Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Can You Dig It? I Knew That You Could

“Can you dig it?”

“I knew that you could.”

Those lines, delivered in a skit by the Canadian comedy duo, Wayne & Schuster, were the go-to response my sister and I would utter every time something shocked us or left us incredulous. “Can you dig it?” / “I knew that you could” was a lot more hilarious (and infinitely more polite) than saying “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” We said it all the time and, just two days ago, I had occasion to see something that dropped my jaw so fast and so hard that before I even knew it was out of my mouth I said: “Can you dig it?” “I knew that you could.”

Except I had to explain the joke to my daughter. My sister isn’t here.

In fact in just a couple weeks it will be a year since I watched her last breath gasp out of her small, ruined body. The magnitude of that experience still sometimes seizes my heart and when it does it’s like I need to push an internal re-set to remind me to keep moving.

I feel as if I have learned so much yet know so little since then. Such as:

I've learned that when you lose the person who could make you laugh even when your heart was breaking, you scrape your broken pieces up a different way.  It hurts more, though, and the first few times you don’t know how to do it. I’ve learned that you figure it out, but I still don’t know if I’ll ever like it. Probably not.

I’ve learned that when you lose someone with whom you shared a lifetime of inside jokes that those same zingers don’t make you laugh anymore. Instead when you think of those things you once said or the stuff you used to make fun of, you get a lump in your throat that’s not funny at all, so you quickly think of other things. And you don’t know if you’ll ever think of all your jokes and laugh again. Or even if you’ll want to.

You learn that when you lose someone you lose ALL of them—not just the parts of them that pissed you off, exasperated you, embarrassed you, or hurt you. You lose the person who was your court jester, your cheerleader, your confidant and your friend. Every role they ever played is gone forever and it is never, ever coming back. This feels enormous and you don’t know, some days, how it is that you can hurt so bad and not bleed when you think of forever and all that it means.

You learn that you think of them far more often than you ever did when they were living (how horribly ironic!)—and you don’t know if, where-ever or whatever they are now, they still think of you too.

You learn to say goodbye yet you do not know how to say goodbye.

You learn that people lose patience with how sad you sometimes still feel. That even you lose patience with how sad you sometimes still feel—yet you don’t know how to feel differently because the sadness doesn’t seem to have a consistent agenda, and it often shows up with no warning and certainly no rsvp.   

You learn. And you don’t know. And you learn that you don’t know. The only thing of which you’re certain is that death hurts. And forever is a very long time.


“Can you dig it?”

“I knew that you could.”  


  1. Bonnie that is a very touching blog that is for sure. How you have worded it is so true that is for sure. When I read your words it is just like I am there with you as we all have lost a very dear person in our lifes, it goes right to the heart. Thank you very much as it really makes a person think of all the good and bad memories that is for sure. A person does not really know the depth of a person's love until they ae gone just as you stated. SUPER

    1. I think we have all, in some way, shape, or form, been there. Peace....