There is a hole there, where she used to be. It is quiet most of the time but sometimes the silence in the change of the season is sound enough to pressure the skull. It is a place where a sister used to be, where she will always used to be. ~*~*~*~ the shapes of things come through space, a ready presence of permanence and transience. the shapes of things crawl through time like forms through fabric and the memories become a soft geometry. ~*~*~*~
Nineteen years ago today my sister died. She had an unknown ticking time-bomb inside her chest and it chose a Saturday morning in October, 1994 to go off. She was forty-two. I was twenty-four. She was the oldest, and I was the youngest. She is no longer the oldest but I am still the youngest. She was eighteen years older than I and I suppose that, given the way the numbers fell, it would have been more appropriate, it would have made more sense numerologically for me to write all this a year ago, but I guess I was still not ready. I needed one more year. One year of semi-consistent, semi-solid writing to get at this shape that has been staring at me from the shadows for all this time.
Every year since her death, the end of October has been dark. There is always a presence of absence waiting there at the end of the month. Some years one tries to forget, to move on. Some years, one accepts, and keeps quiet about the house. Some years one just stares into the dark for a few weeks and then finds oneself on the other side, somehow in November again.
A few months back, I had a strange dream. I do not often remember my dreams, and even less often do they seem “real.” This time my sister was there. I felt the skin of her face. I sensed her fragrance, still so distinct. I felt the loss of her more strongly than I had allowed myself to ever feel while awake, for nineteen years. She was pregnant. She was never able to have children in life and here she was, a very real ghost, very much with child, hugging me over my own child who, in our own roundabout way, we had named after her. This dream showed me how very real her memory is, how very fresh old wounds can remain. This dream let me see the child of my self that I lost nineteen years ago. This dream made me want, for the first time in a long time, to really look at her death. To get to know it. Again. For the first time.
This soft geometry was finally ready to show its shape to me.