Papa.

Can we ever truly move on? Is living on in memory the same as living?

I went to see my Papa’s grave today. I wondered if seeing the place he lays now and has laid for nearly 16 years would make it feel more real. Ever since i was little it has felt as though he would walk through the front door at any moment, finally back from some long vacation with arms wide open ready to pick me up and twirl me around.

I have no memories of him. He was gone two months after i turned 2.

I have photos of him, arms around me and loving eyes looking on me. But no real memory of him lives on in my mind. My whole life everyone has spoken of him. As if he was still here, as if he was never really gone. My grandma speaks of him with fondess and regret. Regret of the time with him wasted, regret for the place our family is in now, regret for how soon he was taken. She speaks of his integrity, his accomplishment, his love, his selflessness, and his good hugs. My father speaks of his shortcomings. The flaws that made him human. He talks about how he worked constantly, rarely saw him or seemed to take interest in him. He talks of how he felt unloved by him.

My uncle speaks of his accomplishment. How he revolutionized the supermarket business, turned a failing company into a fourtune 500 in the 11 years he worked as President.

My sister wonders if it was a secret blessing how he was taken so soon. She questions how well he would have handled his grandchildren straying from the church, how he may have handled us growing into our persons; me relatively immodest, Emily divorced and not looking to remarry, Chloe refusing to go to school.

I wonder what he was like. I wonder who he was, really. In his head, how did he see himself? What inner demons did he wrestle with? Would he have been as resistent to change as Emily feels he would be? Would he have been most fond of me? Or would i have been one of the most disappointing if he knew the way I thought of things; of religion, of modesty, of politics. I wonder how much more tempered my Grandma would be if he were here. I wonder if he would be able to to soften her victim complex and her narcissistic tendancies. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder.

It feels as though ive searched for him most of my life. Ive looked for parts of him in me. I have his eyes apprently. Im sure there are traits of his that live on in me. But i dont know for sure which they are.

True to form, we had to look for his grave. We had to wander and look over and over for it. I picked up fallen pots of flowers and placed them gently back upright as i found them. Finally we went to the front office to ask for where he was. And then we drove back to a place we had already looked and had to search around again.

And we found him. And i stood over his plaque and our family named spelled out in large letters on the bronze plate and looked at his name written above in smaller script.

James

1938-2001

A man with integrity who walked humbly with his God.

I looked at it. I read it. I took my shoes off and felt the grass above him between my toes as the breeze picked up and touseled my hair and picked up little leaves and sent them twilring through the air. I sat gently down above him as the clouds moved over and away from the sun with the breeze.

The ground had never felt so sturdy or so firm under me. I picked at the blades of grass and left some pieces of my hair beside the plaque. I imagined the breeze was his arms wrapped around me, hands messing up my hair playfully. I pictured him with me, soft, wrinkled hands on mine. I kissed my fingered and placed them gently on his grave.

“Hi, Papa.”

I murmed quietly. Grammy walked back over and i stood up slowly and put my shoes back on. We walked slowly back toward the car and i wrapped my arm around her waist and she wrapped hers around mine.

“I’m sorry you didnt get to know him, Naomi. And i just hate thinking about all the wasted time.” I leaned my head against hers and kissed her cheek.

I walked around the car and the wind blew gently by again and carried the words “Bye Papa,” gently from my lips before i got in. Grammy was looking at an old photo of me and telling me how she sent it to her sister and was telling her how well i could dress myself.


How quickly time moves forward.

Papa is gone. I dont know if it will ever feel real to me. If he will ever feel real to me. I wonder if he can ever truly be gone until his myth is laid to rest too. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder.

I didnt get to meet you papa. But my heart sings for you. My one wish in life is to have met you. I dont know if there will ever be a day i can stop searching for you.

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Grieving 

Dads sitting in the office alone crying. Moms down in florida with family preparing for the funeral. Grace wont leave the kitchen, coping by cooking as many of grams’ old recipes as she can. I dont know what elyse is doing but shes barely responding to my texts. Mitch is sitting at the table eating, an outsider experiencing the discomfort of the storm. Im sitting down in front of the fireplace, also eating but feeling a little more alone. Grieving looks different for everybody, but im not sure how it looks for me. It’s hitting me in waves. There are long moments in the day where i feel fine and like things are ok and then it’ll hit me and ill het hit back down again crying. It doesnt really feel real yet. And on top of this i dont have my supporter. Because thats the best word i could use to describe sam besides brother. Hes my supporter. And i dont have him right now. And i feel like i dont really have anyone. Everyone is busy and has plans because its winter break and i just need someone to vent to let it all out to and to hug and i dont feel like i have that right now and it fucking sucks.
Wrote this one a week ago too. Wrote a lot of things i didnt post but ill get them up eventually. This week has been easier but to be fair ive been working 9 hr shifts every day which helps keep your mind off of things. Espcially when you work with people as great as i do. 

