The cold air mountain air of this Seattle suburb was doing more to wake me up than the coffee warming my hands. I desperately had not wanted to make this trip but I knew without it I could never move on. I walked past the gravestones. Even though I had never been to this cemetery before I knew exactly where to walk. The sun, waking from its night slumber, struggled to make it through the clouds. It did not want to be there and neither did I.
I went to the fresh tombstone. The grass still freshly cut around it . I looked at the emotionless stone.
Died May 1st 2011
There was much else around it and I ignored it. Wonderful sayings, even a name that long ago ceased being more than sounds strung together. I stared at the tombstone wondering why I felt at peace and not sad.
“Feel sad!” I commanded myself. And myself, as it often does, failed to heed the command.
I had long ago stopped embracing the warm memories that fought like the sun to get through clouds.
I finally admitted to myself I even finally stopped the hate.
Not anger, anger and hatred are two different emotions.
I stood there and thought , as I am more likely to do when I do not want to, about what would happen if the body rose up from the grave.
Run I suppose. Because rotted bodies like rotted history can never be made the way they were before.
I started, despite my best efforts not to , think about the good things. The laughter shared , the problems solved through the most improbable means , the sophomoric jokes told seventy two times and then seventy two times more and then after wewere sure the horse was quite dead we would tell them sevety two more times after that. For a moment I nearly smiled.
Then I remembered the fear. I remembered I was told I was not allowed to be afraid. I was told I was not allowed to be angry. I told I was not allowed to be the victim and only he was. I was told I was crazy. Yet in the end I was the one who was not living a delusional life.
I tried feeling sorry for him. A good man. A funny man. A scared man. A man who believed other people’s love depended on his successes when people loved him mearly for being him. A man who was afraid and confused and scared and ultimately weak.
I remember the look of confusion and being lost that were in his eyes before he died. It was not a glorious death, it was not an accidental death it was a death he chose , it was a death that was better than facing the rigors of life.
As I stood there time passed slowly.
I wanted to mourn but mourning wouldn’t bring him back.
I simply kneeled on the ground and kissed the cold lifeless tombstone that marked where a cold lifeless body lay.
I kissed it and quietly said in a voice of the five year old he always loved “I miss you daddy”
He is dead.
I am not.
I turned my back on him and began to be alive.