Three years ago on January 26th, very early in the morning I text my friend Elana a picture of this perfect tiny human, who just came out of my body. I captioned the perfect picture with “I had a baby for your birthday!”
This year Is the first year Elana will spend her birthday not in her physical body.
There will be no text full of celebratory bitmojis, and throwback birthday adventure pictures, when we drank too much, and thought we knew everything.
When Old Navy still had a Chevy truck laced with crates all around it, filled with mens graphic tees on main street. Staff shirts were blue, and I spent my fifteen minute break smoking Newports and moving my car in the parking garage of the Providence Place Mall.
There were four of us. We Dubbed ourselves the “Clique on Duty” -C.O.D for short. We had inside jokes anytime Lindsay Lohans “Rumors” came on the corporate picked playlist.
Elana passed away in very early October, and since then I have been learning so much about grief.
These past three years I have been losing people, but losing Elana made everything different.
The world kept demanding things from me, but I wasn’t even sure how to be a person. I had so many things to be for so many people, and half the time they were talking to me in the beginning, and I could barely understand what they meant.
If I am being honest I am really good at feeling grief. I get wrapped up in it’s darkness, and have to guard against Dawson’s Creek type moments, because I am a little Brenda Walsh. Knowing I can get lost in sorrow I try extra hard to show up, and not act like a baby. The world wants its pound of flesh regardless of what type of awful tragedy you are going through.
When you are doing the grieving you cannot possibly understand what is going on. You forget people want what they want regardless of what you’ve got going in your own life. Kids need field trip chaperones, and work needs to be completed.
I know now why sad people turn so bitter. So many times I thought of choke slamming someone for being so ignorant to my circumstances. So many times I wanted to scream out that my beautiful friend was gone.
It still happens sometimes, I will be brushing my teeth and a memory of a beach adventure will lead me into the future thought that those moments I have carefully framed and put up on my gallery wall can never be recreated.
The permanence of the loss is remarkable.
In the short period of time I have had to process it all, I can’t say when the ache for all the things we will never get to do will subside, or when I will stop raising an eyebrow at how ignorant folks can be, (including myself) but I am learning to have mercy on myself and everyone else. I am learning that tears are just love that cannot fit in your body anymore, and family does not end in blood.
So Muffin for your birthday this year, I will stop doing shit I do not want to do. I will open to love even when I would rather be hiding in my bed eating a bag of Cape Cod Salt and Vinegar Chips. I will cherish every single minute of this life, I will eat that biscuit when it is hot, consider Dessert an appetizer, admire Randy Orton Scantily clad on that top rope EVERY TIME.
I will smile every time I think of pop music, chinese food, and movies on sofas, in little womans apartments.
Happy Birthday Week Muffin. C.O.D on duty #forevaeva
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard….” A.A.Milne