I arrived home late from a meeting last night, my mind consumed with the hours I did not spend packing the car full of vacation accoutrements, to find my fellow travellers gathered around my dining room table.
Wearing the sort of faces that ask you before words can form, “Are you sitting down?”
A grief determined to be earthbound weighted them to their chairs. A four hour journey and four week seperation between us and no one could get up to bridge the gulf with a hug.
Eyes glistened too bright with patinas of tears.
My Uncle Jack had died. Expectedly and unexpectedly.
Cancer had gnawed rat holes through his lungs, his brain, his bones. We knew it was coming for him. We just didn’t know it was going to arrive last night.
That’s the hard part of love. We don’t like to think about it because it has nothing in common with roses, chocolates, and sunset walks on the beach.
It has more akin to an amputated limb. The ghost ache. The keen-edged memories. The room you leave for someone to sit next to you at the table.
I write this on a day when I’m remembering the loss of someone else I hold dear. Someone who battled valiantly for life one labored breath at a time. In and out. Repeat. Three hours of suctioning and releasing life. I know Sunday’s coming. It’s coming with its empty tomb and promise of an eternal celebration. But for today, I’m thinking of the hard part of love.
Uncle Jack’s beat me to the celebration. He’s got on a snazzy white robe and keys to a mansion spinning around his fingers. He’s dancing a jig to the tune of some Hallelujahs.
But here’s the hard part of love…we have an empty seat here at the dining room table.
My thanks to The Gypsy Mama for her timely writing prompt this week. With just five minutes to think, write, edit, and publish, you can now enjoy my unedited thoughts on life, love, and death. That’s my explanation (but not apology) for a raw, unedited, personal post this morning.