October 4, 2010

Letting Go

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:50 pm by jlp412

“I thought this was gonna get easier. This gettin’ over you… But love comes and goes and comes and goes as easy as the moon and sun will rise, and when I try to let you go, all I can hear my heart saying is ‘come on back inside.'” – Melissa Ferrick, “Getting Over You”

Letting yourself go means abandoning all concern for your appearance. Letting go of vengeance or anger means you remove a toxin from your psyche so you can breathe easier. Letting a stupid argument go means you’re moving on and making amends. Letting go of your inhibitions means you open yourself up to new emotions and experiences.

But what does it mean to let a person go, especially when she’s already gone and the only thing keeping her here is your grip on her? If I let Trisha go, I accept her fate. And what’s more, I accept that I live in a world that caused her fate, and I dwell there without protest. If I let go, even for a moment, maybe she’ll float away and become unreachable forever. Maybe, once I let go, I’ll forget what it felt like to touch her. Or, if I let go, I’ll also lose the parts of her that have settled inside myself this past year and a half – and I’ll be left with tiny punctured holes again, scrambling for substitutions to stop them back up.

Sometimes holding on to Trisha is harder than it would be to let her go – like when I’m at a wedding of a friend and think about what her wedding would have been like, and that she’ll never have one. Or when I’m tempted to slip into the easier, selfish orbit of my own world, by taking 2009 and sealing it up and stowing it away and convincing myself that 2010, and 2011, and 2042 will go on as if 2009 never happened, until I realize that the future is forever changed because Trisha will never be in it. Sometimes holding on to her makes me remember her more vividly, in a dream dotted with bright colors and clear sounds or a snapshot memory that floods in unexpectedly, triggered by an unexpected item on the shelf at the grocery store or familiar awning of a building in DC. Sometimes it makes me more acutely aware that she is dead. And other times, it tricks me into losing track of how long she’s been gone, and how long she’ll be gone. And who else will be gone in my lifetime, and whether I’ll have enough grip left to hold onto them, too.

When we let her go, where does she go to? If not with us, then where? We’ve already lost the life of her. We can’t lose the rest of her, too.

So no, I won’t let go of Trisha. I can’t. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to walk around untethered to her.

Moving on and letting go are two different things, I’ve realized. When I move on, I still hold on to Trisha. People always say, “You should try to move on,” but they don’t ever say where to move on to. It’s this constant journey, then – wherever I end up, she’s going with me. There’s comfort in that, in the trip we’re taking together. All of us, our hands each touch different parts of her – her hair, her ankle, her wrist, until we cover her completely. And we carry her above us as we move on, in whatever direction we take to get wherever it is we’re going. And somehow, we’ll figure out how to get there.