If not for your sweet curves and sugar lips, how would I know bitterness? If not for your striking grit, how would I know timidity? If not for your heavy and boundless laughs, how would I know silence?
How strange it is, to watch someone’s face sparkle and dance with life on a Monday, and for it to be gone by Tuesday.
How strange it is, for our bodies to decay, to expire, yet leave behind an undeniable presence if we’re open to it.
How strange it is
to look into your eyes merely through a photograph
and still feel the life you once held through them.
It sometimes feels silly, futile,
to pour you liquor when I don’t drink,
to light a candle even though you don’t have eyes to see it,
to pray to you when I have no religious ties.
But death has taught me that the permanence of spirit goes beyond what is comprehendible for me.
It is precisely in the offerings, the flames, and the devotions where I can find you again,
because looking for you in the flesh is the true shortcoming of my humanness.
I cultivate a new relationship with you.
One where a dime dropped means you heard my prayers,
where a vivid dream of you is no longer a dream but a genuine encounter with you,
where a stranger in passing who looks eerily like you is a reminder that you still exist, just differently.
What beauty there is to foster connection with the deceased.