"How Rare and Beautiful, It Truly Is, That We Exist"

After a year of loss--one relationship ended, one family member gone, and one mask unveiled--Grief feels more like a middle name (or weekly Family dinner) than any "passing" thing.

When a person or truth carves itself into your heart; when it cuts into your bones (like a holy fossil); when you sob and are held by trusted arms; this depth of human connection is not easily (or ever) undone.

"Loss" never leaves--especially in a physical loved one's death. But memories and love are a balm that cannot die. 

So yes; the clenched-teeth, midnight aching, 3am hands shaking comes. But in the midst of the trembling, the pain whispers that you have loved deeply (and been loved so deeply), that a physical piece of you--a chunk of your storied-limbs--is missing/gone/stolen. 

Loss never feels right. It is always an amputation. It is always a fire. It is always. And somehow life endures and persists, even when someone you love doesn't; even when they no longer smile, or breath, or sing—others do. The sun still shines. Jokes are laughed at.

And this feels unfair. And the only hope amidst such despair (for me), is "being". To step each painful step, every day, and to continue to love, and to call this an act of rebellion; to continue to carry (always), the love/smile/warmth of someone I loved, who is now gone. 

The healing part of grief or loss isn't the end of it. The healing part of grief is the gut-wrenching absorption of it; it is the quiet, indistinct sob; and then slow breath that comes after.

It feels like your legs have been cut off. But try to step. Maybe just outside your door, and then right back in. Maybe one smile, and then hours of sobs.

It is all progress. And this—the dark and the blood and the pain and the glimmer of light to come and then vanish—this is all, life. 

Somehow. This is, still, life. 

To those we have lost, we love you. We will continue to breathe, though each breath without you feels like betrayal; like pounds of cement; aches like a living/breathing fire.

Somehow. We will continue to breathe. Somehow. This is, still, life.

(Without you.)