remembering – 2020 edition

erin walker : august 6, 1977 – october 23, 1994

when i close my eyes

she’s too young to be forgotten
her world has only just begun
her future is an empty slate
waiting to be filled
and i see her
standing there
when i close my eyes

dancing in the sky
over moonbeams, around clouds
starlight in her eyes
angels in her hair
and i see her
when i close my eyes

child of the sunlight
daughter of the day
sleeping on bed of roses
with flowers in her hair

the wind it softly kissed her cheek
the raindrops fell like tears

and i see her
when i close my eyes

a thousand white candles
their flames dancing with the air
as rocks play tag with ocean

she’s fast asleep
never to be woken

and i see her
when i close my eyes

© catherine healy
October 23, 1994


Geez. I haven’t blogged in so long that I don’t understand any of the changes to wordpress’s editor and my regular copy/paste for the first part of this post didn’t work like it always did. And, yikes, I haven’t done a remembering post since 2016. I know I had a couple of years where I had a post started, and saved in drafts, but I just didn’t have it in me to complete.

But this year? This year Erin is on my mind a lot. Especially this month. I suppose with my anxiety and depression heightened these days it’s a normal thing to suddenly feel so close to this tragedy. It’s been a wet, and windy autumn, and I am extra nervous on the roads. I don’t know. It’s been 26 years since Erin, and her mother, Heather, were in that accident, but something about October 2020 makes me feel like it was so much closer than that.

One thing 2020 has accomplished has been to completely blur the concept of dates and time. Just this week I showed up for a blood test appointment a day early, thinking it was the right date, and then when I showed up the next (correct!) day, I had the time wrong by 30 minutes. I felt like a complete idiot. I know it’s a silly thing to get down about, but I am generally so organized and on top of scheduling. Heck, it was my JOB for almost two decades. Being out of work, and stuck at home due to the pandemic, my brain has turned to mush and I feel like a completely useless human being.

But enough about me. This post is about Erin. Or maybe it is about me. It’s generally about how this tragic event in my life has altered the way I think, and feel about things. Especially as the years grow distant and I reflect back on past posts, and I get all introspective and morose thinking about all that could have been if only.

If only.

Those are two words that are dangerous because you just end up in a tangled spiral of “what ifs” and you don’t really accomplish much from it except maybe end up with sleepless nights, panic attacks, and sadness. But sometimes before I go full circle, I might have a small epiphany through my labyrinth of “if onlys” because it makes me think about my own priorities, and how I want to be living my own life, and ultimately how Erin would be living hers. She was a bright, fierce spark. I could never keep up with her. (Like, literally. For being shorter than I was, that girl could MOVE when she walked. I had to jog to keep up some days!) She made me belly laugh so much it hurt to breathe. She loved The Lost Boys and Toy Soldiers, and Newsies. I had to suffer through the scary vampire Lost Boys movie a few times so she could swoon over those teen beat heart throb vamps. (I don’t think I ever found any of them attractive. And yes, I thought it was a scary movie. Shush.)

There are still so so many things that remind me of Erin instantly. Even now, 26 years later, I sometimes have to stop myself from picking something up while shopping because I think she’ll love it. I don’t think you can get mail in the afterlife. Heck, because of the pandemic you can hardly get mail in the NOW life.

Mostly, I miss her. Still. Very strongly. This year more-so than other years.

And I still see her, when I close my eyes.

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