want to move forward. I do not want to move past. Or move one. I'd like to keep part of this with me for awhile, but I know time and healing must march on. I think physically, I will stay still for now. No matter how hard that is. Like yoga, I will breathe through it.

I am in this gap. Of where I was and who I will be.

the gap

Nothing is "right" and nothing will be. So say something, anything. And do not forget me. I might seem fine, but I am not. I know I am strong and resilient. But I think I need to be bent right now. Not broken. What's that Latin motto? I looked up a lot of them. Oh yeah. Flecti non frangi. So let me be weak. And hurt. Remember: Move through, not past. I know I will get through it but I need to be in it.

Love you, Kim

over 2 years ago

P. Kim Bui