Today is my great-aunt’s birthday. She would have turned 91.
It’s hard to accept that I won’t be able talk to her today. In a way, since I’ve lived so far away form her for so many years already, she’s still over there somehow.
This morning, I remembered the pashmina scarf. It was a gift to her two Christmases ago and the only item I claimed back immediately when we cleared out her apartment.
It’s dark teal. My favorite color.
It has been sitting on my bedroom dresser ever since I returned back to California and for the first time this morning, I picked it up again, held it in my hands for a few seconds before I buried my face in it. The sensation was quite overwhelming, as her smell is still clinging to every fiber of this scarf. Funny how that works. It hit me like a fist punch to my nose, my eyes started to water and tears escaped the corners of my eyes, while simultaneously the soft scarf caressed my cheeks like her loving hands so often did.
I wonder if I can find a sealed box somewhere in which I can store the scarf, afraid that it will eventually, with time, lose the precious smell that is so dear to me and evokes such raw, but beautiful emotions now that she’s gone.
Why is grief so freakin’ hard?