Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dear Sarah... again.

Dear Sarah,

In two days, it will be a year. A year since we heard that insane, magical laugh. A year since we saw your gorgeous face. A year since we heard a comment about how bad your fart just was and oh my god, if you could only text smells.

A year.

I don’t even know how this year went by so quickly. But then again, it does make sense. Because with you, every day was a week. Every week was a month. And without you, I guess the days have simply slipped by.

But wow. A year. We all miss you so much.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing and I just heard Phoenix ‘s ‘If I ever feel better’ – the song I’ve come to think of as our song. That song that you somehow magically insert into my life when I need to hear from you the most. Thank you. So yes, I’m writing you a letter ... again. And thank you for not dropping that hint on a Sunday. Writing no good Sunday.

You should know that something amazing happened after you left us. Your friends came together in a way that would have made you so happy. We bonded over our love for you and the crazy adventures we all had with you. At first, we would get together and simply talk about you but slowly, over time, we’ve formed our own friendships. But they’re based on our relationships with you so, of course, you remain the most important person in the room. Just the way you would have wanted it.

It’s sort of like you left this patchwork quilt behind. We all have pieces of that quilt that we’ve been trying to put together ever since. But that quilt will never be complete because you left pieces of that quilt scattered in everyone you met. Everyone you met holds this little piece of your story. It would be impossible to stitch your quilt back together. I was right when I said that you had left a trace on everyone you met. But your impact was far bigger and more important than I think anyone could have imagined.

The days after and before your funeral were some of the saddest - and most hilarious - days I’ve ever had. Because it was impossible to grieve the loss of you without also reliving the hilarity of the moments we shared with you. It alternated between take-your-breath-away sadness and laughter so hard it actually took your breath away. We still reflect on that time as surreal. Tears from being unbelievably, tragically sad and tears from laughing so hard, we cried. It was an endless cycle of both.

Oh man… the laughter. That’s what I miss the most about you. The way we could catch each other’s eye and go to pieces laughing.

I miss your brilliantly witty lines.

I miss the way you loved your kids.

I miss your beauty and the way you made everything around you more beautiful.

You flicker through my mind so often. I catch myself referencing you in conversation all the time. I don’t know if that will ever stop. I don’t know if I could ever stop it. You gave me an awful lot of material, after all. I feel like everyone needs to know your opinion of cottage cheese, the fact that you never ate a sandwich, the record you set as a junior runner, that you fully believed Rosholt to only be 45 minutes away, “you guys!” (and 4 hours later we arrived), and what a terrible loser you were at Yahtzee (because, "well, I can see you’re all giant cheaters and that’s it! I’m going to bed!")

All of your stories and one-liners and observations float through my head constantly. Every time I hear a new song that you would have liked, I think about you having it on repeat for weeks at a time. (although I can’t bring myself to download the new Lana Del Ray. Sorry. I still have Radio stuck in my head because of you. And I’m not pleased.)

On Thursday, we’ll have a memorial for you. It will be amazing, sad, hilarious, tragic, boisterous and quiet. All at once. Maybe we’ll piece together a bit of your quilt. Or maybe we’ll discover more pieces. I have a feeling it’ll be more pieces.

We’ll be celebrating you and missing you. But I know that you will be there with us. Because we all are carrying around a piece of you. And because of that, you’re still with us. And so, together, we’ll celebrate you.