I stumbled upon this narrative poem I wrote right after my grandfather passed away. I don’t know why but on this weirdly snowy day I felt like sharing it.
You were irreplaceable.
China blue and crystal.
Shiny, priceless- a sign that I held something of value.
Without you I am half.
Missing pieces, the most important ones.
I don’t know how to love, feel, or say what I mean.
It hurts to think of loving anyone else, the way that I loved you.
If I held you one more time, what would I even say?
Could I tell you in one minute how much you mean to me?
Life goes on with a hole in it, now.
Days get longer and slower, mostly longer.
I am tired and I can’t sleep.
– – – – – –
I remember back to our best sick day.
We sit far enough away so it won’t hurt.
We sit far enough away so I won’t hurt you.
A river of chemicals separates us- saline, chemotherapy, blood.
Like this, you are still beautiful to me- cheeks flushed, hair curled, bones strong and graceful.
Not that you were ever graceful- this is just how I choose to remember you now.
We wait, for hours, lost in a made for TV commercial about air filtration.
The irony of you in your hospital bed, now, and you in your hospital bed later, at home, dying.
We joke about getting one.
We laugh about how clean our air would be.
I am silent other than a steady stream of “Yeahs” and “Mmmhmmms”.
We both know you won’t ever be home again.
At least not like you used to be.
I’m scared to touch you, move you, be near you.
I don’t want to admit that months from now I’ll look back on this moment and remember it as the best last time we spent together.
I won’t tell that to anyone.
But it was.
I can’t see you as sick.
Even when I think back to the way liquid oozed from your skin those last days.
Tears, blood, soaking into bed sheets; your body’s reminder that you were broken, you would soon be gone.
As if you needed a reminder.
As if I did.
I still remember never thinking you were dying.
I don’t know how people die.
How it all just shuts off.
And it’s not that I can’t accept you’re gone. I can.
I just don’t know what it means to say, “He’s gone!”
What is gone and where did you go?
My mind can’t debunk the myth that your heart still beats in my heart.
I don’t know how to get past the images of you I don’t see in my dreams, or mirror, or coffee cup anymore.
I can’t understand how I didn’t shut off with you.
I can’t help feeling like this is how a loss of innocence feels.
I can’t help but think that the me without you is somehow changed and so different that now, the me with you, is nonexistent.
Meaning- you never existed.
Meaning- I actually do have to go about this gone alone.
The gone makes it hard not to wonder if we get the same chance to love again.