When we finally got into my room to stay, I could feel it coming, could feel death waiting just below me and I knew everyone else could feel it too. Nick was there, crumpled beside me, and I told him I had to ask the hardest thing. I needed him to leave. I knew that I could make the journey but there was no part of me that could watch him seeing me go. He shouldn't have had to see any of it but I couldn't have him see that last part. The soul leaving, I could feel it was wanting to go.
He laid his head on my hand and kissed it, he looked me in the eyes and nodded. His hand slipped from my grasp.
This all came to me like the rush of a freight train all these months later, in the shower on a foggy afternoon. My chest rose & collapsed like I've never seen before and I could hear these strangled breaths like they were coming from somewhere else. Someone told me this would happen. She had showed me how to cover my nose and mouth with my hands, how to breath in one nostril and out the other, now to feel that rhythm like the ocean. I couldn’t. I covered my nose, I forced he breath through, I tried in the nose and out the mouth, I tried, the fast, terrible breathing got louder, my heart got louder in my chest. I fell to my knees and I could taste that the shower water had gone salty. That sense, that taste of salt and that realization that it was my tears brought me back. I opened my mouth to feel the warm water and my feet were back on the ground. I wasn't in the hospital room, waiting out the moments, wondering what comes next. I was here, among the living, tasting the salt of my tears. Tasting proof of life.
When I stepped out of the shower I wrapped up in my softest clothes and went right outside with a cup of hot tea. Music played inside the house behind me and I felt the cold, strong air and looked up to the sky. The clouds rolled like the ocean. The clouds rolled like the ocean and my breath swished in and out and the sky was unending.
Nick came home and we danced slowly in the kitchen.
I hope you hug somebody you love, if not today then as soon as you can. It doesn't need to be romantic, it just needs to be love. A sister, a daughter, a cousin, a best friend. Get their warmth as close to you as you can. Feel it like the ocean.
Lots of Love,