02 July 2008

Gina and Sarah and Grace

Last week a friend moved away. She didn't move across the country or out of my life, but she moved across the state, and with her she took a piece of Grace. Last week we were standing on her porch talking, and she told me her story of Grace, her story of standing in her driveway, having a party during Artfest weekend and answering the phone and hearing the news and standing among friends with tears rolling down her face. And as I heard that story for the first time, it occured to me that there is a whole piece of Grace's story I am still missing.

I am missing the pieces of Grace that affected other people's lives. I have another friend who started a jewelry business after Grace died. And these are the friends that get it. They are not the friends who have lost children, but they have an innate understanding of my grief that most people seem to be missing. Why is that?

Why is it that some of the people I've known the longest, some of the people I grew up with, some of the people I've shared houses with, don't get it. They don't get that the grief doesn't ever go away, they don't understand that what I really need is for them to just say Grace's name, they don't get that it's okay still, after five years, that I long for Grace, that I think of Grace, that I miss Grace.

My circle has grown smaller. My circle includes the people that understand me, that let me be me in front of them, the people who say Grace's name outloud, the people who tell me their dreams about Grace.

I miss Gina already. I miss the familiarity of her presence, knowing that in a moment I could step onto her porch and be with her as she talks about Grace; I miss the security of having just one more person in Spokane who was here when Grace was here, who gets it and gets me and without saying anything else, I miss just being in her presence, in their presence together knowing that when I am with Gina, Grace is present and Grace is real.

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