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Essay: Coming Together

I have read that by the time people reach old age, they tell their life stories in one of two ways:

Either, they say, “It all came to nothing in the end.” Or, they say, “Everything came together in the end.”

I wanted to be a come-together person and felt like that might happen until last year when my daughter, Sara, died. Which turned everything into nothing.

Nothing but grief—which, I have found, is not a linear path.

It’s more like the childhood game I used to play with my grandfather called “Sorry”. Just when my little blue token had almost reached home, his token would land on mine and send me back to the beginning—and I would burst into tears.

“It’s just a game,” my grandfather would say.

Well, it’s not a game now but “Sorry” is the right word. Sorry beyond measure.

Sometimes I feel as if I might be able to create a meaningful life without Sara’s vibrant, loving presence.

And then, some sadness or loneliness or lostness lands on me—and I’m back at square one.

Not a linear path—and not one I can walk alone. I have been leaning on family and friends a lot in recent months, especially those who speak her name.

I still want everything to come together in the end, Sara included.