First Christmas
Year One of Gone

The earth beneath...

     For a moment, I simply could not believe that what I was seeing was not a movie.  A dark, horizontal curtain speeding across the landscape, closing down everything in its path...it was not a movie; it had happened hours earlier in Japan.  And for another moment, I felt amazed that I could be so distracted from the world that I didn't even know this earthquake and tsunami had evolved two days prior.  As much as I still feel the earth figuratively shift beneath my feet from grief, it was reality for hundreds of thousands of my brothers and sisters in humanity.
     The first anniversary of losing my daughter is approaching, feeling much like that curtain, wiping out every step forward I thought I'd made, threatening the fragile cords of familial connection that grief and pain and adjustment have been working to cut through.  We have friends with relatives living or working in Japan, and I look at these scenes that Steven Spielberg surely must have created, and feel their fear, worry, anxiety.  Out of habit, I think...what if this happened to us, where would I find insulin for my daughter, where would I get my asthma medication so I could breathe in the contaminated air and help my family...  
     Nuclear meltdowns, urban evacuations, lack of food and clean water, missing children and sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers...more tragedy than can be imagined is contained within the 42-inch, high definition screen that sits in comfort in my air-conditioned, 18 x 25-foot family room filled with books and pillows and gold and green and oak and iron.  Such grand suffering is beyond my understanding. 
     There is nothing I can do really but know that this moment pushes forward to the next.  My prayers, my thoughts, my love--with my every exhale--must add to the millions more prayers and thoughts and bits of love going out to this place that needs me, that needs all of us.  I can believe that in some existential way, the loss of my child equates to the loss of all my children equates to the loss of one and all of the world's children.  This loss, like a scary toad, sat in the darkness waiting to frighten me, sadden me, most of my life--and I thought it was not survivable.  But, moment by moment, anything can survive.  For one moment more. 

 

 

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