“Honey, what a shame you live alone!”
“Why, grandma? I’m thrilled with my new life.”
“For God’s sake, you need a man! A man who lives with you, who works and provides to you, who helps you. Otherwise, what will become of you!” she lamented.
“Yaya, I don’t need a man to do any of that. I’m perfectly fine on my own. I work, run my own house, and help myself. If I’m in trouble one day, I promise I’ll ask a friend for help, okay? Don’t worry!”
“And you can’t ask any of those friends to live with you?”
Trigger Warning: this article contains discussions of sexual assault that may not be suitable for all readers. Fearless community, please read with care.
“One day, you will find my diary, and only then will you understand everything.” As she said these words, a hidden and painful truth moistened her eyes.
It had always seemed evident to me that she was carrying a burden that shattered her inner peace. But I couldn’t know what it was — she never shared it with anyone.
But that day, with those words, she had shed a mystery into my soul for which, one day…
Nobody knows what we mean to each other, Grandma.
Nobody knows how great our love is because I was just a strange and troublesome child in others’ eyes. They wouldn’t imagine I was full of love.
But you always treated me the same as everyone else. As if I were a normal kid. You taught me values and loved me boundlessly even though I was a problematic dumb little girl who hid from everyone and held an invisible backpack of traumas and quirks.
You genuinely cared about me and did not stay in the shallow; you were capable of seeing…
At some earlier time in my life, I had tried to imagine how it would feel to sense your baby growing inside you.
Today, I know one can’t truly understand this kind of devotion until it happens to you — it truly breeds a unique new understanding of what love is.
My little love,
Every day I find myself eyes closed, breathing peacefully as my imagination draws your smile in the air. I don’t need to have already held you in my arms to dream of our first skin to skin.
You fill my life with every color of the…
We will never forget the last time we saw her eyes open. We had moved to France some months before to live closer to her. She was my mother-in-law — my belle-mère — and had such a kind and gentle heart. Her warm soul could feel the energy of good people.
Despite that, she always seemed sad and depressed; she couldn’t express joy or emotions of affection. For a long time, she was unable to live alone due to long depressions that made her desire to live vanish from her soul.
Many years ago, she got diagnosed with bipolarity.
When I was seventeen, I knew nothing about love, and I knew even less about myself. If someone asked me how I was feeling, I didn’t know what to say.
I had mainly been studying locked in my room, overprotected by my family, and scared of the world. Perhaps that prevented me from growing due to a lack of life experience to deal with problems on my own.
I tended to accept things from others that I shouldn’t have, ignoring my own needs, so that I often trapped myself in a self-slavery lifestyle in any kind of relationship: friends, family…
The time had come.
I had to tell my grandparents that my mother had died. Their daughter had died.
She had left us a few hours earlier, and it wasn’t the virus that killed her but a depression of a lifetime. They hadn’t seen her in the past two years, just before she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
It could only be by phone.
The virus is destroying a lot. Not to mention saying goodbye to our loved ones — we cannot hug our family even when one of us leaves us.
We have been homebound since the pandemic…
Spring has come without warning in a week where each day looks the same as the day before.
It’s caught us all in our pajamas. We don’t even know what day it is. Whether on the sofa, in the shower, or between pillows, some of us are working from home, others are waking up later than usual.
But we are all (confined) at home.
Today it seemed like it was going to be just one more day, just like yesterday and just like tomorrow. One more day, when we would get up, have breakfast together, and if we were lucky…
This piece is written from the eyes and pain of my life partner, who has just lost his parents. With love, respect, and the aim of paying tribute to him and them.
I can’t recall our family having fits of laughter or deep conversations at the table. I can’t even remember myself as a smiling child.
The old photos do not reflect a particularly happy childhood, but even so, I know I could feel the enormous love of my parents and my two brothers.
My brothers and I used to play outside in the garden. I also have unforgettable memories…
Before all this started, we were different people. Before we realized we were confined; before we understood that by staying home, we are saving lives—we had a different perspective on life. We lived too fast. Our scale of values was different, probably wrong.
We were always too busy.
We could be insensible. Sometimes, selfish.
We forgot about people.
We didn’t make that call or the time for that visit. We met our family and friends and looked at our smartphones more than to their eyes.
We always aimed for more, always more. We didn’t appreciate the present as a gift…
I write about life experiences, feelings, relationships. Music, nature, and cheese lover. Developer and designer for a living. She/her.