Post Mortem Memories

What if you could get a snapshot of the last thing your loved one saw before they died? Or a sound recording of what they were thinking before the heart hits the brakes? Would the death be less hurtful? Will we begin to love them or hate them fully then? What if they told us how they feel, how they really felt when they were able to?

How vulnerable do we feel when we let it all in though? To be viewed as a public park, everyone pissing everywhere, throwing their garbage where they stand and moving on not noticing the trash cans here and there. The snapshot of a fleeting memory, a blurry sight, as if through tears, of someone throwing their shit around you not caring how it will be received. A photographic memory hurts, to see and remember everything with such clarity as everyone else fumbles around you trying to remember what they ate for lunch yesterday.

What if you could get a piece, some kind of fabric that will let you feel what they felt the moment they breathed their last breath? As you wrap it around your person, does the guilt stab a part of you, the part of you that knew what to say and when to say it but never said it, does the guilt fill the broken parts of you, the pieces stinging in defense, feeling too broken to fully love in return, even if the dying person caused you to be a broken thing in the first place?

Last night, I dreamed someone gave me a snapshot of the last thing my great aunt saw before she died- a constellation of stars in the dark, navy sky. I felt relieved. I felt absolved of the pain I felt for not holding the woman who gave some meaning to my life before she died. Ah, to see the possibility of the beyond in the glittery skies, to see the infinite, the hope, the sincere hope that there is no end, just a leap into something else that marks a chapter finished, that marks the trail end, that marks the path done and done. I have not done any damage, I have not caused so much pain, there was a hope I did not kill with my carelessness.

They took the picture back and I continued walking on a dirt path, someone handed me a mug of water and I drank deeply sighing into myself. I held the mug close to my chest and I awoke holding my hands, the mug no longer there. The banging of the heater brought me back, the reality insisting as the spiritual plane draws back as a veil, the gossamer curtains swaying slowly back into place.

on my way

flower petals ripped from every shade of purple
strip the birch from all its leaves
fill in, fill it in
pour the berries, pour the lentils, pour the avocado seeds
let the honey run
fill in, fill it in
ten pounds of gold and quartz encrusted silver
lining made of fresh spun silk
gather the garlands around the feet
long stemmed roses still spiked gather around the head
and there I lay
fill in, fill it in
then set me on fire
send me on my way