off a bouquet of red carnations.
He loves me not, he loves me not.
Pleasures last until they die,
or they kill you.
Youth blackens in the flesh.
You're 30. Then you're 40.
Roll the window down.
The clouds and the countryside
don't make you feel at all
like they used to.
Every decade comes on
quicker than the last
like labor pains.
The man you never said you loved
has blue eyes like the winter.
Passion becomes snowmelt
when the sun crowns the hills.
Each year his smile deepens.
Once he seemed immune to fear.
In April he held your hand—
but your heart kept right on beating.
There was no quickening.
No magic words.
Love me not, forget me not.
No incantation ever uttered
to bring the living
back to life.
Relax, or How I learned to control overthinking.
Being an overthinker is tough. You spend a lot of time trying to go through every possible scenario so you can plan actions accordingly. Sometimes it pays great dividends, sometimes it leaves you an anxious mess. What we fail to realize is that the answer is always in the middle: between light and dark, logic and chaos. And usually to find the answer, you just have to take a breath, and RELAX. The answer is never the same for you as it is for the next person, and that is where we struggle. Once we find the plane between light and dark, where our own judgment is the harbinger of our impending fate, it's up to us individually to face our own facts and choose where we want to land. And whatever that decision is, you have to RELAX and understand that everything will work out how it's supposed to. As Bob Marley told us, "every little thing, gonna be alright."
I'll always be a little bit different.
As children, we are taught to group things into categories, to match traits with objects.
But how can you classify, something that's a little of both? Something that cannot certainly lie in any category.
Though is it not the natural delineation? Is it not expected that we, as dynamic people, do not fit into rigid categories?
I used to wish I could, but,
The world would simply be too boring without these oddities.
The youngest son
The speaker is a tall, lanky kid. His hair is a frizzy mop, carefully styled to look like it isn't styled at all; when it sits across his forehead, his eyes are just barely covered. He looks through the curtain of his bangs out at the crowd, and he smooths the hair back away from his face. His glasses are black horned-rim, the kind that went out of style in the early seventies, but hipsters have brought back recently (and the Army never cycled them out of fashion.) They're nicknamed "birth control glasses" by soldiers in Basic, but this kid wears them unironically, and by the looks of his girlfriend in the audience, they aren't an obstacle.
He takes a deep, shaky breath, and finds his notes on his Iphone. He takes a moment to look at the crowd before diving in.
"I'm a little nervous," he admits, glancing down at his notes and back up at the crowd. We smile, forgiving him his nervousness and waiting to hear his message. "This is my first funeral."
At those words, I feel a familiar pressure building behind my eyes. It's a heavy announcement. He continues.
"I never expected that the first time I gave a eulogy, it would be three weeks into my sophomore year at my dad's memorial service."
That kicks me in the gut.
His voice cracks, and tears cloud the vision of his phone. He removes his glasses, pinches the bridge of his nose, and takes a deep breath. He looks over at his girlfriend, and she nods to him, encouraging him to go on. I watch all of this, rapt.
"I've never lost anyone before. I have all of my grandparents. I've never even had to deal with the loss of a pet. Forgive me, but I don't know how to grieve."
I lose the struggle to keep my own tears back, and several make their escape down my cheek. That shit is heavy.
I'm not here for the deceased. I'm not here for this kid, I don't even know his name. I'm here for the dead guy's brother; he is one of my best friends, and I am the only one of his friends to come to this funeral. My guy and the dead guy were estranged; the man who was a father and a brother was not good to the man I call friend. I never liked the dude, but a lot of people in this room loved him. My guy has cycled through guilt and anger at the suicide, but thankfully he hasn't shouldered any blame. He mourns the loss of his brother, but truthfully, he mourned the loss of his brother a decade ago. He's now mostly mourning the loss of a father to the nieces and nephews who remain.
The youngest son continues to eulogize with several lighthearted stories about his dad. We laugh not because we're supposed to, but because the tales are genuinely funny, and the kid is an excellent speaker. It makes sense, since he's a theater kid by his own declaration.
His attitude shifts to almost normal and not mourning. He has begun to engage the crowd with minor call and response, almost like a stand-up comic. He isn't making light of anything, he's simply evolved from a nervous, crying son left behind into a confident storyteller.
"Do you like this suit?" He asks the audience casually. "My dad bought it for me. He insisted that I had to have a suit for my first ever Homecoming Dance. He bought it for me in the eighth grade. It's the only one I own, and the last time I wore it I had such a great time. Now it's a funeral suit, and I don't think I can ever wear it again." His voice cracks again, and he steps off the stage.
Just like that, he shifted from lighthearted storyteller to bringing us back to the tragedy that he is suffering. We all suffer with him as the reality sets in that his father is gone, his father chose to go, and his best friend now fits in a ceramic urn on a table in front of the lectern.
Acceptance is the final stage of grief, and I don't know how long it will take him to get there. What I do know is that kid may not know how to grieve, but he sure knows how to get us to do it with him.
people come and go.
quickly or slowly.
they could fade away, or they could be loud and in your face.
why did it have to end this way?
why did we fight every day?
why did we tear each other down and then expect to find us in one piece?
it makes sense now. why we did all that we did.
that we were all hurting.
that we were all pleading for help.
but sometimes the universe doesn't answer.
and when it doesn't, you just have to accept that people come and go, that pleading for help won't change anything.
A corridor of closed white wooden doors stretch out before me; there seems to be no limit, the horizon a grain of sand in the distance. Swinging my head behind me, I see the same is true, as the doors stretch on forever.
There is one door that's ajar in the far distance, a light draft causing it to swing soundlessly. Suddenly, to my right, there's a knock on the door.
I know someone's behind there, but I don’t know her. She's a stranger to me. I know what she brings, and it's possibly the scariest thing I'll ever face. I don’t know if I want to let her in. What might happen after is irreversible.
I know her face, but I don’t recognise her. There are slight differences which create a foreign picture. The way she stands, the uptilt of her head, the smile on her lips and the twinkle in her eye.
She's so different. She's me. What I could be. What I want to be.
She brings new beginnings, the end of old stories, the change of paths which lead to a different place. I'm not sure if it's better than the one I'm currently on.
I'm scared to try. I'm petrified to miss out.
Life is a series of stumbling steps, wondering in the dark with no clear direction in mind. All opportunities are lights just dancing in the distances, doors waiting to be opened; we’re often too scared to reach out to them.
I think I've been stuck in this corridor long enough; I open the door and take her hand.
My first love, why do you promise things you knew you could never deliver, you told me once you would never hurt me again that you loved me and that you were sorry. So I forgave because I loved you so much that I could not let go and yet, you did it again I’ve been told to wait and see what happens because what if, but I don’t think I can. You hurt me terribly I don’t know why you stopped talking to me again. See this is what I thought till about a year ago, it took so many years for me to let go and now Im finally at peace. The thing is I'm older now, well not that much older, because it's only been three years but the point is I get it now I finally understand, we were never meant to be together. You were supposed to be a learning lesson in my life, back then all I could do was cry and be in constant heartbreak and wonder why, why was I not enough. I wanted to change who I was for you and not in a good way. But see the thing is I was enough then and I am enough now maybe not for you, but for myself and for my person, my other half. I know what to look for in the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, I know how to love myself for me and only me. Although it pained me, you were the lesson I needed.
No matter what, your back will always hurt. You can do all the yoga, all the stretching, all the pilates you want but it will always hurt. This is because your back isn't just your back. Your back hurts because of misplaced loyalty, you got stabbed in the back you know by someone you trusted, or it's a symbol of you holding everything on your back, pushing everything afloat, so that's what I struggled to accept