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You don’t want to remember her the way you last saw her.

You should try to forget those awful months, with their long silences and the horrible strain of trying to pretend that everything was fine, while it was all you could do not to slash your own arm because the pain in your heart, in your gut was too heavy to hold in anymore. Everything's fine. If you had started screaming, you might have never stopped. So you didn’t start.

Everything's fine.

Towards the end, although neither of you were ever able to say as much, there was a mutual acknowledgement of what was happening. You both knew that you both knew, and false smiles and hollow cheery greetings were replaced with a heavy silence, a fleeting moment of eye contact charged with grief before one of you broke away in shame.

These are not the memories you want to keep.

So wait, for a few more seasons, until the sight of the full moon no longer makes you weep. Wait until you can listen to the music she loved to sing for you without trembling. Trust yourself. You will know when you’re ready.

There is a box, in the attic, filled with letters and photographs. There are leaves, gathered from a walk in the woods in autumn, and a few seashells from Nag’s Head. A melted stub of candle. A single golden earring.

When you are ready, dig up her bones. The arc of her iliac crest may yet yield some answers. In among her vertebrae and metacarpals you just may find some clues to yourself. Study the photographs. You’re in them too.

This exhuming may be what finally saves you.

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