Dear God, this has to stop. I didn’t know people could react this way; I’ve never known such a great loss before. I didn’t know I could so awkwardly push aside the thought of someone I claim to love, and a month later I’m still in high escape mode.
Before and after work at the coffee shop; now my novel is in the hands of beta readers and I’m committed to furiously reading and critiquing at least four other stories. Guilt-ridden that my cat is so lonely. I’m too old to run from my feelings by blasting music in the car. I’m too aware to keep being such a coward.
“Best Big Brother Ever”
Because Michael deserves me thinking about him, not forgetting how much I need him, how much I need to know I’ll see his wry smile again. He deserves better than being brushed out of the way by words on a screen until all I have left of him are the mere glimpses that bubble to the surface inevitably in the course of any given day.
It seems I’d rather turn myself into whatever-this-is, I’d rather feel guilt than the pain of grief and losing my brother. Because it still doesn’t feel real. How do you go from the point where he’s alive and part of your life to the point where he isn’t and you’re used to that? No, I’ll never get used to that! I refuse to.
It seems I have a long way to go.
One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor
Because no one ever simply walks into Mordor. You trip and fall, painfully you slide over broken rock and turn aside into the beckoning arms of forgetfulness, frozen in time.
And you never come back from Mordor whole–isn’t that what I’m running from? You have the scar from a Morgul blade, you can see the Thestrals, you can see Both Sides Now.
If I remember him, he’s a memory
Why on earth do people always die at the END of stories? How does that help me? How am I supposed to know what the scene looks like after he’s gone? How do I write the rest of this stupid story that just won’t stop playing out?
Michael doesn’t deserve to be a memory avoided; I don’t even yet know how to make him a memory at all. Not JUST a memory; he’s so much more. But if I remember him, he’s a memory. Certainly if I memorialize him, then I can’t deny that now he exists only as a memory.
The Seven Stages of Falling Off a Cliff
And if I sublimate what he means to me in a work of fiction, have I buried him once and for all? If I imagine myself one day explaining, Oh, yes, that’s how my brother inspired me. This is what he taught me. This is why I wrote this story. There I go–trying to paint a future without him when I can’t even see-feel-touch the present without him.
It’s so much easier to talk about myself, how hard I work and what I think about and what I avoid like a coward. Look how busy I am, look how well I’m carrying on.
Don’t look at the lost little girl, heartsick, waiting for her wandering brother to come home and make it all better. Because he always came back home. Just when I needed him. I just need to wait a little longer. I’m told that the eagles are coming.
No, one doesn’t simply walk out of Mordor, either, do they?
4 thoughts on “Waiting for the Eagles”
I don’t know how it might feel to have lost someone so important to you. I lost my mum but the grief has been different. (I will post my poem on her on my website.) But it struck me in this elegant piece of writing (elegant because the words do say things, really say them) that you are fighting the future away. Is it possible that by gradually writing things that are a tribute to your Michael that you might bring him into the present in some way? That a memory, or memories, may not be a poor, ugly substitute but something of substance? I don’t know the answer. I am just suggesting. Perhaps it’s not yet the time to breath the memories. Perhaos that is for a later time.
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Probably I could write a happier elegy later about what he meant to me. But I’m pretty stubborn about living in denial and postponing the inevitable, apparently. Thanks for sharing. I’ll try to stop fighting what isn’t going to change. Lucky me–I never had reason to fight reality before now.
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