a favorite holiday album for years, this is about all I can stand to listen to this year: Over the Rhine’s The Darkest Night of the Year. happy solstice, &c.
finished Joanne Cacciatore’s Bearing the Unbearable, a beautiful book. ideas about “stretching & strengthening the grief-bearing muscles”, plus kindness projects, stood out. if nothing else, the title encapsulates the experience about as perfectly as anything I’ve heard 📚
I’ve rarely ever written much of a very personal nature here, and I’m still not sure I want to now. But I’ve experienced a loss so profound that I feel I have to at least note the fact of it, whether or not I end up writing more about it than this. I want to get back to posting whether I liked this book, or that beer, or how my writing is going, but how can I, after this?
Anyway, it’s this: in the early-morning hours of Friday, July 30, our 23-year-old daughter Mary was killed in a car crash here in Austin. She was a passenger, and the car she was in was hit by a reckless driver. Dumbfoundingly, the other three occupants of her car were fine, but she never regained consciousness. The at-fault driver also died, after more than a week on life support.
A week after the accident we held a memorial service for her, in the morning. That afternoon we got the news that my (unvaccinated) brother-in-law had lost his weeks-long battle with Covid-19. A week later we were attending his funeral.
That was four weeks ago yesterday, and I don’t think I could put this unimaginable hell into words even if I wanted to. There are at least occasional periods of time now that are bearable, and even, every now and then, a faint glimmer of being able to give the tiniest fuck about life or the future. That’s progress, I suppose.
One thing I did (god knows how; I barely remember it) was make a simple system by which those of us who miss her can send texts to a special phone number (Twilio, natch) that then get published to a website (Micro.blog) and cross-posted to a social media network (Twitter, yuck, but that’s where her friends are). The messages are here, with a detailed explanation here; Micro.bloggers can follow her through @maryg and Twitter folk can find the crossposts on @WeMissUMary. I hope/plan to publish the Node.js source at some point; there is a lot of room for improvement.
Other things are going on, too. It’s bizarre and frankly more than a little rude how life continues on, good and bad, despite this level of debilitating tragedy. But maybe now I can post a mention of those things here and not feel like I’m pretending this didn’t happen.
And it probably won’t get easier
Just easier to hide
Prepare for an aching
The rest of your life
it was: she says this, or she does this, or she thinks this. she loves that or she hates that.
but now it’s: she said this, or she did this, or she thought this. she loved that or she hated that.
how the fuck am I supposed to be able handle that?