Sunday, February 26, 2017

Seven years ago, my little brother died. His life I remember well. My grief after his death I remember less well, or rather not in the same way as my memory worked before that point. The week in the hospital I remember clearly. The angle of the hospital bed, which wall the chairs were against, the faces of the nurses and doctors as they hunched over the machine that was oxygenating his blood and returning it to his body.

I remember my father gently arranging Luis's favorite pillow (which Luis had had for years and served as a sort of abstract teddy bear that he had named "Pika" ) against his side. As he did so, I had remembered that same image from the first year of Luis's life that he spent entirely in the hospital, from the perspective of the child that I was, my father seeming so tall, bending over his pale infant, and the tears on his cheeks. The first time I had seen my father cry.

Endings are foretold by the beginnings, I'd read, and it appeared to be true this time.

That's the last period of time that I remember linearly. The images in my head that followed after Luis's death are rippled and warped, like a stained-glass window. Then that window shattered and fell into the ocean, colored shards dancing erratically into the depths, a glimmering swallowed by the darkness.

I imagine now, that grief is an ocean planet, with no solid core, a sea with no floor. Those broken pieces sank all the way to that center, fell through, and began to rise.

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