I've never really liked this picture, but photographs featuring both her and I are extremely rare
An individual in my position has two faces, one for the world and one which he wears in private. With most people my appearance is deceptive. I appear to be my usual cynical, yet highly optimistic, self. This calm and collected veneer has been held together through sheer force of will alone these few days following her departure. I have never believed in sharing grief, but I fear under these current circumstances that façade is beginning to crack.
It cracked today at church. This is the second time already. The first time it did was during a conversation with Natalia a week or so before her departure. I do not know for how much longer I keep up this pretence. Of late, my strength feels seriously depleted.
If I should unleash a torrent of emotions (may be any or a combination of the following: frustration, exasperation, irritation, fury, resentment, misery, gloom, distress) at anyone (be it over the Internet or personally), I ask for your forgiveness in advance.
My love is offered freely, but more often than not, it has been thrown back at me. Too often I have felt the sting of unrequited love. However, for once in my miserable wretched life, a woman not related to me by blood has loved me. I still feel her hand on my cheek. Truly, the feeling of loving and being loved in return is wonderful.
I realise that, if it were not for my arrogance and vain intellectual pride, she would officially be godmother today. In the three years of my life spent in Orthodoxy, I have spent two of those acknowledging her as such. I have grown too attached to be able to accept anyone else but her fulfilling that role – so all attempts to convince me that having a sponsor in another land is of little or no use will only fall on deaf ears.
O Lord, I am in Your hands; do with me as You will, but do not ask for what is beyond my strength.