I have been told that when a loved one dies
the worst part is not the shock, or the blood,
or how grief colors all the places your hands touch.
The worst part is when the world heals you too well.
Years later, when you begin to forget their face
and their voice becomes a song
you do not remember the tune for.
After the burial, when the body just a fact.
A memory only confronted when prepared.
I do not have this problem of forgetting.
I remember your face exactly. Your voice is right here,
coloring my voice. Nothing is helping me
to forget your hands,
how they shook like apologizing mountains
hollowed in their wisdom.
I do not know about the part
where you cannot remember grief.
Grief comes for me every morning,
dragging your last breaths behind him
like screaming children.
This aphorism seems a privilege
of bad memory. The brain does this.
It hides the worst. It is the reason we look at scars
and say All I remember was the screaming.
Then everything went black. When I woke up
the worst of it was over.
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Today I saw a very beautiful girl. The light was perfect, the sun was swimming in the pinky purple sea of a day’s ending. I was having coffee with a friend when she crossed the street. She was tall, with long brown hair that curled at the end like it was being tickled. She had tiny freckles…
I am not here to tell you it’s going to be okay because you already
know that. Anyone can tell you that. I am not here to stitch up your
wounds. I am not a nurse or a doctor. I don’t know how to fix you
and I wouldn’t want to try. I am here to tell you that it’s time to heal.
It’s time to let go of the years you’ve lost to your misery. The years
you’ve spent falling in love with your sadness and the way
your bones look when there’s nothing but skin over them. Stop
planning out your funeral and stop writing your suicide note.
Save your energy for the love letters you will have to write one day.
Save your good stationary. Stop staring at your veins like they
will bleed answers. Some days, you will still feel the hollow sort of
heaviness like your bones are made of iron pipes.
All you need to hear is that it is okay to be sad for no reason, a
billion reasons, or for one small reason. Some days your lungs
will bleed and the fresh air is made of salt. Some days your skin will
be a wound and the world is nothing but acid. On these days,
you need to know that it is okay to cry. Some days you will feel
naked and vulnerable like when sadness left, he took your whole
closet with him. I am writing this because none of us can be saved.
None of us can be fixed, because there’s nothing that needs fixing.
You are you. Do not listen to the boy who tells you that you are
broken because he hasn’t bothered looking in a mirror.
Some days, loud noises will still feel like needles on your skin.
People will raise their voices and they will ask why you are scared
of them. Some days you will still cringe when men touch you.
There will be days when you will go the beach wishing
the sea were made of alcohol so that you can stop dreaming in
black and white. You will wonder why they’ve put you on so many
drugs and you will ask yourself why you can’t function on any less.
On days like this, there are only a couple things you must remember:
you’ve been through worse before. You are limitless. The
things you are capable of are infinite. There is someone waiting
to tell you how proud they are of you for making it this far.
I am writing this to tell you that it’s time to let go of your walls,
your ceiling, your floor and grab onto the sky.