It’s been one year since you died. I can’t believe we are here again, on this day. I can’t really fathom that the world has already circled round the sun to arrive at this place again, the point where you disappeared. I can’t believe that the sun has risen 365 mornings and set 365 nights and you weren’t here to witness it. I still hear your voice as though it was yesterday that we last spoke. Its though you never left.
And yet, my friend there are moments over the last year when I miss you so deeply. Moments when I think there is no one else in the world who would understand. Moments where I realize that the note I want to send you would float forever in cyberspace silent and unanswered, waiting. The absence of you becomes a sob I feel catching in the back of my throat, a breath that is wobbly and ragged.
But mostly, dear girl, I feel your presence in the magic that unfolds each day. You are in the crescent of the moon while I garden. You are the warmth in the sun that shone on the pool while I screamed my head off for Max and his friends. You are of the innervoice that can soothe my battered heart. You are floating on the wind that blows in old friends for sweet reunions and dear friends for birthday surprises. When Jena and I wrapped our arms around each other in Boston, completely surprised we were in the same place, we laughed and said, this was Jenni’s doing, your present for me. You brought so many of us together and you keep doing it. You were in that salty breeze that blew off the Harbor, the pulse that pushed me to play my guitar in front of people, the voice that encouraged me to to hold firm so often this year.
The teachers tell me that nothing is ever lost, it is only transformed. And I know the sweetness that was your friendship is flowing in new ways. Your love is in the hand that guides me.
Some days I realize that I have habits that I formed because I promised you I would. Like when I tell people that I love them, even if its scary and even if they don’t love me back. When I throw my arms around a friend I find on a metro platform, or kiss a friend I find when the elevator doors open at work, I do it because you taught me that I have only this now to love. You are in those moments of deep joy, smiling at the surprise of people who had no idea they were so adored. When I push past my fear to be honest, I know I am riding on what I learned from you. When I am a storm and anger flows, I remember you giving me permission to be fierce.
I am transformed because of our brief time on earth together.
And in that way I know you are not gone, never gone, never ever gone.
I love you