All my dead lined up to greet me in the night.

Grief is my muse.

I don't want to die without him.

Writers in my blood: Duras, Plath, Pizarnik.

Grief is a bottomless trauma.

To see his face again, to touch it. Oh how I burn.

All my writing is a reckoning with trauma and a search for my father.

The superpower I want most: to be able to bring the dead back to life.

With his death, a life of fear began.


I've lost everything. I begin as I was born--barren, pure.

My home is in books.

The words give me another life, which helps me survive my "real" life. Imagination is rescue.

Sometimes, I'm reading a book and I love life so much and I'm angry that it was taken from him. Sometimes, I love life so much that I want it forever.

Somewhere, those breathing years still live.

Sometimes I say the word "daddy" out loud and in my mind. Over and over again. Daddy daddy daddy. I say it as though that one word can conjure him.

I used to be in awe of life, now I'm in fear of it.

Reading van Gogh's letters, I feel connected to him across the centuries. Words dissolve distance, forge intimacy, immediacy. Van Gogh, always so alone but alive, marked by a feverish passion to put his dreams in paint. Many lonely people love him, myself included. Maybe he gives us hope that we can create other worlds even though we--and he--couldn't survive this one.

Will I ever create? Will I ever be a good writer? I write from the heart, from a broken heart, and so my words are also broken, but they are alive.

I loved him so much. I want him back. I want our life together. I want it all. I loved him so deeply and that love has consumed me and I can't find it again and I ache for it and I can't comprehend that he's dead. I want him to be alive. I live in turmoil. I live in a stupor because I can't understand where he went or what life is without him. There's a mist over everything. I can't see clearly. I can't live.

How could I have ever been prepared for his death? Life was a dream until he died and I woke up to a cold reality.

I hate my body because it dies, it is impermanent.

Someone is always dying. The world is always collapsing and rising again, being remade, rebuilt.

What have I lived to tell? What secret am I seeking to know? How to live and not let the world kill me.

For some, the miracle never comes. The miracle would have been seeing him live.

I still can't see fathers and daughters without breaking down. He is lost. I will never know that love again.

Someone please love me.

You can make another world out of language but you can't live in it. You can say he's alive but he isn't.

I sit in the quiet loneliness of evening and write these fragments as an attempt to resist silence, to free myself, to save myself, to give some kind of meaning to my life.

I confronted the nothingness he became and the nothingness I will become.

Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. His name is like a prayer.

I want to forget. I want to start over. I want to be free from fear.

In the film The Quiet Roar, someone tells the main character that she loves her unhappiness. I can't remember the exact words but that's the gist of it. Maybe I love my unhappiness. Maybe I am attached to my grief. But I feel so mutilated by the pain. I don't know how to be happy. I don't think happiness is possible because there's always the fear of death, the fear of what's coming, the fear of loss.

I want to dissolve into paint, into words, into song.