One Breath at a Time

I've been staying away from words, from language. Death recently came to my door and left me gutted, broken, touching everything and anything with stark eyes and shocked heart. 

To explain this loss is very hard. This person- she was of my blood, and then some. We shared identical twin birth fathers and have fraternal twin mothers. The twins married twins. We are cousins. She and I were almost always pegged as sisters, every now and then we were asked if we were twins. We'd laugh. She'd say, "So spazzy!"

This is where the loss becomes very difficult for me to understand. Our DNA a forged helix of shape and style and character, uncanny, so familiar. It was never so much about what we shared externally as it was about what we shared internally. You see, she was my soulperson. Near or far, we sensed each other's happiness and worries, our spirits tethered together with invisible fishing line. For a good long while we spent almost every day together. We shared a room, our clothes, our secrets. From Barbies to Caboodles to beaches to bloody Mary's, life went on, always there when we needed each other. The idea that she would one day be gone so soon in life, and before my boys had a chance to know this other manifestation of myself as they got older, never even occurred to me once. Why would it have? I just thought there was time...

Her unexpected passing has changed absolutely everything. I've been moving through my days half here and half somewhere else. Grief, I have found, makes some people terribly uncomfortable. The vulnerability I feel is unknown territory, but to not share a snippet about her here and there feels terribly wrong. So I go with my heart and those feelings outride my comfort zone. I love on my boys, carve out a bit of time with dear friends, and everything else gets put aside. I've been angry, sad, impatient, breathless. Swallowed by a darkness too difficult to navigate most days. And then I feel embarrassed. It's been crazy.

I thought I had known grief. I've had deep loss in my life already. But this loss - her loss - is very different. A part of myself is gone. I am raw. 

And then I went to my yoga class this week and my beautiful teacher unexpectedly delivered the light I've been so needy for since her passing. What is one supposed to do when they're not sure how they're supposed to feel, she asked. How do we get through panic, pain, stress when we're totally unsure of everything? Breathe, she said. We just breathe. In the fuzzy light, we simply inhale and exhale. That is all we have to do. 

This morning while I was waiting for my espresso machine to heat up a memory of her came to me from a day when we were living together. She was saying I feel great, I feel great, I feel great... When I asked her why she was saying that she said because she didn't feel good, like she was getting sick, and that if she thought positively she believed she'd ward off the cold. As clear as mountain creek water, I can see her in that moment still.

Today is her birthday. Her beautiful light is everywhere. All of her is everywhere.

I'm going to go for a long walk. 

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