Today is a special day, because it is my half-birthday and your deathday.
I’m watching snow falling through a semi-frosted window as I think about this. The trees are bare, the air is frigid and painful, even inside. This god damn space heater makes my legs feel like they are on fire while my nose is cold to the touch.
Everything is dying here.
I’m not trying to sound like I’m riddled with angst when I say that, I’m just stating a fact. In six months I will have made one more trip around the sun, will be just that much closer to the ‘after’. To wherever it is that you have been for an entire year.
I wonder sometimes if it works in reverse in the ‘after’. Do you age backwards? Do you grow smaller and weaker (or in your case, stronger – then weaker) until you unbecome, and then the cycle of life starts all over again? I read a book like that once. I didn’t like it. I hope that’s not what the ‘after’ transpires to be.
Well, I would continue to ask you these questions, but I know you won’t deign me with the answers. Things would be a lot less tragic if the dead could talk back, and the mysteries of the vast and confusing universe would not exist. Knowing you, you wouldn’t answer anyway, even if you could. You’d read my letter, consider responding, then toss it aside and say, ‘Eh, she’ll figure it out.’
(but I won’t figure it out, because nobody figures these things out, and really, that’s fine with me, because I’ve always hoped that death would turn out be an adventure rather than a prize or a punishment. And if that is not the case – if life really is just a giant game of Monopoly where few win and most lose, and that’s it – then I don’t want to know, because then I might spend the rest of my trips around the sun chasing immortality, and everyone knows that’s how villains are born)
I won’t write any more fruitless questions, then, but I’ll craft some hopes. Maybe they’ll get to you in the ‘after’, but I, naturally, have my doubts. I think I saw the last of you in a dream months ago where you told me your regrets, and I told you it was okay. That felt like a goodbye.
So, I’ll write these hopes out and set them up where other other people (the ones that are dying here with me, the sorry bastards) might be able to see them. They can join the glistening ornaments on the Christmas tree in the corner. I’ll adorn them in tinsel and lights.
I hope your pain is gone.
I hope you run, and jump, and chase.
I hope you smile all the time, the kind that hurts your face in the best possible way.
I hope you laugh often, the kind of laughter that comes from somewhere deep in your gut and isn’t easily controlled.
I hope you notice beauty, because it deserves attention, and I imagine that if beauty is present here – through the semi-frosted window of a dying world trapped in winter – then it must be present in ‘after’.
I hope that you are not being praised nor punished for a life that was chaos.
I hope you’re having an adventure.