poetry in motion

subj: poetry in motion needs a trigger warning

from: leah
to: me

not really. but i did start crying when i saw this one today:

heaven
by patrick phillips
it will be the past
and we’ll live there together.
not as it was to live
but as it is remembered.
it will be the past.
we’ll all go back together.
everyone we ever loved, and lost,
and must remember.
it will be the past.

and it will live forever.

i think one of the reasons that it affected me so strongly is that it implicitly names part of what is so painful about losing laszlo, which is that there is so little past to go back to. as you have said so many times, there is no good time to lose a child, but i think that the imagined balm that any grieving person longs for – which is to go back into the past, to the time when they were with the person they lost – is precisely what is denied the parent of a baby that dies. there is no past to long for or to imagine returning to.

anyway, it really impacted me. just wanted to let you know in the event that it makes you feel that much less alone.
xoxo

subj: poetry in motion needs a trigger warning
from: me
to: leah

this was the exact topic of my last therapy session.  well, it was kind of the inverse actually (maybe?).  i was saying that i had thought that the reason you missed a person when they died was that you had all these memories that had created attachment, and that’s what you’re missing.  but what of a life that was only possibility and expectations, how do you measure that loss? how do you quantify or even acknowledge everything that might have been?  every birthday, every first day of school, every joke, every fight, every moment that you lost?  so my last therapy session, we walked through the things i can imagine i’ve lost.  his laugh.  his interests–would he have loved books?  would he have been sporty and totally puzzling to edgar and i?  would he have been like edgar or like me or like neither?  would he love music?  would he sing?  his face.  his eyes.  his hair.  his hands.  his wedding.  his own children.  everything from the monumental to the mundane.  it was hideous, actually.  all these things are too precious, too tender, to fragile, like bits of burnt paper that just disappear and drift away when you try to hold them.

i’m crying now and have work to do.  this is why i just need to take to my bed for 6 months.  there’s too much to do when i opt in to life with regular people.  i feel like there should be a world in which you say just like, no, not right now.  like when the waiter comes to refill your coffee and you put your hand over the top to say, “thanks, but i’m ok.”  that’s what i need to say to the world right now.  maybe later.  i’m sure i’ll rejoin you soon.  but right now, i need to tuck into the womb of my bed and just disappear.

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