There is something I hadn’t thought about before, which is that death for me was not an absence. It’s a presence. Not a disappearance, but an appearance of something different.
I woke up this morning very early. I guess it might have been around four. I was crying and missing C. I don’t really know why. There is a profound sense that this cannot be me. I have no way of understanding why it’s so painful or so intense or how these feelings emerged at all. A little part popped up and complained that we did not like the pokey feeling in our tummy and we would prefer to not have a tummy at all if it was going to act like that.
The weird thing about integration, maybe, is that you have only the bare bones of a mental landscape within which to cast one’s feelings. I mean, there is so little context for anything.
I think it’s still very shocking to me that people are alive now. They aren’t all dead. Many people are dead, but not everybody. And the thing is I think this has been difficult to think about because I am thinking about wrong. I know they are alive, not for all the obvious reasons like they talk and move around and have relationships, but because you can touch them and they do not have dead-body skin.
And I think I never sufficiently allowed myself to take that in. C is alive. I miss her skin because it is alive skin. When someone dies, most people go on thinking of them as they were when they alive. But I understand in a very visceral way that my friends were dead. They were corpses. I had touched them. I had spent hours with them probably, covered in their blood, touching their dead-body skin, splattered by their entrails. You do not miss that.
Death is then for me, three things maybe: unresponsive, covered in blood, and with dead-body skin. Dead body skin is cold and no longer soft. There is something leathery about it. I suppose because the people I touched had lost enormous amounts of blood. It changes the texture of your tissues when it is no longer inflated with a fluid.
Sorry to have to say that.
I think I miss C more because I can’t grasp that she is still there. I can’t grasp that she is still there, because it keeps putting the difference between dead and living bodies in too sharp a relief. She’s still there. Remember we touched her? Oh, yeah, it was living people skin. It wasn’t dead people skin.
I remember dead skin.
She is unresponsive, but she is not dead. That gets too upsetting though, and the thought never gets completed.