Martha ‘Marty’ Farias
By Diana Sanchez
2020 f*cked with us all, and no words can describe the pain and trauma people all over the world went through. This is a tribute to the people we lost, to the pain.
How do we explain our trauma to those who will never understand? My children will never understand the crippling pressure of having to stay inside for months on end, never know the feeling of fear when you hear the ambulance outside of your apartment building. I will never be able to explain the helplessness I felt when my mother lost her aunt. My great aunt passed away in a hospital far away from her family, far from the girls and boys she raised as siblings, far from the comfort of her cats who she adored. She died 2,989 miles away from her home. She was never buried but burned into a million pieces, just like snowflakes. She was given the chance to float away again on the seas of her people. And I know that I’m not the only one still hurting, still haunted by the ghosts and memories of a better time that will never happen again. There are wasted opportunities and altered fates for everyone. Everyone paid the price for a futile virus. Yeah, I sound bitter and angry, but at this point I deserve the right to scream and cry for everything that was taken—not just from me but from my family. For the first time I wondered if I would be parentless and homeless. Was life cruel enough to leave me empty and cold, to leave my cousins and aunts and uncles without their loved ones? I know life did not f*ck with just me, but when communication is obsolete it feels so lonely. Life has a way of dragging us down farther when everything already feels so empty. Life in general has felt so crushing and devoid of anything since quarantine struck. I even miss waking up and traveling long hours to school. We’ve all been derailed from normalcy. Nothing feels normal after what we have learned about the world, about the people closest to us, about ourselves. I can't and I won't speak for everyone looking for understanding or a voice of reason. I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to do. Some of us hold on to whatever we can, whether it’s a petty argument or simple words that changed our day. We hold on and attach ourselves to our memories because we fear what comes next, we fear what we can't see or hear or control.I hate so many things I can't control, including myself. But that is what makes me human. That's what makes all of us human. “I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you.” April 26, 2020. Hopefully someday I will be able to visit her, even if just to feel her still around me. I’ve never been religious, but part of me believes that my aunt is still and will always be around me. Things would be simpler if none of this ever happened. I could place my blame on COVID-19 or Trump or anyone in the world, but nothing changes what happened; it was a horrible chance that hit us. She was my aunt, she was a mother to so many people, not just her own children. She was caretaker, an inspiration, a light, a
ghost.For now, until I feel that I have done her memory justice, she will be remembered as a mother, a hero, and as a human being in a crowd of so many. In loving memory of Martha Farias October 12, 1955 - April 26, 2020
I literally stared at a piece of blank of paper and then I moved to a document. I did not write anything for several weeks until I was hit with the first sentence. “How do we explain trauma to other people who will never know how you feel?” I was inspired by my English homework; we’re reading the book Kindred, which is a story about a Black woman named Dana who travels back in time to the era of slavery and she learns to deal with the history and trauma that runs out of her control and into her very existence. I then realized that I was living history with everything from the pandemic to the Black Lives Matter movement to the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. But years from now, my own family will never know how I felt during these times, and will never know how it affected so many people all around them. They are our legacy and I am one story in history that will be remembered.