Tuesday, June 28, 2016

An open letter to Kevin, on your birthday

Dear Kevin,

(What a small greeting for words that contain so much.)

I still can't believe that you're gone. Dead. Your vitality lingers, it is as tangible as the air. You had more impact on the world than most do with the full span of their years. I suppose you had the full span of your years, it was just a shorter span than we wanted, than anyone would have hoped. I can't help but wonder how you would have changed the world had you been here longer.

I spend a lot of time thinking about things like that, things I cannot change. All of the what ifs linger. I spend less time thinking about things like that than I used to. The what ifs are often replaced with aching gratitude.
How strange.

I think that phrase captures it best. How strange. 
How strange that you are not here. Your body seemed invincible.
How strange that I still am. I am not, of course. I am so different now. But how strange that the me's are continuous and contiguous. A rupture like this should leave a visible mark. I sometimes imagine a great scar running the length of my entire body and the healing uneven, evidence of being torn apart and coming back as something different.
How strange that I am in this alternate universe where you are not and I still am. That I have another love. That the world still spins.

I think the phrase aching gratitude is even more apt, especially today.
I am so grateful you were born and became the man we all love.
I am so grateful your children were born and your heart was big enough to invite me in.
I am so grateful for everything you taught me. I am a better person than I could have been without you.
I am so grateful for all the love, all the love, all the love.

Even as gratitude fills me, there is still a void and I ache. I remind myself that you are in my DNA, my cells, the air I breath. I close my eyes and feel your arms, your lips, your breath.

I see you everywhere.

Happy birthday, beloved. Thank you for being in the world, for sharing your grace with us, with me.
I miss you and always will.
I love you and always will.
How strange.
How lucky.
The world has felt your footsteps, your touch is forever on my skin, and for that I am grateful.

(c)2016 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

1 comment:

  1. Such a letter rings from the rafters, sings in my heart, and laughs and aches all in one breath. In KR's glovebox in her car Kevin's face smiles at her every time she opens it. It's his picture on the cover of his memorial program. It's his spirit on the breeze. It's everything and nothing which yeilds something worth remembering.


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