It’s been six years and I still can’t spell that word with the letters of your name. What happens when you’re not here anymore but your name still exists and I can taste it? It’s been six years and you are still not a memory.
You are absence.
You are the negative space in the seat you used to have at the dining table.
You are one less person to greet Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
You are one less bike rider on the highway.
You are the vibration in the air when I say goodnight and you’re not there to hear it.
You are the cheek that will remain unkissed for as long as I live.
You are the way I can still hear your laughter at the variety shows on TV.
I never found them funny, but now it doesn’t matter.
Energy is neither created nor destroyed. There is endless energy in your atoms and the day they lowered you in your casket, we flew white balloons and I couldn’t let go of mine because I needed the string to channel your current.
But I was wrong in the thing I was holding on to.
The day you died and your ribs rose and fell with the last gust of air in your lungs, that air escaped into the atmosphere and rose and rose until you reached your star and that’s when I understood that there was too much light in your body and you had to pass on and explode in the quiet because it was time to show everyone your brilliance.
And I feel the world’s pulse like it’s yours even as it beats like it’s mine and I know that I’m alive and you are living.
Maybe I have always looked at this the wrong way. Maybe you are the one waiting to see me again, and the way you loved me means that I am the absence wherever you are. Or maybe I am wrong with that one too.
We are energy, neither created nor destroyed, and in this way we continue living. It reminds us that we are here, that we have always been here before we were born, and we await the time when everything is finally done existing.