A child is an emphatic statement that life is continuing.

After horror, you feel life has stopped. It doesn’t seem possible for it to continue.

And then also I was buried under grief. I keep remembering that one post from maybe last year about Plan B. “But it’s fucking raining.” Yeah, it rained for a long time. It rained for about three decades.

So I think it’s not an accident that I have this relationship with a child now that is very, very parental. I began to open up to the possibilities in life and she walked in. She walked in and said, “I need someone. I need someone to want me. I need someone to want me every single day, without fail or interruption. I want someone who won’t abandon me.” And I signed up for it. I said, “I can do that. Sure, I can do that.” Because life is going to go on now. It isn’t starting over. It continues. But I am going to open my eyes up to it again. I am going to see it again.

I keep thinking about the stuff about me that is likely to be ongoing. What am I taking away from my Holocaust? How is this likely to impact me in the future.

Good things will happen or new things will happen and I will feel the absence of my lost family, my dead village. I will feel the loss again and a profound aloneness, because the people I loved most will not be with me. No one else will probably feel that way. I am almost certain it isn’t quite the same as missing a single person you have lost although it lies on that continuum. It will probably get less intense—right now, almost everything strikes me that way and it strikes me that way intensely. It might get quieter and there might be fewer new things. But I think that grief will remain a part of me.

It’s not a bad thing, or a sign that I failed to heal. It’s just part of me.

I might always have more appreciation for life too—for the experience of life as it is lived inside, not necessarily for life as a series of events, but for how it feels to be the one living through those events. I almost didn’t make it. I almost didn’t live, and I almost lived only as someone half dead-inside, who never got the pain down to a manageable level so that I could attend to other feelings.

In a moral sense or a logical sense, I can’t say what I think about it. Nonetheless, at a purely feeling level, I feel privileged to be here. I almost didn’t get the chance to. I came so close not making it. What other people have, what they take for granted, I got only by the skin of my teeth.