Saturday, October 18, 2008

This Day

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the death of my cousin, Anastasia. She was a smart and beautiful young woman; a new wife and an even newer mother; a dancer; a dreamer; a librarian. Her death, at 23, stunned me. I remember thinking a lot about my aunt and wanting nothing more than to hold my own daughter close and keep her safe. There is comfort in not knowing what the future holds

Five years later, my aunt and I are an isolated group of two in our large and boisterous family. Inside our own griefs, we stand together and watch the rest of them and shake our heads. We ask questions there are no answers to; we keep putting one foot in front of the other.

And, on days like this - birthdays, anniversaries, holidays - we search for meaning and ways to both mark and pass the time that will somehow mitigate the pain, honor the lives ended too soon, make this day more bearable than the ones that came before. Each year we try something different: this time we'll stay home/travel/gather with a group/be alone/wallow/try not to think. And each time, I think, we come back to the same place. This day, like every other, we will remember.


August 16, 1979 - October 18, 2003