But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust.  –Walter Raleigh


~I awake at 1:30, at 3:00, at 4:15. I twist and turn like a revolving door, like a discontented cat who can’t find her place. I can’t dream.  I can’t make it through a night without crying.

But the mornings are the worst when you lose your soul mate. The mornings are hell, hell, hell…

when you remember the reality of your new life; your new and reduced life.

Nothing remains.  Don’t hold on too tight.

A heart beats and then it doesn’t.  The phone rings every Saturday morning with a voice that announces “I Love You,” and then it’s silenced. The pink lips that once kissed your cheeks are now covered with soil.


Nothing remains. Don’t hold on too tight.

I drive to the Oneonta cemetery after work. I lay on the ground next to my sister. I play Lady Antebellum and Mercy Me at full volume from the car stereo. I pray, and then just as quickly, forget what I’m praying about.

Words even disappear.

I haven’t thanked God for much recently, but I thank Him for the large tree next to my sister’s grave.

Two months ago that tree was brimming with blood-red, mustard-yellow, and fire-orange leaves, but the colors dulled too soon, shriveled up, and fell to the ground next to the stones.


Why does everything go away?

We’ve hung shimmering ornaments on the bare branches, scattered  Kay’s pearl necklaces and dangling earrings on the lower twigs. If you happen to visit one day, look for the tree that is dazzling with jewels just as she did in her lifetime.

Yesterday Duluth had a  mild snowstorm. I sat at the gravesite observing the snowflakes dance and descend softly on Kay’s grave.

I thought about how temporary moments are– how nothing remains the same– how I can’t smell her perfume anymore when I open the closet door.

I thought about the way life can reinvent itself instantly, become something entirely unfamiliar and frightening; how our days blaze and bloom with brilliant colors one minute, and then quite suddenly, shrivel up and fall to the earth the next.

I thought about the way the leaves would resurrect again,  dress Kay’s tree with one hundred shades of jade again…

arise from the roots like green gods,..

bud by bud, blossom by blossom, bloom by bloom.

I still can’t let go. I still can’t release her.

I watched the white flakes soften on sapphire granite covering Kay’s radiant face. I watched her pearls swing from side to side like the hands of an impetuous clock that never stops.

Melting, Melting, Melting…

Until the pulse begins again, beats again, ceaselessly, endlessly,

Like a benediction awaiting my arrival.


Never Shall You be Released, My Dear Sister. I Love You. I love you. 2009/ Kim & Kay

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