Valentina Čuden

stage artist

Page 2 of 3


asking for help is not exactly a hobby of mine. it’s not about pride or anything like that. i can see two reasons for this. one, it’s because i like to solve things on my own either because i’ve been trained to do so – the curse of the middle child, i suppose – or because i just need my own pace, my own amount of time. and two, i sometimes don’t even realize that i need help. the simpler answer is usually the right one. in this case, i can be oblivious to my own needs.


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my birthday

birthdays, holidays, a random thursday afternoon all basically offer amble opportunities for melt-downs or other sorts of emotional upheaval. the thing is, they will never be the same after a sibling is gone. after any loved one is gone, i guess.

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insomnia has been plaguing me, mildly, but plaguing me nonetheless. i close my eyes and i am back on the bus as it pulls out of the station. i look at saša through the dirty window. i wave. i don’t know who i will be the next time i see him. he seems far away, like everyone and everything else. just beyond what i can fathom at this time and in this place. just beyond my reach.

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anger is a big one for me. i’ve been handling it much better now but it took me a while to even recognise it because it came in so many different forms. plus, i wasn’t used to be angry all the time. and by all the time i mean all the time.

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get over it

this is something that i have found to be a common phrase heard by sibling grievers. ‘get over it’ or ‘you should be over it by now’. let me just say this straight off the bat: we will never ‘get’ or ‘be’ over it. you would never say that to a grieving parent or a grieving spouse, would you? so why do sibling grievers hear this one? Continue reading

the funeral

i wake up on a couch in an apartment that isn’t mine. it’s bright, the sun is glaring through the naked windows. great. a beautiful fucking day. maybe someone is getting married. do people get married on tuesdays? the thought is neither here nor there. i dismiss it and replace it with the thought i don’t want to have. today is Barbara’s funeral and i better get up.

i black out.

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‘you need to come here now. Barbara’s not doing well.’

this was a message from my brother on august 10, 2018. i read it as soon as i got up while i was on vacation. Barbara was dying and i went on vacation. it’s silly now, i know, but back then, it made sense. my mom said i should go. she said there was nothing i could do there so i might as well go and try and enjoy myself. yeah right. enjoy myself while my sister was living out her last days. i spent most of that time crying, shaking, not sleeping. i went to the emergency room four days in a row because of an acute case of hives.

i was on a plane 15 hours after i read my brother’s message.

so why did i go on vacation even though i knew that Barbara had up to 3 months to live?

that’s simple. because i was in denial.

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i read somewhere that we actually remember the memory of the event rather than the event itself. that way it seems plausible that the memory itself would change its shape and content, much like the initial word in a game of telephone would be morphed into something completely different by the time the last person heard it. so, memories can’t really be relied upon, is what i gather from this concept. whether there is some scientific truth to that, i can’t know. i’m only a musician.

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