When Facebook reminds me that the 8th of April is your 24th birthday, I remember for the first time in a long time how tragic it is that you never lived to see it. Then I get mad at Facebook…how dare they? Then I get mad at myself because I’m terribly good with birthdays and how dare I forget yours this year.
Then I remember that the 8th of April isn’t your birthday anymore. You won’t expect gifts, like the time that boy bought you that teddy, you won’t roll your eyes at the impersonal “hbd”some lazy ass will plaster on your wall and you won’t stay up till midnight to see who calls first.
The 8th of April isn’t your birthday, the 8th of April is just that-the 8th of April. It’s just another 24 hours, the sun will rise, the sun will set. The 8th of April is like the 3rd of May now or the 17th of December. It’s now just numbers on a calendar and none of it means anything.
And maybe I should be grateful that it’s one less birthday to remember, one less birthday message to pull out of my back pocket. But on the 8th of April, on the day you are supposed to turn 24, the people who knew you are reminded how the sun still came up the day after your passing like nothing had happened the day before. The people who remember you also remember how the ground complied when they dug it up for you, as if, for it, eating up a 22 year old was all in a day’s work.
The grass kept growing, the wind kept blowing, someone had their baby that day. I think even we made small talk on the way to the funeral, none of it about how unnatural the reason for our gathering was.
Then I think maybe worse things have happened but then I also think worse things haven’t happened to people I know. So maybe this too should have stayed there-with all the people I don’t know. So maybe this shouldn’t have happened to you-it should have happened to somebody else. But that somebody else also would have been somebody else’s daughter or somebody else’s sister-somebody else’s somebody else.
That somebody else probably would have had somebody else writing a blogpost two years later to still try to make some kind of sense out of the whole thing or tomake themselves feel less guilty about that blue tick they gave you-because they always “knew”they would pick up the conversation some time later.
So maybe it’s okay that it wasn’t somebody else. Maybe there are reasons, maybe someday it will make sense. Maybe in the future when we are older, it will make sense. Because all you were-all you are-is a child.