mourning written in old typewriter font

A young woman's journey through death.

it's the same every morning.
a quiet whisper that just reminds me the moment i clear the sleep from my eyes.
have you ever woken up and for a moment everything is brighter, lighter and then-
then it settles deep into your skin-
that no-
nothing is bright.

it's just another day without her.

april 20th 2019

outline drawing of woman laying down
black and white photo of open window
black and white detailed paint stroke
line drawing of cloud with raindrops
women wearing rings texting on phone
drawing of string lights
text message drawing
her sweet voice...
i need to keep filling my mind with other things.
things that can keep me busy.
if i slow down i'll just remember.
and then I'd be lost in my head
questioning if it was my fault,
that it was just all my fault-
because i wasn't there and that is my punishment.

i need to make this weight soften.

august 3rd 2019

black and white photo of person screaming
drawing of rain drop outlines
black and white forests and mist
tribal pattern
woman's hand running through wheat in field
i spent my time disappearing.
trying to keep the world away from my own truths-
once i did that, once i listened and felt what was lying beneath my lungs
then i'd never be okay again.
so i drank tea.
i'd read a book.
i'd daydream of gardening.
happier things.
brighter things.

decemeber 10th 2019

woman typing on typewriter outside
detailed paint stroke
hands holding up an open book
she had these books,
fictional stories about female
chinese leads,
or about chinese culture-
all the beauty and grace that breathed
her favorite author was Lisa See,
and so i knew i had to read them,
all of them.
i felt closer to her then.
and i needed that warmth.

march 20th 2020
old ornate tea set
ever since i was little i loved the taste of tea.
when the leaves would settle into the water and bleed,
i'd watch the tendrils grow and try and think of anything but
the missing pieces of myself.

we would drink tea and talk for hours.
i told her everything.
i told her all the small things in my life,
our souls blooming over a steaming cup of tea.

january 5th 2020
a few gardening tools and some planters
she was not only a mother,
but a mother of nature.

and i feel her in the wind,
in the way the birds sing
from the trees,
and the soft blades of the
grass beneath
my hands.
i want to stay outside.

february 8th 2020
open book with flowers coming out from the pages.
drawing of flowers in planter box
speckled texture
text message drawing
woman texting on phone
small piece of paper with faded writing
i've been so angry for so long.
today i woke up and thought:
i'm okay.

but there was still this deep ache,
and i knew that would never go away.

but i am okay.
because when the sun poured like gold from my window,
and sunk into my skin,
i swear she was there,
settling her hand on my hair.

i feel her love.
i will always feel her love.

march 4th 2020

pond full of koi fish
chinese hanging signage lot
woman riding on boat on pond
chinese coins outline
black and white glitter texture
black and white phone of panda laying on branch
decorative letter J with a koi fish
hand holding a phone
text message drawing
hand drawn heart
she called me Audrey.
she had a love for Audrey Hepburn,
and said i looked just like her.
so i watched Breakfast at Tiffney's,
How to Steal a Million,
Roman Holiday;
she had good taste, my grandmother.

august 18th 2019
hand drawn heart
if you wanted any type of chocolate-
bars, kisses, mint patties-
all you had to do was ask.
she had bags of them hidden all over the house.
it always made me laugh.
the little things she did,
they made the world sweeter.
she was a chocolate fiend.

august 18th 2019
hand drawn heart
if i needed anything i went to her.
she listened to me,
and never once turned me away.
she did her best to make my world a better place,
nurturing me into a strong woman.
she was smart,
and kind,
and honest.

august 18th 2019
she was just so....vividly herself.
they decided on cremation.
i knew that being buried in the Earth is confining,
how could I go argue with any of her wishes.

it was selfish of me,
i wanted something physical, a place i could go to grieve.
to place flowers on her grave and talk to her.
like i used too.

then my grandpa gave me a golden necklace.
it was her.
i carry my grandma with me always now.

she pushes me to reach for the stars.
to work harder, to dream bigger.

i'm starting to heal,
i think.

september 10th 2019

woman wearing a pendent heart necklace
close up of woman typing on a typewriter
black and white flowers collage
collage of letter, map, picture, and texture
i go through our texts,
because i hear her voice,
and it makes me feel like she's still here.

i send her some, sometimes.
though i know it doesn't deliver.

may 5th 2019

woman standing holding cell phone black and white
text message drawing
text message drawing
i know that this pain will never go away,
because i miss her madly.

and i will never stop missing her in my life.
she truly made everything better.
she taught me so many things,
and i know that without that i wouldn't be the woman i am today.

she lives on through me.
the memories that i cherish,
the traditions i continue.
her love still breathes,
and i carry her wisdom in my heart.

and that is enough.

march 30th 2020

picture of grandma janet
grandma janet text
the birth date and death date, march 30th 1943 to april 6th 2019
created april 6th 2020.
author and programmer: Natalie R. Lusk.
images provided by and over.
some were taken from private collection.