Living in the Glare

Listen to Your Narrative

It isn’t wrong, this narrative of yours. Isn’t something to be fixed. Adjusted. Changed. Rewritten.

God knows you’d rewrite your narrative if you could. Consider the whole thing a tumultuous, torrid first draft. A rough sketch ill-constructed. The consequence lacking intention. Not giving words, shapes, ideas, even context, enough thought. A hapless quick free-write in the middle of the night. Rushed. Out of character, both for him and for you.

“It just isn’t right,” say some.

“Maybe it wasn’t suicide,” say others.

“Didn’t that happen a long time ago?” asks your friend.

“He wouldn’t want to see you so sad” says your community.

So much pressure to revise your narrative. Erase the version of the narrative you’ve lived. Revise. Rewrite. Omit. Delete.

Change your life’s story, the way everything changed that day he ended his own. His narrative just started. Only a few chapters in. A promising start. Having left so much unsaid, unwritten. His chasm, your darkness. His absence, dark ache your heart.

As if you could undo what was done. As if you could live past the pain and not feel the whole of you disappearing in your life’s tragic moment. Its fatal eclipse. Your narrative forever changed.

Shaped by Grief: Then, Now, and Ongoing

But what if someone, somewhere, (even yourself) does not ask you to change your narrative?

What if, instead, that someone or others (or even you) wants to hear your narrative? How your life in all ways —emotional, physical, mental, and intellectual—is shaped by your grief: then, now, and ongoing.

What would happen if they (or even you) sit with your grief? Hear the song your heart sings, even if melancholic and haunting?

Listen to your story? Even tragic. Even with chapters that do not end well. Chapters needing rewritten, but that cannot be. Chapters that have changed the trajectory of your life. The chapter that day he plunged, en medias res, changing all that you are. All that your were. All that you will be.

For to lose your narrative is to lose him all over again. All. Over. Again.

As if you haven’t lost him enough these minutes; hours; days; months; years; 10 now–and counting.

As much now as then, when abruptly, everything about your narrative changed and you started chasing minutes, hours, days, months, years. As if you could bring them back. Restore all the time before that date, time, month, year.

That date where ending his narrative meant ending your own. Your story, your narrative, en medias res: Changed forever because love and grief cannot be separated. Love–and grief–has a way of changing us forever, a new permanence come to stay where once we thought ourselves immutable.

Shaped by love (19 years and not knowing I was counting), I am now shaped by this grief come to stay. A permanence in love’s shadow, I am etched forever by the shape of his love.

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