My mind keeps circling around the relentless finality of death and the inscrutability that Constance would die at age eight. My body is coiled into a fist.
Around other people, I attempt to do my best imitation of the old me: exuberant, extroverted, and energetic. There are moments when it provides relief—like the comfort of putting on your favorite pajamas. I remember you; I like you. The name of the game is “try not to remember.”
I try not to think about never seeing her again. I attempt to avoid worrying that your genes were the ones that hurt her. I work to keep the rage caused by all she’s going to miss out on from my mind. When necessary, I imagine she’s at school or playing with her grandparents.
I make chitchat, smile, and pretend. I do whatever I can to get through the day.
She isn’t just gone today. She’s gone forever. I can’t use that immeasurable loss as an excuse to be worse than I was before. If anything, I must aim to be twice as compassionate, generous, and full of life. I am not sure how but I have to try to live a life that honors her memory. I’m not sure how to do that but I must try.