Dear Barbara,

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

A moment of grief and hope documented on August 31, 2020. I love you Barbara.

August 31, 2020

 

Dear Barbara,

 

Today was the first day of classes. I just got out of class with our favorite, Kyle Stine. It’s “Cultural History of the Internet.” It sounds like a promising class, and I’m looking forward to it. But the class sucked today, because you weren’t there.

I can’t help but wonder if I would’ve reached out to you to take the class with me this semester. I didn’t even think about how this class would trigger me until I saw Kyle’s face. It came rushing back to me. Right when I saw his face, I thought: Barbara. Immediately. Almost instantaneously. Anxiety and grief washed my entire body.

I talked to Kyle after class, and I came into the conversation hoping to clue him in on my sporadic anxiety about this class, and of course, my grief with you. But it was actually a great conversation. We talked about some logistics, but we also talked about you, and it was so nice. It was nice to hear your name come out of someone else’s voice with the same amount of joy and pain as mine. We talked about your extensive knowledge about St. Petersburg, and Kyle said he can’t teach that book anymore because it just won’t be the same without you. And I agree.

I’m realizing that grief is not linear. Not really. It doesn’t follow an arc or a pattern, it just exists in your soul, as loudly or as softly as it wants.

When I first heard that you passed away, I was shocked. I was in denial. I was hurting. But I was also numb. I couldn’t pin down my thoughts or emotions, but that entire day was clouded by you, Barbara. I was extremely emotional at the Phi Mu tribute memorial, and a few days after that. Also today. Right now. It comes and goes, but the thing is, it hurts just as much every time. The same thoughts circle my head, and new ones always appear.

I keep thinking about how you told me you wanted to watch your favorite movie with me. You told me with such excitement, inviting me to your place, making plans for a cute night in together.

That never happened. And I’m punching myself constantly for never getting to do that. It would’ve been so much fun. The worst part is, I can’t remember what your favorite movie was. I remember it was old, maybe foreign, and it might be in black and white. Hitchcock vibes? Or was it Godard? I don’t know, and I hate myself especially for that.

I’ve never been fond of the name “Barbara.” It was never really appealing to me. It just reminded me of the 80s, a brainy girl in movies, or an old white woman. But you are none of those things. I mean you are a very smart girl who loves movies, and you’re white. But you will never be those things, and “Barbara” will never be those things anymore. Now when I hear the name “Barbara,” all I can think about is a wonderful person, with so much life and so much potential, cut off way, way too early.

Barbara is such a beautiful name. And no one can convince me otherwise.

 

I love and miss you.


Submitted: November 13, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Ellie Carp. All rights reserved.

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