I have just come back from visiting A. J. in New York to shore him up a bit. Since you were killed, Dan and I have a lower threshold for traveling to see him. We all crave the connection of family more now than ever. Alex is doing really well though, having just remarkable success at work. I like to think that you are helping push that stone uphill from the other side. In many ways the impact of your death is hardest on Alex; he will be without you the longest and is destined to be the last man standing in our nuclear family. It is so hard to be the last one holding all the inside jokes. Allie grieves deeply and constantly, as we all do. When I was with Alex in New York, I saw many sweet little things, like watching him go out of his way on the way home to walk by a wall with prayer flags flying – so he could better conjure you.
My coming home to Roanoke was really rough; re-entry this time was brutal. I realize anew that I am returning to pick up the reigns of a life I never anticipated and flat out don’t like; a life that you are absent from. While away, I can compartmentalize or even confabulate a bit and look away from the fact of your murder. But Morgan, once home, the screaming vacuum of your empty bedroom makes that impossible. The foreverness of your death is more apparent now; imagining the years devoid of you, stacking one upon the other is just overwhelming. How can it be?
How can we manage to survive this blow? We have, so far, thanks to the love of so many; it might be that is the answer. Community and love will carry us when we are unable. NYC was difficult for me to process in part because of the absence of my community. No one knows us there, or the story of your death, or our pain; an anonymity that felt cold and was hard to bear. As soon as I landed in Roanoke, a TSA worker came up and hugged me and whispered “stay strong”. That recognition brings its own cascade of emotion and also reinforces the knowing that I belong here. Roanoke is not a perfect place, but a beautiful community to nurture and raise my 2 beloved children in and prepare them to go off into the world – such as it is. I am so grateful for the precious fleeting time we had together here.
We are trying so very hard to soften around this sharp place. Let it be a needle joining the scraps of our life into a new quilt, not the scalpel that eviscerates.
So much love my sweetie,