Loss is always hard.
But it’s especially hard when you aren’t expecting it. I expected my grandmother’s death and accepted it. I knew that my dog was dying of old age and cancer and calmly accepted it through tears.
But a kid that you babysat, watched in Sunday school and his mom who wiped your brothers’ asses and baked you cookies as a kid both die in a car accident, that’s a whole other level of mourning.
It’s sticks to your skin. Like cement, it weighs down all of you.
And it rots your stomach. Skunk stench fuming up inside of you. Death doesn’t just strike those that are gone: it affects the living.
Grief makes your body weak and your stomach ill.Life is delicate and hangs in the balance of a great darkness.
If I was a fool…
I’d say time stopped
(Even just for a bit)
When I lay in bed next
Whenever I think of the years between us and how much time has passed, a flash of images mull about in my brain: the same ones every time.
The first being your parents’ home, covered in snow and my car parked out in front of it. Then this image, of course, leads to the next: the fireplace roaring and all the decor of the holidays propped up, amused and gleaming. Snowmen and reindeer and elves, pine cones and cranberries and snowflakes. Santa and ribbon and mistletoe, not a detail out of place. And you, a slippered, sweatpants and sweatered sort… Look up from your book or whatever is your hands and smile at me.
The next image is our second date. Sitting in the parking lot outside of Guernsey on a bench. My legs tucked over yours. And I’m laughing. Laughing like I hadn’t laughed in all of my short young adult laugh. No concern for the world.
And then the last is the first time we stayed the night in the same bed. White sheets, clean and slick against the skin— almost new feeling. Waking up to the bright white sheets and your hand latched on to my hip. Your breath tumbling across the topsheet; I still feel it inside of me.
All moments, I’d live in over and over. And Somedays, I do. It’s what keeps the rest of my life balanced:
You’re the only part of it that will always be true.