Breathe in this forced pause. Breathe out the smell of death, grief and sunken family. Look around and see it’s so much less but more. Feel the hot turmoil under your skin.
Think, my brother died and say aloud, “Again.”
Such great tenderness unveiled in moments. A rush of love begins.
“You’re hurting me,” I say.
“I’m loving you.”
“But, is that the same thing?”
Everything happens in an instant. It is a black flower that blooms and roots in our heart. Some of us hold our breath while we wait. Someone chants in the corner. What are we waiting for? For tomorrow…a new dream… an awakening.
“I don’t want to be here,” I say.
“And yet, here you are.”
“What shall I do with this tragedy?”
“Love. Love hard and love living.”
I watch my family in motion. There’s a huddle and we’re a team. Someone is folding sheets. Another is shifting furniture and making space for Death to arrive and it’s strange really because we know that this guest will not stay long. They will leave us with another hole.
Things mesh and blend, emotions and exhaustion flutter. We find laughter beyond our control. All we can think is—It is time.
“Time for what exactly?”
“Time to come together.”
“Or fall apart,” I say.
My birthday card reads: “It’s time for joy.” I’m reading this while letting go of my brother’s hand and replacing it with someone else’s hand. It’s a warm, loving hand so I don’t fall. But, then in this hand I’m falling into somewhere else.
“I’m scared,” I say.
“I got you,” he says.
“Do you really?”
In that exchange, there’s a glimpse of happiness.
Maybe it’s a preview of what’s to come.