8. The only cause of death

You stop breathing.

I think it is over for a moment.  You are still.  The room is still.  I claw at the skin of my knees as I sit there.  Watching your stillness.

You gasp.

We are all startled.  I can tell now that we all thought it was over.  In the corner, your grandmother stifles a sob.  I do not cry.  I will not cry.

And you are still again.  By now, we are used to it and assume you will breathe again at any moment.

Any moment.


My knee is bleeding.


I feel a part inside myself sever.  But you are not my child.  Not my baby lying in the arms of my best friend.  I have no right to this sadness.


You are gone, but I can’t stop talking to you.  In my head we had conversations that you were never verbal enough to hold.  Through your funeral, when we passed your tiny handmade casket to the back, to the arms of your mother and father, I talk to you.


Please don’t let this be capable in my world.  You had no right.

And then one day, I can’t see you in my head.  You don’t answer when I talk.  You are gone.

And nothing can make me want more to numb that pain.  Nothing can stop the flood of tears.

I try to drink you away, and there you are still.  Just a baby.



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