Grieving on Paper
Spring 2015 I lost a friend. Many of you reading this lost him too.
When I heard of his passing I felt guilty – there is much that I could have done differently. Then I felt angry – the system failed him. Then I just felt sad, and lost, and so very, very old. It felt like no one here understood. I found myself uncontrollably angry at my father for asking how my friend died. WHAT DOES THAT MATTER? I thought. He’s gone. What does it matter how, or why. I can’t ask him. I CAN’T FIX IT!
Living so far from my hometown, being so disconnected from friends from my past. I was just floating in my own bubble of empty aching.
Then, in August 2015, my childhood best friend got married. Josh and I went to the celebration, and were seated across from the only people in the world who could make it better. Steve and Debbie. Steve shared with me some amazing stories, and as Josh and I hopped the border and made the trek home, I scribbled notes for hours. I finally knew how to process this pain. I was going to write about it.
For months I worked on this story. I stressed about being true to Matt, about being true to my feelings about him. I worried that your experience was different than mine and that somehow that made mine less true. But in the end I feel that I was honest if not to the facts, then to the feeling, and I have to be happy with that.
Please know that this story is fiction. I wasn’t there. I don’t know the truth. But if you knew Matt, a fantastic storyteller, you probably know that fiction might be the best way to truly remember him anyway.
This summer my story, and my heart, found a home at BLYNKT Lit Mag. Working with Carly, the editor there has been amazing, and I hope that this story resonates with you.
“Blood and Snow” starts on page 66, but the entire issue is well worth reading.
***Thank you Susie, thank you for inviting us and somehow knowing what my soul needed.
***Thank you Steve. Thank you Debbie. Thank you for loving my Matt better than I did. Thank you for sharing your memories of him. Thank you for reminding me of the good times, of the good in him, and the good he brought out in others.