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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Have Nots

Dear Josie,

This is a moment I'll never have with you. 

I'm smiling as I sink into the raft.  Your brother is on my lap and he's laughing.  I can feel the cool water underneath me, lay my head back as we round the corner.  He squeals as we near the waterfall, and I'm drenched.  Shuttering as it permeates. 

It's strange to me, this grief.  This incredibly unique pain.   This incredible pain. How can you miss someone so much who never was?

I guess it's what they mean when they say "I couldn't imagine."  Even though I know they can.

Pick a person, a child, and imagine a life where they never existed.  All the memories, the water parks and movies watched.  Baths and parades.  All the steps never taken.  All the stories never told.  Those conversations, a dream.  Their touch, unknown.  This life, different. 

Every action is a reminder to me.  I pick him up and I'll never hold you. We're running late and I'll never forget your coat.  The dog barks and you'll never hear it.  Dinners are forever, never wiping pasta from your face.

I see myself as I'm talking about you, memories that never were taking flight with my words.  Sometimes I can feel myself lifting with them, soaring to a place no one understands.  That place where all my 'nevers' fled.  That place I dream about.

I was mid-laugh recently when someone said to me, "It's good to have you back."   I'm not sure what they meant. 

I don't expect them to understand this loss, this life that this mother was privy to.  They don't have to mourn you as she does, they don't have to imagine. 

But they have to see that her smiles are lacking.  They have to know that she is gone, suspended in some halfway marker on the grid, some space between what is and what will never be.  In thoughts of you, she is as close to complete as this loss allows.  Rising still, I can barely see her anymore.


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