On this day fourteen years ago, my mother died in the back room of the house we opened and closed our lives in. When it was all over, the pine trees stood in the front of the house, reaching, heavy, immobile in the terrible heat.
I want to say the sun was setting because I am certain it was. How could it not? How could it be any other way at the end of everything. I want to say it was dinner time.
But then, suddenly, somehow, it wasn’t.
It was supposed to be something else, it was supposed to be a different time. A longer time. A time so much farther off that we shouldn’t have been able to see it. Let alone hear it in the ringing in our ears as dishes were done. Prayers were prayed. Let alone touch it, here at the center of the heart in our trembling hands.
We will be back, we whispered to her just moments before she made her departure from us forever. Forever, arriving and departing, at dinnertime.
But there would be no eating, for there was no time any of us could understand. No breaking of bread, no explanation, no dinner. Time. There would be tear stains searing down the skin which covered the numbness. There would be I am so sorry, there would be drinking late into the night on the back deck, voices, both familiar and unfamiliar, in the darkness, as she was taken away.
Taken away from us.
Grief moves through you, in and out of each of the shattered windows in your soul, like wind, empty, hollow, invisible, whistling.
Looking for something it cannot name, it cannot find, it cannot see.
For years and years.
Photo by Kristina Tripkovic