Loss.

The real kind. The tangible kind. The kind that takes you through funeral services, memorial videos, and gravesite visits.

The kind that leaves you, head stooped, staring at your breezy hair strands instead of the pastor reading Psalms 23.

The kind where you stroll quietly, thoughtfully, slowly pass the old gravestones and comment to acquaintances how, “That’s a great tree, right there. Yes. Beautiful tree, really.”

The kind where you stand up to be a pallbearer because someone should, even if they don’t really know the family.

The kind where you want to run away and be anywhere else and simultaneously want to not be anywhere else except doing this most important work of living in the moment.

The kind where every moment before you is solidly before you and detached from your thoughts previously one hundred paces ahead.

Loss.

I get older, and it’s pattern is revealing itself. The same cemetery for one, two, now the three. The similarities of thoughts back to the start and ’round again. I love this place, the trees, the shadows on the hill, the peaceful final rest for our earth suits.

The color, the stones, the unwitting birds making their homes, eating oranges, watching humans seasonally scrubbing crud.

A flag or flower in a grave from a soul you don’t know, but loves and remembers your person.

Loss.

The opening of hands, of time, of gut, of tear ducts.

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