María Robertson for Alemaría Suicide Documentary Film

How do I start?

How do I start? Where do I start? Your ending was also a beginning of sorts.  The three of us died that day with you.  After that day, it was painful to see groups of three, families of three. I avoided them at all costs.  Of course your death was unlike ours. Yours was brutal, shocking and final. 

Lucas and I couldn’t survive such a death, but somehow we were still here after it all.  How was it possible to be still here after you left in such a way? How was I still here? I would often marvel at the fact that I was still here.  But I wasn’t really here, there…. Gatita (as you used to call me) died that day too and the person that continued, the person who writes this blog, was forcefully born out of your tragic ending.  This Maria has certain superhuman powers because she has lost so much.  She no longer fears certain things.  When faced with such tragedy and you survive, you develop an instinct to not give a shit about the little things and you concentrate on what is important

Hardest part

The physicality of your absence was the hardest part to reconcile with. The heaviness, the way that time stops for the griever. “stop all the clocks, cut off the telephones” cries Auden’s lyrical voice.  Auden’s grief manifests in a  demand for the cessation of all time, activity.  Nothing must continue because how could life continue when the person that you went through time with has now ceased to be in time? They are no longer in space and time, but you still persist. The silence that persisted, reminding me of the weight of your death, was often times unbearable.   My questions were greeted with the sound of nothing: the void of death waiting for me every morning.  And I think of Antonio Machado:

Una noche de verano

—estaba abierto el balcón

Y la puerta de mi casa—

la muerte en mi casa entró…

Silenciosa y sin mirarme….

¿Qué has hecho?

la muerte no respondió.

Perhaps the hardest part is the silence; the unanswered questions.  The persistence of silence becomes a daily torture. I remember from very early in my grief process the need to fill the silence with noise, music, friends, anything. The silence of your absence tortured me

The silence

Today, after years of processing my grief, sometimes the silence is welcomed (I have come a long way).  And so today, I am here making this movie in an attempt to answer the unanswerable questions, to fill that void posed by death with answers or at least to fill the void with the beautiful parts of you and I will make a picture out of the fragments as a means to combat the void left behind in your absence.  

(Excepts from my notebook: “At night, the solitude creeps up on me out of the darkness and taps me on the shoulder with a memory I thought I had buried deep.”)

María Robertson.

8 responses to “How do I start?”

  1. El proceso de curación es lento, pero finalmente llega.
    El manto de la tristeza que cubre todo como un velo pesado se vuelve cada vez más fino, hasta que un día -sin esperarlo- vuelve a dejar entrar la luz.

    Celebro tu camino en esta cicatrización forzada. Estoy segura de que Ale admiraría a tu versión actual, la María vencedora de fantasmas.

    • Querida Nati,

      Tienes toda la razón cariño. El proceso es lento y a veces vamos marcha atrás (como la canción de Maria Elena Walsh) pero lo importante es dar esos pasitos. Me encanta tu mensaje de la luz y que yo soy la vencedora de fantasmas. Es buenísimo eso. Creo que de hoy en adelante voy a firma todo con ese nombre María la vencedora de fantasmas! y sí, Ale hubiera estado orgulloso de esta María. Seguro que sí. Gracias por estar ahí siempre amiga querida.

  2. A story of eternal love and lost, desolación, bravery and resilience…words and silence that transcend this place and this time. I have witnessed the love and the tragedy, Maria having to pick up the pieces and exist with her son Lucas in a world without Ale, a world that keeps going as if nothing has happened…I hold nothing but enormous admiration for Maria and her fight.
    Love you three,

  3. As a witness to the aftermath, your and Lucas’s “deaths” were also brutal, and what you had to endure and leave behind was shocking, and not final.
    It made you live more. More alive.

    Holita xo

    • Holita,

      You were there and perhaps more aware of the brutality in the beginning because Lucas and I were safely protected in our bubble of shock. Yes, you are right. Ours were brutal deaths too. Thank you for being there my dear friend. It means so very much.

    • Thank you so much for leaving a comment and adding to the discussion. You are right, it isn’t taboo Peres, but certainly shrouded in silence and we must break that silence. All my best, Maria

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