Death: forced to write in the first-person
Thoughts two weeks after my dad passed away suddenly.
The death of someone I love, if nothing else, is a reminder of how terrifyingly alive I am.
When every breath is wracking and taut with anxiety I am reminded my lungs are only lent to me. When my eyes involuntarily spill over with tears, the wetness on my cheeks jolts me into the present. When I catch my own smile in the mirror and see a glimpse of your face in my reflection it is jarring.
Every second of numbness is weighted with a blanket of guilt. How can I feel nothing when your absence echoes and the sound of your silence bounces off walls with a ferocity that leaves me dodging and diving?
You are not diminished by death. But I wonder if I might be. I wonder if actually so much of me was tied to memories of you that now I am undone. Bits of me blow loose in the wind like sails unlocked from a mast.
Of course I use sailing analogies.
Those aren’t mine either.
Like my brother, I barely know port from starboard. Now I am at sea.
I am carrying this stone inside me that feels swollen and yet fragile. More an egg than a stone. A dragon’s egg, birthed in me when I was birthed in you. Now the sadness threatens to eat me whole and devour me from the inside out.
In other moments I forget.
Those are the worst moments. I don’t want to forget.
Why am I even writing? Not for you. Not for me either. Maybe simply because words fill the void. And the void is so deep.
Yes, I write because I am alive.
Image: Stormseeker on Unsplash