Wildflower

Flowers bloom and grow.

Petals pull apart as they ripen through the days,

Revealing vibrant colors hidden inside.

Opening themselves upwards towards the sky,

They give themselves to the world.

Where sweet nectar lies within,

They give passerby a pleasant air and others a needed nourishment.

Until the day that nature picks them, 

Either with gradual frosts or a sudden snow.

But do not fret or worry,

For spring will bring them home.

My sweet grandma betty passed tonight at 2:55 eastern time. She was 96 and tired. Rest in peace grams, you will be dearly missed 💕

09/22/1920 – 12/15/2016

Having Another Existential Crisis at Almost Age 17.

I’m Building a Fire by Death Cab for Cutie:

The embers will grow and remind you what you already know
That the night is only a temporary absence of light.

Ok. Death. Here goes.

It scares the living shit out of me.

It always has. And a big part of me does believe in reincarnation and that we live many and multiple lives and that I’ll be born again but what scares me is that it’ll be a new life and I won’t know that this was a life I led one time. I won’t know the people I know today as these people, they’ll be reborn too or I won’t even encounter them at all in the next life and that’s horrifying. And thinking about how I just became one day out of nothing and I wasn’t here at one point is equally scary because it’s basically the exact same thing as death but in reverse, there’s a moment before where I have no memory and there will be an eternity at the end where I have no memory. And a large part of me wishes like hell I didn’t have to have been born at all to have to try and grapple with this shit or that I was raised to be religious so that I could be conditioned into believing with my entire being that there is an afterlife and a God who loves and cares about us. And I hate that I don’t have a say in it and that I don’t get to know for sure. That the only thing I have to make me believe in my theory is this feeling. And I hate that I will literally blink and be on my deathbed, about to die and thinking back over my life. I’ve already blinked and just ended up here and I’m going to blink again and suddenly be 30 and then again and I’ll be 60 and if I manage to live long enough then I’ll end up being 80 and not knowing where time went and how I ended up there. Lots of people I will have loved and love will already be dead. None of this lasts. All society is is a distraction from the inevitable. Religion began to give explanations to things we couldn’t wrap our heads around and provide comfort in these kinds of situations. And from what I’ve gathered, through religion/mythology and sharing of stories, society started to take form. Or maybe it all happened at once or it’s all tangled up together with bits and pieces happening before, with, and after others. I don’t know for sure. But I do know that it played a large part in how we decided to form our cultures. Literally everything we do is just to distract us and help pass time because when we started to become conscious and questioning beings it was all too much for us. Other animals live just with the hope of surviving and passing on their genes. And to an extent this is still largely true for us too as a species but it shows in other, different ways.

And I’m just really terrified. Really, really terrified. Are you seeing the theme here? Things that I have no control over and the things that I don’t know anything about scare the living shit out of me, to the point where I adopt semi-self destructive and potentially harmful habits to help cope with it.

Everything feels pointless and stupid right now. And I resent pretty much every aspect of society for having evolved into something so controlling that you don’t get to have a real say in anything, but the simple truth is that we’re all still linked at the end of the day by the fact that we were born and we will die again only to enter into the next phase of nonexistence. What even is existing? All of this could be fake I could be some weird, long, thought daydream someone is having. I could literally be some equivalent of a Sims Game. What the actual hell is life and existence?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just extremely cynical and morbid. And maybe this is subconsciously happening every August because it’s almost my birthday. Or because down the line I end up dying at the end of August and I just have some weird psychic feeling about it. It wouldn’t be a bad month to die in. And maybe I’m just fucking crazy and sitting inside some insane asylum and this is all an intricate delusion I’ve created for myself. No one can really say for sure.

In the morning you’ll wake with the ashes of a memory
And the sun on your face and I will not seem so far away.

Maybe One Day I’ll Die in August

Every August I grow scared again.

I fear the end and the unknown.

I fear what we are allowed to know and don’t know.

But by October I will have settled again.

The scramble in my stomach will have calmed,

And my heart will stop fluttering at the simple truth that we will die.

But until then August will grip my chest,

It will place in my head sweet roses with sharp thorned thoughts and vines that twist around and strangle me, suck the air from my lungs and steal the sunlight from my skin.

I don’t want to leave here.

I don’t want to have to say goodbye to the passing of time.

Is it better to have experienced a consciousness or to have gone on in sweet nonexistence, never experiencing the sweet tartness of fresh strawberries on your lips or the swell in your chest that another person can place so gently there?

At the end of the day, doesn’t it all get taken away anyway?