It seems like the world has been conspiring to make me think about about Sarah lately.
It could have been that, in the midst of a seemingly unrelated conversation regarding bereavement, my case supervisor said to me "You spend your whole life holding on to the remainder of that grief. And sometimes it will only take the smallest of reminders to feel it wash all over you again." Suddenly, I remembered how, my fingers flying through a rack of used CDs a few days ago, they paused upon a collection by one of her favourites.
Then, as I blinked from the gleaming sunlight, leaving that meeting and squinting upon my phone, I noticed I had a new email. From C, one of the five of us who used to participate in our group emails, whose contacts tapered off, like the rest of ours, in the aftermath of her passing. His email was genuine, spirited, and he stated near the end that "Living is about loving". I couldn't help but think about how ferociously she loved.
The biggest reminder, of course, were the signs declaring "Welcome to Portland". Suddenly, it occurred to me that my first trip to Oregon was never intended to be for a conference. It was supposed to be to visit her.
Despite having never witnessed her interactions with this city, I could see so much of her in it. The greenery, the laid back attitude, the river. She really lived here.
I sometimes think about life expectancy statistics as almost a guarantee of sorts, as though it is somehow our fundamental right to live to that standard age. I do the math, subtracting her age from that ubiquitous number. Each time, that number seems huge, unfairly monstrous. And I wonder why she didn't deserve a much, much smaller number. How someone who loved life so much deserved so much less of it. How they never knew how cruelly short the reality of their vows of "til death do us part" would be.
And, even more than two years later, I stare out the window at the sun, and think of how fucking unfair it is that I'm witnessing it and she's not.