Thursday, August 28, 2014

Five months: Impossibility

Dear Kevin,

As of right now, right around the time I am writing this, you have been gone for five months. It feels impossibly long. There is a part of me that still thinks Alright already. You've been dead long enough. You can come back now.

I know that won't happen. Nonetheless, the hope recurs more often than I really care to admit. It is an impossibility I keep coming back to.

Five months ago I clutched your hand. I uncurled your fingers and cupped my cheek, your palm so much a part of me that I couldn't imagine it gone. I wiped away your tears. I felt the warmth of your skin and listened to the uneven rhythm of your breath.

Five months ago I told you it was okay to go, that it was time. I told the truth. And I lied. It wasn't okay. It will never be okay that you aren't here with me, that you aren't here to guide your kids, that you aren't here to invent new things, think new ways, tell new stories. It will never be okay that I can't touch you again. Never. It was never time for you to die. But those things needed to be said so you could let go and go on to your next piece of work. Without me. Saying it was okay, that it was time, was the last gift I could give you, the last act of love I could perform while you still were breathing. It was the hardest gift I have ever given.

I miss you. Those words don't capture my meaning. I miss you with every breath, with every observation, with every hope that then shrivels into meaninglessness.

I am still breathing.
I am still observing.
I can't say I'm still hoping because I don't know what to hope for. Instead I am learning to live a life of present moments. In this moment I am sitting in a cafe in Vancouver BC, trying not to cry obviously. In this moment I feel like hell and understand that this life is hell. In this moment I am without. And in the next? We'll see. Not all moments are like this one.

Because that is what I'm moving towards, I think. My life is only in the present now. My Buddhist friends will read this and they may want to rejoice, but I want no such festivity. This present moment life is about survival. It's as though I am facing a life sentence and the only way to survive it is to focus on this strike of the key, this sip of tea, this cafe on this journey. If I dwell on the past the present becomes unbearable, too full of loss and emptiness. If I consider the future there is only a dull flat stretch with no ease or promise; I can't imagine a future without you. It is only in the present that I can write, that I can feel whatever the emotion is of the moment, that I can look into the world and say Yes, he still is because he is in me. Whatever else I may believe, whatever other signs I may look for, he is.

You still are. I find unendurable the idea that you are gone from this universe, so I find ways to remember that you still are. Some are only minimally comforting. Some help for a little while. And that has to be enough. Because the best way to remember that you still are is to remember the love. That was the most important thing in the end. It always was the most important thing. And I still love you, as do others. I believe that in some way you still love me. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed and you, my darling, were a notable, energetic force. Your love for me was energy directed.

Five months is an impossibly long time, an impossibly short one. It is impossible that you are not beside me, watching the river of people pass by. It is impossible that I am sitting in this cafe trying to pretend I am not crying, avoiding the glance of the woman across the room who is clearly wondering what's going on. It is impossible that you are not here, but...

My life is measured in impossibilities now.

I love you.
I love you.
I always will.

I remain yours.

p.s. Kevin, a beloved friend suggested that I might want to consider changing "My life is measured in impossibilities now" to "My life is measured in unknown possibilities now." I see his point. But you and I were always about finding ways around the impossible, so who knows, maybe that's what I'm already saying. Right now though, it feels like the things I most yearn for, the things I measure again, all those are beyond possibility. I will eventually invent new possibilities I'm sure, but not yet. For now I remain suspended in my own sundance.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. Sending you loads of love, Laura. Sending you loads of love.

  2. Thank you for writing this. I am three months on and this is exactly where I am.


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