Welcome Back

It’s like waking up from a coma that you forgot you were in.

If your death was like taking a club straight to my head, then this is like waking up months later in a world that is vaguely familiar but there’s so much to relearn before I can fit in again. It’s the reality sinking in that after you died I sat and watched the calendars flip and deadlines pass me by – deadlines on dreams and time limits on goals, and plans abandoned carelessly – as I made impulsive promises to tirelessly try and be better than the girl you left behind.

The one who sprouted thorns from her skin and bared her teeth to hiss at everyone she blamed. The one who insisted on tattooing all your last words down to her shins and dressing in the few clothes that still carry your smell and breathlessly immersing herself in your loss to such an extent, she forgets she isn’t the one who is dead.

It’s like waking up to see that while my skin is scarred and body disheveled, I’m in a world that may not feel like mine, but is still familiar. The world that I packed with anger and blame, and then lived in the tiny untouched sliver as I tried my best to figure out how I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life this bitter.

Because even from my tiny sliver, I can see my forgotten dreams still shimmer. Dreams of being a writer with dusty pockets and messy notebooks and an aloof smile birthed from contentment and appropriate worldly distance. Dreams that hold the pain you left me with and allow us to coexist, but are still so much bigger than a mere home for trauma and all that is broken.

Sometimes stepping out of the tiny sliver feels impossible. To get off the bed that held me as a vegetable of your grief and to learn again how to stand on my own two feet. To be able to have a conversation outside of the dark and gritty. To put down my arms and step off the battlefield. To write about someone other than the person I buried. To be able to wear your wisdom as an accessory rather than outfit, to fasten all that I’ve learnt tightly within my grip, to promise to be better still – it seems impossible to spend so long so disconnected by grief, and yet there’s a new dream. One to step out of the sliver and to relearn how to live after a self-imposed coma. To be able to carry you instead of embody, so that there is still room to be me.