(To Uncle David, who was a safe haven for many)
Don’t worry about the world ending,
you’d tell me,
but then my world ended three months ago
when you died suddenly—
it’s theend of the world as we know it, and I feel bad—
cracking your head on the marbled counter as you fell,
leaving a half-drunk glass of iced tea, lunch preparations, and a world that needed you.
Your heart failed,
they told us, and
unmoored, your beloved dogs Harley, OB, and Lucky ran so crazy outside that the neighbors wondered.
Three months before, in January, the ground was frozen and the chilled wind too cold to lower dad’s coffin at the graveside ceremony. But you were there, wrapped in your heavy coat, leaning on your cane. The arrangement of flowers (every single flower mentioned in Shakespearean literature) a testament to your generosity.
Then, in April, when the world is mud wonderful with celebrations and renewal of life, with the beauty of spring, and instead, blindsided, we had to return to a cemetery.
Don’t worry about some catastrophe,
you’d tell me,
as we talked for hours on the phone;
even though you lived on 85th street in Manhattan that fateful September 11 when the twin towers fell, you’d say that the world is fine and that people have been predicting Armageddon for ages.
But you are not here, and the world is not fine.
I am not fine.
I think of the headlines, since you died, and I wonder what you’d say now, a mere three months later. The flash flooding, the church shootings, the fires, the murdered health care workers, the politics, the earthquakes, the list goes on, and today, the famous lion decapitated for sport. I wonder if you’d see it, apocalypse here now. Is that why you left us so soon? So you wouldn’t have to see it?
Three months. Only three months. Three neverending months.
It’s been raining every day lately, dark storm clouds blotting out the sun, keeping us cooped up, but an ocean of tears couldn’t fill the void inside, couldn’t make me feel safe or secure again. I throw out the rope, but there’s nothing to hold it.
Unmoored. Unmoored. Unmoored.
I am adrift.
I cannot journal. I cannot read devotions. I can, barely, talk to God. I am depressed. I am bored. Facebook is boring. Everyone is on one extreme or the other. Everyone finds some proof that his or her belief is true—both sides 100% truth, so nothing is true, nothing is real, and nothing makes sense. All of this information at our fingertips. The whole world connected. Yet, no one checks sources or credibility. No one thinks.
Overwhelmed and alone.
Am I supposed to be the wise old crone now? Or can I simply say I am a bird, say that I identify as a bird and step off the cliff and fly.
I am adrift in an ocean of tears, and I cannot find my way home. I am adrift in a sea of words, and I cannot understand. I am adrift in an ocean of beliefs and facts that contradict each other.
Hopeless and alone.
Is this what the end of the world looks like?
I wish you could have stayed to see it with me.