Notes From a Native Daughter

"Tunnel Vision" by Princess Rachella

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tunnel Vision

This time, the light at the end of the tunnel was the clear blue sky.

I think I've finally made my way out of a period of pretty deep sadness. It settled in right at the beginning of the month, and not even a flamethrower could have cleared the clammy, misty fog that settled around my mind and heart. But now I think I fully understand what happened. Even though I was just as alone and away from family and friends last holiday season as I am this time around, last year, the shock and numbness immediately after my sister Julie's death somehow insulated me from the third-degree acid burns of deep emotional pain.

"Okay, maybe it was the Scotch, which I seem to be losing my taste for, by the way." (You wanna talk tragedies, that gruesome reality will yield bitterness and agony for years to come!)

Anyway, last year, I blogged pretty steadily following Julie's death, which astounds me in hindsight. Then again, maybe blogging was the only way I survived without going insane. When I try to remember actually writing the epic poem, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas in Gulu" last Christmas Eve, it's almost like somebody else did it. I couldn't have pulled that off this year if you'd held a gun to my head.

I'll spare you the gory details. Let's just say I made it through Christmas Eve, Noel, and Boxing Day. And that's another thing...when I remember opening the last care package Julie ever sent me on December 26th, 2007, and then writing about the experience, I'm forced to conclude that the only thing between me and complete emotional obliteration last year was.....

Julie. Or at least Julie's spirit. So maybe what happened this holiday season is that the full grasp of her passing finally hit me, like a two-by-four smack in the middle of my forehead. I spent the weeks before Christmas day fueling that sense of loss and longing, embellishing the dread, stewing in the sorrow.

But then this morning, I suddenly noticed that the sky looks a lot bluer than it has in the past few weeks. Of course it isn't, but for some reason, riding into work this morning, everything seems clearer and brighter. There's been a steady breeze here in Nairobi lately, so maybe it's helped blow away the fog. I don't know.

All I truly know is that there was no way around this tunnel, or under it, or over it. I had to move through it. And I'm really proud of myself for recognizing that the light at the end was waiting to enfold me in a sense of hope, rather than smash me into a million pieces.

Onward and upward.

Posted by Princess Rachella at 11:29 AM