Just over a week ago, Ammi died.
Up til now, I've never lost anyone so close to me. I was never very close to my grandparents - I hardly knew them growing up. I lost a friend from my community a few years ago to suicide, and that was hard, but this? This is a whole other level.
This thing, grief, is not what you think it's going to be. It's not even sadness. It transcends sadness. It seizes you and takes control, and sadness is what it might give you on some days - but there's so much more to it.
I don’t know if I’ve experienced anything in my 46 years that is as transformative as grief. I can feel myself rearranging below the surface of my skin. As if some part of me has been extracted and everything inside of me is shifting, moving, trying to compensate. I feel... quiet. Tender. Sober.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for me is how little drama there is in death. It's not like in the movies. There's no swelling orchestra and gasping of final declarations that resolve the plot. Life is there one moment, and then, it's not.
An entire lifetime of dreams and hopes, battles and tears, loves and passions - simply finished. With no tidy explanations to help us understand where they've gone and why.
I don't have any great insights to share at this time. Maybe some day I will be able to fully express what it is I'm feeling - this primal knowing that has come to sit in my heart; this simple, undeniable realization of my own mortality; and the sweet, ephemeral quality of humanness that I am wearing like a crown of flowers - beautiful now, but not for long.
For now, I will only say this:
No love is in vain. The things and people we love are our legacy, and there can be nothing more important for the living than to focus on those things while we can.