I hardly slept last night. Mostly, I cried. I don’t think I have ever felt quite so wretched. I just felt so without value. I still feel that way, but I also feel mixed up, like there are a few chunks of trauma bumping up against each other. Vast swathes of me really don’t want to live. They would like to finish up my contract here and then quietly commit suicide somewhere, because actually being alive is just not my choice.

The photo of the Syrian child is all over everything, and his father’s response is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone say anything that made me think they could understand me. “I just want to lie in their graves.” I feel that way. I wish I could bury my dead, and then be buried with them. It seems impossible to communicate this. I think it might be impossible to communicate, how it feels when everyone you loved seems to be gone. I think there is a grief not just for the people you love, but for even the fantasy that you can be with them in death. Somehow, you have to pick yourself up and go on with life. You don’t even get to have this wish of being united with them in death. You don’t get to give up.

I held a baby today. It’s a National Language teacher’s nephew: his sister died in childbirth, and he has taken the child in as his own. The boy is a tiny baby. I suppose he’s just 2 or 3 months old now. He kept staring at me and so I held him for a while, until he got fussy and began to cry for his aunt again. I don’t think I’ve held a baby since Veroushka left us. If I did, I tried not to know I was doing it.

My wife and child are gone. Everyone is gone, and I don’t know why I should live now.

Except that I like seeing C grow up. I am not sure about anything else really, but I know I like that. I like seeing her practice her dance for a variety show in a few weeks and I like seeing on her arm the initials of the boy she likes and I like seeing her gently keep the PP boys in line at assembly and make the older boys behave considerably less gently. I like it a lot.

And it seems I am feeling all of that together.

 

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