Friday, October 12, 2012

Those you've known*

I sometimes feel I'm carrying my dead with me. That the loved ones that are no longer with us are, in fact, still around us wherever we go. Not in a literal sense, more like an emotional presence they stay within us. The way we remember them. We die when our heart stops beating and our body stops breathing, but we cease to be when our loved ones die or forget us. That's when we become random people in old photographs. That's what I've come to believe in ever since I set my eyes on Vergílio Ferreira's books. (And then there's also Mr Pirandello's work taunting me with the thousands of similar versions of the same self, though that's a sequel to this conversation, not to be had today.) But enough with the post-modern philosophy!

My great-aunt died early this year. Today would've been her 85th birthday. Today - for the first time in my life - I have no one to wish happy birthday to. And it feels weird. Wrong, even. It wouldn't be so sad if the family had carried on, but that's the thing about my family; Fate seems determined to have us extinct! Right now, biologically speaking, I'm the only individual capable of breeding (which is a bit of a daunting burden to grow up with), it all narrows down to me and it feels unfair, to grow up so close to extinction. But I digress...

The point is I miss her terribly. I keep picking up the phone only to realize a second later that no one would answer that call. And it comforting to at least feel her with me whenever it happens. To know what she would've said or how she would've handled certain situations I come across in my life. I have her with me and I don't have to let go of that for as long as I breathe. She will be remembered. And if/when I have kids of my own I will point out who she was in old pictures. And they will hear stories of her and know how much she mattered. At least to me.

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