1. Try to get back to a routine as soon as possible.
7:00 A.M. 7:15 A.M. 7:30 A.M.
8:00 A.M. 8:15 A.M.
Cloudy with a chance of torrential downpour. Remove makeup. Add rain boots. Drop bricks in bag. Lift. Collapse. Lift again.
Crimes against ghosts: 1) Be present. 2) Be functional.
2. Find ways to remember the good times.
In scraggly old trees, see morning bedhead unruly in the twelve o’clock sun. In howling wind hear orange laughter tickle unsuspecting ears. With sesame seeds taste sprouts and sour feelings.
In broken time, give paper dreams. For she who speaks in raindrops, plant wings of silver and gold and auburn. Over forgotten heartstrings sing empty circles of blue tomorrow, under hot shower water rinse inappropriate motives, scrub until the skin burns pink with retribution, scrub because you have been branded, singed, charred by his smoking barrel. Two shots through her head, two shots through your incapacitated lungs–
3. Talk to someone.
Today in history, France declared war on Great Britain and the Netherlands. Texas seceded from the Union during the American Civil War. The first auto insurance policy in the US was issued by Traveler’s Insurance Co. NBC performed the first inter-city television broadcast in New York City. The USSR demanded condemnation of Emperor Hirohito for war crimes. The U.S. performed a nuclear test at a Nevada test site. The first televised soap opera “Secret Storm” premiered. Four students staged the first civil rights sit-in at a Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina. Richard Nixon announced his candidacy for president. A heavy blizzard in New England claimed 100 lives. The Communications Decency Act was passed by the U.S. Congress. Space shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts on board.
3. TALK to someone.
Did you know? Acousticophobia is fear of noise. Hoplophobia is fear of firearms. Cleisiophobia is fear of being locked in an enclosed space. Sociophobia is fear of people or social situations. Monophobia is fear of being alone or isolated. Erotophobia is fear of sexual love or sexual abuse. Chronophobia is fear of time moving forward. Hedonophobia is fear of feeling pleasure. Barophobia is fear of gravity.
3. Talk TO someone.
Oscar the Grouch used to be orange. BBC reported “There is no news” on Good Friday in 1930 and instead played piano music. Martha Stewart was selected as one of Glamour magazine’s “Ten Best-Dressed College Girls” in 1961. Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, married Russi Taylor, the voice of Minnie. The Vatican Bank is the world’s only bank that allows ATM users to perform transactions in Latin. There was a long-lost fourth member of Rice Krispies’ Snap/Crackle/Pop gang. His name was “Pow”.
4. Life does not stop for you.
The day of the murder, everything we loved poured from the sky, poured from our eyes, poured over every crevice of earth and scattered in a gust of wind. We, but an audience to her greatness, thrown blindly toward the exit—she, but a vessel called to shore.
I am looking for you.
Sometimes I can hear your laughter resonate across a crowded room and my eyes dart from face to face expectantly until they come to rest on the spaces between bodies.
Sometimes I think I see you in your gray winter boots bounding across freshly fallen snow in early March, the kind that shouldn’t be there but still you’re bursting with unadulterated joy.
Sometimes I close my eyes as the club music pulses deep in my eardrums and you’re there beside me in your ducky pajamas, both of us reunited in a communion of dance.
Sometimes I find myself staring at all the plants on the forest floor, trying to pull a shred of your knowledge from the universe but it just won’t come loose that easily.
But I know you are there.
I can feel the gust of wind, the half-conscious nudge toward the recycling bin, the earth warm under my fingernails, your vision through the lens of my camera.
It’s there. It’s there and I feel it.
Somewhere across the universe there’s a little girl with your smile and bouncy brown curls. A kid picking up caterpillars and plucking at honeysuckle–
I am looking for you
Alicia Auhagen is a writer, editor, and content strategist from Cincinnati, Ohio. When she's not writing, you might find her watching food documentaries, tackling her fear of homemade pie crust, or trying to finish arranging a song she started ten years ago.