We spent the weekend going to country fairs. We spent the weekend on Ferris Wheels and watching tractor pulls and eating cotton candy and ice cream.

jasper wheel

It was good.

My heart still aches, and I still struggle, daily – hourly – with the challenge of coping with the emotions surrounding my father’s death. I still look for ghosts. I still yearn for ghosts. I imagine that I will always yearn, that I will always strain my ears listening for his whisper, and my eyes looking for his form. I imagine that it will always be this way, that it is always this way, when you miss you someone so intensely that the force of the missing almost seems to fill physical space, to make actual sound.

Even in the sunshine, even through the din of carousels and demolition derbies and carnies.

budgie go round
I imagine this, but I don’t know. I don’t know if this experience of loss is universal, or if it’s just me, stuck in my head and my heart with stories, and the memory of my father, who I loved so very much, who I so worried about, who I so wanted to protect, who I so wanted to preserve and keep and hold with me forever and ever and ever. Who I try to keep with me even now, by spinning words, trying to bind the memories and the feelings and hold them fast.

And so I go, round and round on this carousel, not ready to let go.

But I know that the sunshine is there – I stick my hands out and I feel it. I’m still living. Really, I am. I am eating cotton candy and licking ice cream and listening to the hum of life and really tasting, really hearing. It’s just that those tastes and sounds – all the feeling of life – is complicated by something darker now. Not in an entirely bad way. It just is.

jasper mint chip
Ice cream still drips, here, in this space. And it still makes toddlers even more beautiful than they already are. I can enjoy it, love it, exult in it.

But I still wake at night and cry.

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