March is a hard month. A time where my body aches and my emotions are sensitive. It is a time of mourning and grief that has been imprinted. For most people, March is the time where spring peaks its head out of the solemn, harsh Minnesota winter, but for me, for my family, it is a time of loss. A time where we feel the markers of pain and grief trickle into our daily lives and we wonder why we are so mad, we cry at the little things, wince at harsh tones, and then we remember, it's March and they lived. That three fiery, beautiful souls were taken from us. The thought of getting in a car even at the smell of snow and ice makes my body shutter and bears its pain on those who are my elders.
This is hard. Trauma and loss. No one ever can shake it, but we learn to live with them always pressing their faces into our mind's eye delivering some of the toughest truths through their sick medicine.
This story's trauma feels like the deep, visceral tearing of your inner-being, the can't-catch-your-breath sobbing, the uncontrollable amount of grief and resentment towards the world-the Universe-a God-the Great Spirit-Earth Mother-the Divine Light-a Higher Power cannot even explain the impact of a complete and utter tragedy in one's life.
When I was 6 years old, my whole entire life shifted, pivoted, did a 360.
I remember looking into my grandma's dining room, finding my mom sobbing into a paper towel, collapsed in a chair telling my sister and I that my aunt was hurt in a car accident.
I remember our bags being brought back from our truck and hauled in from my dad--who placed them in my grandma's living room. My parents left us in her care.
I remember sleeping on that very same living room floor next to my twin sister; my trusty, loving partner, my safety blanket in this world--praying and falling asleep.
It all seems like a dream--an unsure, fucked up one.
What I don't remember are the stories, the play-by-play of the days following, but through the words and memories of others. The memories of grief, of complete and utter breakdowns.
My family lost three--my aunt and 2 cousins; a mother and daughter and niece; a sister and nieces; daughters; children; friends.
One family unit forever effected by the trauma caused by conditions and cars we can never have control over. How dare the world hand us these nasty cards?
This horrific event is something we will always carry. It is something we all uniquely hold and effects us in more ways than one. The thing about deep trauma and loss is that no one will ever truly understand unless they've been through it themselves. No one can empathize with the pain, grief, and loss that this comes with, only sympathize.
The greatest gift you can give is to immortalized them. Speak of them often and fondly. Tell us how the world lost true love and light. My/our greatest fear is that they will be forgotten in the mix of life. Let us laugh and cry and tell you how the world screwed us. Let us tell stories that make our bellies ache and times they truly pissed us off. Let us believe they are with us in every step of this crazy earthly journey--that they leave behind little messages.
And know that we are holding the hands of both trauma and loss--learning how to walk this journey with utter gratitude for life and loving everyone and everything immensely.