I wrote this (and a few others) years ago after my brother died when I was in a lot of physical pain (a separate journey altogether). We, as a family, were fortunate to be with him -by his side, though many constraints were placed on us before this day. Constraints that still inspire anger in me. I’ve never been one to protect and shield. The requests to “not cry” around my brother were not only ridiculous, they were vain and inauthentic. I will never do that again. Never. Finally, the day came when David took his last breath; I’ve never experienced something so significant (except the day my son took his first; that’s another story). I cried. I still cry. It was an honor though to be there. I will be lucky to sit at the bedside of every loved one I know who dies before me.
it slips in and consumes me.
i thought it was over.
but, it’s a tight grip – be true.
what’s true is unclear and deep. it’s overwhelming and constant.
i’m reeling – if my mind turns it off, my body takes it on.
i have limited space inside me.
the pressure builds, i can’t seem to break a new dawn.
i reach the crest and see the path, but my footing won’t hold – i’m gripping the past.
no longer upright, along come crows – they swoop and caw.
the awe of it distracts me.
a quiet unfolds.
and steeps in me.
it’s not the end, it’s the beginning.
i am a newborn to death.
the angels are preening.