12 Years Gone

You are 12 years gone. And yet I feel you beside me. These past few months you have walked with me when others couldn’t.

It was you that prepared me.

I remember the phone call. The one telling me you were gone. I screamed. I fell to the floor.

A scream like that, it has a specific pitch. It is the immediacy of agony, rage, devastation. It floods the body too quickly. So it escapes. Sharp and guttural, all at once. The human ear can’t register it. It isn’t meant for us. It is an alarm. For God.

You died and you taught me agony.
You taught me regret.
Loneliness.
Blame.

For so many years I carried you heavy around my neck. A path unchosen. A failure.
You died and you taught me about repentance.

You died and I got accustomed to the floor. To collapse.
There were months of silence.
I missed you.
I hated you.
I was consumed.
By my love.
For you.

You died and you taught me the violence of grief.
I didn’t expect it would be my vocation.

Two months ago, I got the call. The one telling me she was gone. I screamed. A familiar pitch.
But I did not collapse.
I stayed standing.
You did that.

I watched the destruction of her lovers. And remembered you.
I didn’t know how to tell them.
They will be defined by this.
I didn’t know how to tell them.
It could be a gift.

You destroyed me. And rebuilt me. I am better for it.
But that is no consolation.
It is not a reason.
There is no reason.
Suffering like this is not fated.

You were not meant for destruction.
I was not meant to endure your loss.

But still, we can be rebuilt. If we want it. If we allow it. We can be shored up. That is the gift. A thin bit of muscle won from wrestling a grief larger than us. Not everyone has it.
And it is not much.
Or enough.
But it can keep you standing.

This is the paradox.
You left me. But I lean on you.
You left me. But you are my constant.
You left me. And I was destroyed.
You left me. And I was reborn.

You are 12 years gone. And yet I feel you beside me. You are 12 years gone. And still you are showing me the way forward…..

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1 thought on “12 Years Gone”

  1. Wow! You are a woman who has experienced life, loss, pain, desolation, and destruction is so much around you. Through each suffering you’ve come back stronger. Thank you for sharing and enlightening me. I look forward to hearing and learning more. God bless.

    Like

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