As much as I like to think we can prepare for the inevitable loss of all breathing things we love, we don’t. We can say we do, we can pretend it’s not a gutting experience, but that’s not true.
Loss is loss no matter what, and what is so frustrating in the process that is simply that you can’t stop it. I couldn’t stop my Grandmother from taking her last breath, I couldn’t stop Aaron from his, and I can’t stop Duke’s last moments from happening. That’s not the power I actually want, it’s the ripple effects, the pain, that comes with those last exhales. The shifts that take place, the moments when you go to say a name and stop yourself because you wonder if it’s ok to utter those words yet. The moments you stop yourself because you remember and your heart breaks into a million little pieces all over again. The seconds when I hear a song and my eyes begin to well and my chest gets tighter. That’s what I’d rather be the consumer of than have to have anyone I care for feel. I’d rather shield and hide the pain in the deep crevices of my black little heart than make anyone else live them. That’s a far reaching statement if ever there was one.
I always think that I’m going to share all my darkest moments at some point, but I don’t. Those little home movies are too much sometimes, burned into my neurons in ways I can’t shake. I’m sorry that you have them too, that you’ll have them in yours. I’ll share them with you whenever you ask, no matter how dark they are. I’ve seen plenty, and there’s only more to be consumed. So it goes.