Don’t Get Me Wrong, But…

By Emma Pearson

April 17, 2024

Artwork of Julia & her BFF by Julia, 2019

21 March 2020

First day of Spring. At least in my rolodex of dates. The Vernal Equinox. More light than dark each day in the northern hemisphere.

Spring. One of my four favourite seasons.

Freshness. Colours. Sounds. Scents. Beauty splashing all around. The Alps in the distance clearer than ever with the Geneva smog lifted as fewer people are out and about.

Part of me feels peaceful. The part that just allows life to be, the part that has allowed life to be much of the past 3.5 years since I realised (again) that I had control over nothing. But it’s something to learn over and over and over. A practice to practise.

And yet another part of me feels peaceful. The part that was on high alert for Julia’s well-being, particularly the 18 months before she died.

In my therapy session on Monday (the day before shut-down in France), I said to my therapist, “Look – I need to say something that sounds bad. I know it sounds bad, and I just want to say it. I am sort of okay with it because I know where it’s coming from but I do need to blurt it out”.  Deep breath.  “I am glad Julia is not here, not here to see this, to witness this. Not here to sense the pervasive fear that I am sure her friends are feeling. I feel immune to the fear for reasons I understand, but I would not have been immune to Julia’s fear”.  Another deep breath. “I have only twice been glad that Julia is not around, knowing how hard she would find things. One is this situation now, the Coronavirus pandemic. And one was around January this year when the weather was so grey and foggy and sucky. The kind of weather that she hated. The kind of weather I know will eventually pass even if it takes a few days. The kind of weather I know I just need to drive up a mountain for in order to be in brilliant sunshine. But grey, foggy and sucky down in the Geneva swamplands”.

I know that having these thoughts is not “bad” or “abnormal”. I know it’s a way of alleviating additional stress. I know it’s about finding the silver lining wherever there is one, even if it’s to do with an unnecessary death.

My therapist was great. She said that she too had said to her husband just a few days prior that she was glad her own mother, who had died a few years ago, was not around. Normalising my thoughts. Normalising my guilty confessions.

I just had to say it out loud. To hear that those thoughts were okay, even though I told myself it was okay. Hearing it from a person of sound heart and mind is still important.

Julia, I miss you so so so much. I do wish you were here with me. I wish you were alive and healthy and well. I wish you could hear the birds and smell the tulips and daffodils. I wish you could feel the sun on your skin and know that summer was around the corner.

And I am glad you are not having to deal with the globe’s anxiety. With this pandemic. With global gloom on top of deep depression.

And therefore I don’t have to deal with your anxiety. Which no love could ease.

And I miss you and love you.


About Emma Pearson

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