“legacy is planting seeds in a garden you never get to see”

– Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda


this is going to be my last post on this blog, although my last proper post was months ago. I’d like to leave this up indefinitely but I’m spooked somebody would identify me and I’d be in trouble, so in a month’s time I’m going to save all my posts and delete my account. I just didn’t want anyone to worry where I’d gone.

(where I’ve gone is a good place. or I guess it’s the same place but a different time, because it’s been almost a year now since Flo died. I think of it like with collagen remodelling at the site of a wound, where new material fills up the hole; and the tissue never regains its prior strength but it has other properties now, unique to scar tissue. I don’t feel that Flo-shaped hole in the matrix of my life because the content of my life has changed so much since her death; and I’ll never have her arms around me again and that knowledge still destroys me but the good I’ve got since her death have come from consciously acting more like her. I still think about her every day and I still cry over her a lot, and I consider that evidence of scarring, but it’s okay! scar formation is the mechanism of wound healing! I’m not scarred because I am wounded, I’m scarred because I’m healing.)

I didn’t really know what this project would be when I started it. now I’m finishing it I see it as a journal, the first and only one I’ve ever kept. this site has been a record of my experience of bereavement, a means of plotting my messy non-linear course through grief, a perceived channel of communication to the friend I lost, a way to remember her and share my memories to spread appreciation for this one-of-a-kind girl and the injustice of her fate, a kind of prayer, a kind of catharsis, and a kind of dumping ground for all the terrible emotional garbage that was making me weird to be around. and being around other people with similar experiences on here, reading their posts, made me feel like I wasn’t so weird and isolated after all. I can’t express how grateful I am for the messages of encouragement I received up in here. I can only hope something I wrote helped somebody else back in the same way.

thank you for having me. and Flo.

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“what was Josh Lyman – a warning shot? that was my son.”

You’re a son of a bitch, You know that? she bought her first new car and You hit her with a drunk driver. what, was that supposed to be funny? “you can’t conceive, nor can I, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God,” says Graham Greene. I don’t know whose ass he was kissing there, ’cause I think You’re just vindictive. what was Josh Lyman – a warning shot? that was my son. what did I ever do to Yours but praise His glory and praise His name? there’s a tropical storm that’s gaining speed and power. they say we haven’t had a storm this bad since You took out that tender ship of mine in the North Atlantic last year. Sixty-eight crew. You know what a tender ship does? fixes the other ships. it doesn’t even carry guns. it just goes around, fixes the other ships and delivers the mail. that’s all it can do. gratias tibi ago, Domine.yes, I lied. it was a sin. I’ve committed many sins. have I displeased You, You feckless thug? 3.8 million new jobs, that wasn’t good?bailed out Mexico. increased foreign trade. thirty million new acres of land for conservation. put Mendoza on the bench. we’re not fighting a war. I’ve raised three children. that’s not enough to buy me out of the doghouse? haec credam a Deo pio, a Deo iusto, a Deo scito? cruciatus in crucem. trus in terra servus, nuntius fui, officium perfeci. cruciatus in crucem. Eas in crucem!

President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing

(I think about this rant a lot when it comes to you and Zoe. you never watched it, I know, but Bartlet calls out God in the National Cathedral and it’s so awesome because he’s so right. he just yells and yells at God, “I did good and you’d take my family from me?” anyway, it’s been five months without you. hope you’re resting easy. miss you, Flo.)

“poetry, beauty, romance, love: these are what we stay alive for” / what I wanted to tell Flo today (21/4/15):

we don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. we read and write poetry because we are members of the human race! and the human race is filled with passion!and medicine, law, business, engineering: these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. but poetry, beauty, romance, love: these are what we stay alive for. to quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” answer: that you are here – that life exists, and identity. that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. what will your verse be?

– monologue from Dead Poets Society, spoken by Robin Williams

(I’m reading this as the intro for my group’s final piece for medical humanities. it reminds me that even if school and isolation are making life feel very bleak, some good tv or a movie can pick you back up. that was always your philosophy. some movie from 1989 beat you to it, but you’ll never make a movie now so I’m glad somebody put this message out there. it made me think of your yearbook eulogy too. I’ll put that up here some day. actually, I’m getting into embroidery like I said I would, and I’d love to embroider out your yearbook rant and frame it in my new house in London. then I could have the Iron Man plaque you gave me in my new house in Southampton and have a piece of you with me in every new home. would love a stable home. but if there’s one thing I’ve learned you can’t fight it’s the turning of the seasons and the pouring of the sands of time and change change change change change. I don’t want to fight it, to be honest with you. time heals all wounds and it’s healing the divine incision that separated me from you.)

(I tagged this with acceptance. first time I’ve used that tag. change is good.)