Thank you to everyone who sent me words of comfort. I really, really appreciate it.
I’ve been surprised by where else I’ve found comfort:
- Sunny weather.
- Good food. Comfort food, I guess.
- Playing music. I practiced with Salter Cane on Friday and playing the louder, angrier songs felt cathartic—I was probably playing terribly, but I didn’t care.
- Documenting tributes to Chloe and making a back-up of her site. I suppose I’m using digital preservation as a coping mechanism.
Tomorrow is Monday, the start of the working week. Tomorrow I will go to work. Tomorrow I will, to all outward appearances, carry on as normal.
Except it won’t really be normal. It’s going to be very strange. The world feels very strange to me. A world without Chloe isn’t right. It isn’t normal. A world without Chloe feels wrong. Skewed. Off-kilter.
But I’m going to go into work. I’m going to do some hacking. I’m going to write about code. I’m going to post links related to web design and development. I’m going to get back to organising this year’s dConstruct. (Can you believe that the last time I was IMing with Chloe, I was bitching to her about lacklustre ticket sales? What a fucking joke.)
In short, I’m going to carry on. Even though the world feels wrong. I’m not sure if the world will ever feel right again.
I thought that grief was like a tsunami. It’s unstoppable. It washes over you completely. It flattens you and leaves you battered and bruised. But then it’s over, right?
It turns out that grief is more like the tide. The tsunami was just the first wave. There will be many more.
Over the course of a single day, many a wave will hit me unexpectedly and I’ll find myself weeping …again. Over time, those waves will abate. But grief is fractally tidal. There are longer waves—days, weeks, months, years.
Remy has endured four years of grief and counting:
Time won’t ever heal this hole in our lives. It shouldn’t either.
But he carries on, even though the world is wrong:
You just get stronger. You have to.
It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt anymore. It does. I’m just able to carry that pain and make it mine and part of me, because I’ve learnt how to.
Time doesn’t heal. It just looks that way from the outside in.
So tomorrow I’ll go back to work, and I’ll go back to writing and coding and talking and organising. Perhaps those activities might provide their own comfort.
I know that the tide will never stop, but I hope that it will at least weaken in strength over time.
A world without Chloe is wrong, but that’s the world I live in now. There won’t be a day goes by that I won’t be thinking of her.