There isn’t a morning where I don’t wake and think of you, what you are doing, if you are even still alive. It’s a little ritual I do as I remember my place in this space upon waking, like making coffee. I’ve had to learn to live with this. I assume it is the same for you. Grief resembles death, a half-death; life in grief.
My father passed a few years back, is it already 5 years? I hadn’t seen him in 20. I received a letter threatening my children years before he died. I assumed it was from him as to bore all his markings. I thought maybe you’d get over yourself and send, not condolences, but some recognition that the man who tortured us and set all this in motion was dead.
I expected to hear from you years ago when tragedy hit. But after all we’ve been through, even a pandemic, and silence still; yeah. I’ve allowed myself, not to think that you’re dead, but that somehow you’re no longer here or there, maybe half and half? In-between? How many birthdays have you missed and how does your heart carry that weight?
I’m not that strong. We recognize your birthday every year, even though it hurts. Even though it would be much easier to tell the kids you’re all the way dead, I can’t lie. They know you live only a half an hour away. I explain you’ve been twisted up, lost your way, but that it is there you want to stay, in another world, overlaid, untouchable.
Last night, our middle kid (you wouldn’t know his name, though it is highly regarded in some circles of your faith), he was explaining to me how much it hurt him every time he heard other kids talk about their grandparents. Really, that is the loss that gets me more than anything, that they won’t know their grandmother’s embrace.
What a loss of love and all over the fact that I will not bend a knee before a faith that is not for me or mine. Respectfully, with my birth, your church and our family’s blood have parted ways. You could have ushered us forward in love, but you refused to grant blessings or clear passage. You wouldn’t give, so we took. We had to slip away in the night, to find our own way.
And we have, half-dead, nonetheless passed our days. I hope your god embraces you for your blind dedication to his law, above your maternal instincts, above your humanity. Will your reward justify my and our children’s loss and tears? Its utterly sickening that these are my thoughts on the daily, as the coffee drips, as I peel off another round of dried tears.