the ones left behind.

There is this thing that people do with their faces when they talk to each other.  I can't explain exactly what it is, but we all accept that we do it and it seems like the normal way to hold a face.  We half-smile sometimes and we think while someone else is talking about how their words make us feel or what time we should start dinner and some people nod their heads like, "yeah yeah keep talking i'm listening" but their faces are somehow separate from their souls.  Presenting.  That's what we do with our faces.

There is this thing that grief does to people's faces.  It drops in and wipes everything else out.  And the faces - the faces become attached to the person completely.  I can't explain exactly what it is, but looking at someone who's just lost someone dear to them, you can see that they are sad but also that they are unafraid and that the world is clearer than it's ever been to them, even if it's hazy.

And I remember feeling that way too.  I recognized it on Justin today because I've felt that way.  I've felt sharp and simple and stripped down to only my grief with nothing getting in the way of how I looked at people and how I spoke my words.  No fear, no desire to please, no presentation.  Just me.

It's not bad.  In fact, looking at him today, it was beautiful.  I felt like I said all the wrong things, I couldn't find the right words and I stared at the window - I tried to tell him I missed Silje and Isaac, but I knew it was nothing like his miss and so the words fell around him like dust.  And his face, it was so pure and right against his heart and beautiful and I thought about the next few years of his life - how they will probably feel impossible, but how he will be and his possibilities will be endless.  Because grief does that - i think.  At least it did to me and I can see it doing it to him already.  It takes the world and makes it real.  It takes a face and makes it honest.


by. Richard Siken

Tell me about the dream where we pull the
bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forgot they are horses.
It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
its more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we would dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means
We’re inconsolable.
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we’ll never get used to it.


Popular Posts