The week before you passed, a lily plant appeared in my front garden bed that wasn't there last year and that I did not plant.
The night we picked up Kaitlin, before we went to get her, I stood in my shower and bawled my eyes out that my friend was finally going to the hospital, but I was filled with terror that something was going to go very wrong.
The morning I received the call from Emily, our friend who is a nurse who happened to work that night, our cat Porter ran around the halls yowling like a cat crying out in severe pain. He knew something was wrong.
As we walked out the door I noticed the lily had bloomed (this photo was taken later).
The next bloom I plucked and took with me to Charleston to lay on your casket.
This was the last bloom, which opened the night after your memorial service.
I don't know how to process your loss. When Emily called me that morning I knew what it meant, and I couldn't find my voice to tell her to hold on, that I was getting Kaitlin. My voice was constricted. Like those nightmares where you know you need to say something but you're frozen. But somehow I stumbled and got the phone to Kaitlin.
I'm grateful Emily worked that night. I'm grateful Kaitlin was with us, and not at her apartment alone.
But I'm not grateful you're gone. How could I be? I am sad, I am angry, I am paralyzed, I am numb. All those things at once.
I am angry at you for not seeking help sooner, and then I am angry because I wonder what good it would have done since the ailments you had been having weren't related to the blood clot that took your life.
I am angry at my county for subsidizing unhealthy food and getting a generation of kids addicted to it, making it more difficult for you to do the things you needed to be better.
I am angry at our severely fucked up healthcare system that left you feeling like you had no options and recourse. I am angry that we live in a country that made you worry about cost when it came to protecting your health.
I am angry that you're gone and that there's not a single goddamn thing I can do about it.
Please come back, I scream at your facebook page. I scroll through the photos and notes often so I can hear your voice in my head again, making jokes, being insightful, schooling one-dimensional thinkers.
I miss you fierce.
You can't come to me, but one day, I can go to you.
I hope you know how much I wish the resurrection is real.
Because I need to see you again, and the world won't be right unless we all get to see the ones we want to see again.
Navigating a world that is equal parts beauty and ugliness is thrilling, exhausting, nauseating, hope-giving. Today I learned about a demon who abused an animal. Today an angel came through our doors with a donation of wet cat food just as we ran out. Life is made up of such strange juxtapositions of goodness and evil. How we take in all the beauty, how we cope with all the grief, is a testament to the will of the human spirit. God knows I can't feel it all, I would go crazy. But the pieces I am privileged and burdened to feel, and the people and animals I do give my heart to, are worth it. AA Milne wrote, "“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” And how lucky I am to have something that makes saying hello so wonderful.