Dear Kath, (6)

Dear Kath,

I have to start with: every time I question the point of doing this, just thinking about it starts to shift my perspective.

I was in the space of feeling torn, because what I really want is to have a conversation with you, and doing this is what I am left with. But as soon as I thought about it in the “What is the point, anyway? If she was here, and I could talk with her, what would I say? What would she have to say that would be helpful?” way, before I even started typing, I had a couple of answers.

I would want to tell you I am in the blank emotional space of a relentless grind of pain and anxiety with no end I can see. And that I need something else to focus on, anything else, because without some freedom from anxiety, I am getting more and more locked up, frozen, feeling paralyzed. And I don’t want to end up in even worse circumstances because I feel unable to act. And immediately I knew you would tell me to do what you did, to make a list of things you wanted to do for the joy of the experience. Which admittedly feels difficult to me, because you did that to make actual plans, and I don’t want to imagine, I want to have, and having also feels impossible in this emotionally endless void. And I knew you would tell me to write what I am grateful for. Which also feels difficult, but can be done. As much as I feel resistant to both, I can still see the value – because at least while I am writing those things, my mind will be on something other than what is eating away at me.

And I would want to tell you that I am also feeling stuck in the pull between loving and missing people, and knowing they are people who I am almost certainly better off without. I don’t know exactly what you would tell me about that. I know you would tell me you love me, and that you would be there for me. I know you would understand, because you had so many people in your life who you loved who hurt and disappointed you. And I know you wouldn’t judge me; I think generally, you were wiser, kinder, more forgiving than me, and you would not see me as in the wrong for caring about people in spite of their behavior, in spite of the harm they did. And do. And I would feel better, because I wouldn’t feel alone.

You were unparalleled in your ability to love, Kath. I find more comfort in your memory than I do in any of the people left in my life. I will never stop needing you. I will never stop missing you. And I will never cease to be grateful to have had you in my life. I love you, sister, so much more than I fear you ever knew. I owe you everything. I would never have survived as long as I did without you, and I wouldn’t be surviving now if I had never known you.

I will do my best to follow the advice that is what I believe you would tell me. Starting with saying, again, thank you. This is nowhere near as good as having your voice, but it is worlds better than suffering in solitude. I hope I never lose my memories of you, of who you were. I would be lost without them. Everything is not all better, but I still feel better now than when I started writing. And I paused before finishing this so I didn’t fail to follow your advice. And of course it helped. (This is where I would allow you to go ahead and gloat.)

What the fuck would I do without you? Even without you, you are with me.

Love,

Lisa

p.s. Seriously, girl, I should do this at least once a day. The more I have you in my days, the better my life is. I am in a much better frame of mind than I have been for days.