Dedicated to the memory of Annie Kennedy, may her memory be a blessing
This is what the living do. They crawl on their hands and knees over broken glass to live without you. They sleep alone knowing you will never lay beside them again. They make brownies but they just don’t taste good anymore. This is what the living do. They cling. To whatever will stick: a pair of slippers, the blankets, a plant, the sound of birds. They cling. Maybe this will help me, maybe that smell. They cling. Waiting, hoping for a surprise. To hear your voice again or be comforted by the memory of your smile, or will it send them into a wailing that only the living can do when they miss their kin?
This is what the living do. They find ways to honor their dead, send them off to their place of no suffering. They find ways to remember. They hold on with a grasp that even a firefighter can’t undo. They hold onto the photos and the smells of the snickerdoodles and the ukulele sounds.
This is what the living do. Sometimes they get so angry they aren’t sure the walls of their house will continue to stand, or they get so sad they never venture out of their bed, not even into the kitchen or the aliveness of the yard beaming with hope. This is what the living do. They look at their texts hoping for a message from beyond. Or some days all they do is tell stories to anyone who will listen, over and over again.
This is what the living do. They get rid of narcotics and the cancer drugs in a ritual of release. The living stumble, crawl, dream their way to the refrigerator, the couch, and out the door to the garden. They hold their family and love up their animals. Until there is a sign from the Great One that helps them take the next step.