Today I told “the story” again, to a man named Noam, beginning with the events of October 2, 2015. Each time I tell it something new unfolds, some new details come forward. I told about the plane ride to Newburgh, seeing you at Copeland, laying your body in the earth, and those first few weeks of trauma. Those days are seared into my memory like no others. They come back as very vivid recollections. Sense memories, we called them in acting school.
Then Noam asked me how I have changed since you left us. A seemingly simple question, but so laden for me, with feelings, hopes, and visions. I told Noam how I feel so much love and empathy now, how you gave me that. I told him how I feel the suffering of others differently, and how you gave me that. I told Noam how I was committed to honoring your memory through my own actions, through the Foundation and through how I now choose to live my own life. How I feel free, for the first time in a long time, of so many old habits. That is your gift to me.
But of course, the price I paid, my dear Maya, that is too much. For all the love, empathy, caring, and change, I lost you, or part of you anyway. I know I still carry you with me, always and forever, and in some ways I feel closer than ever, to the essence of you, as if you were distilled into a little charm I wear around my neck, close to my heart.
It is interesting to me that when I told Noam of the events in those first few days, I was a little bit stirred but mostly I was calm. When I answered his question, “How have you changed?”, well that was another matter altogether. That stirred me deeply, shook me to the core, for your influence on me is deeper than any of us ever imagined. I realized that now, the depth of the loss, it is equal to the height of the love, all the same. The more I feel despair, the more I feel love, and yes, hope. Hope that the pain will lessen, that the suffering will diminish, that I will be able to walk in grace and love and compassion.
Today is six months without you Maya. I miss you so deeply, and I love you that same amount. Thank you my sweet one.
At Opus 40, Summer 2011