Yesterday, (1/22) was the 25th anniversary of my grandfather’s passing. It’s shocking how quickly so much time has passed. I’m sorry you never got to meet him on earth, but I hope your energy has found its way to each other.
When my Tata died, I was fortunate to know of its possibility. I knew the day before he died, when I said goodbye and I love you to him at the hospital, that it would be the last time. But with you, I was so sure I wouldn't outlive you. I had specific plans for where I wanted you to carry my ashes. You were going to be in charge of the music at my wake. Instead, you have left me and your siblings the responsibility to honor your life after your death.
Whereas his death no longer feels raw, but more like a warm nostalgia of memory, with you I am an open, bleeding wound. Parts begin to heal, only to have grief come along, splitting and tearing it open once more. I can’t imagine, in 25 years, that I will feel whole, or feel a similar warmth. I can’t imagine this pain without an edge.
As I was finally putting away the Christmas decorations and reorganizing, I came across my coffee table book ‘Life’ by Lennart Nilsson. I randomly flipped open to the section with vivid images of the interior of the heart. In one photo, it looks like a glowing cave with multiple, lit doorways. In another, as if a porcelain tree has grown to cover the wall creating a living, breathing room. The heart resembles a temple, an inner sanctum, sacred. I wish we had taken the time to explore the images together because I know you would carry the same awe I do.
In one of Joy Harjo’s books, she talks about how we come into this world with a predetermined number of heartbeats. I wonder if the choices we make change our ‘destiny’ or if it is fixed. When I spoke with the medical examiner, she told me that based on your report, she felt that you didn’t linger, that likely it was an abnormal heartbeat caused by the substances you ingested. In a strange way, it brought solace to think you weren’t waiting on us to rescue you because you were already gone, your number reached. It gave comfort you didn’t suffer, but I wonder if you ever had a chance beyond the 819,371,630 beats your heart gave.
At the moment, my heart feels so cold and empty, sad in its continued, confused longing for you to return. Yet still it pumps, despite the fixed hole where once a piece of your soul existed, with nothing comparable to fill it.
I would give anything to have you for even one more day.
If I had known this is how your life would end, I would have offered you my heart.