The familiarity of loss.

Every day I feel the molten core of shock cooling, which brings about its own kind of despair.

I don’t want to get used to this; I don’t want my brain to assimilate and contain the loss of you. I don’t want the live wire of grief to stop jolting my fingers, zapping its hot current through my body.

I don’t want my stomach to stop contracting when I re-remember, to stop its descent down a never-ending series of cliffs. I don’t want to casually recall particularly horrifying scenes: lifting the gauze away from your ear, the piercing blueness of your eye as they pulled up an eyelid, how you didn’t even flinch when they poured water directly into your ear to check for brain death, or when they wheeled you away for the last time, never to be seen again except in a green tube they gave us five weeks later, containing ashes and bits of your bones.

I don’t want the familiarity of loss. I don’t want to have a whole paragraph prepared when an acquaintance asks how many siblings I have — well practiced, smooth, Well I used to/Originally, there were/Well, I had a brother, but he died when he was twenty-six.

I don’t want Christmases and birthdays to tick by without expecting my phone to light up on the table to inquire about plans. I don’t want to live without expectation of ridiculous emailed gift wishlists (“several plants, about 3-4ft in height, for putting on the floor”), I don’t want to be the sole responsible child left, I don’t want to have no one to lock eyes with across the room when someone in our family says something silly, or sweet yet uninformed, or insane.

If I have to live in this world where you are no longer, I will — sadly, aching, mourning, bereft, and in pain so intense it crosses over from emotional to physical so much of the time, leaving me leaning against walls or desperate to catch my breath — but I will. For you, I will.

But for God’s sake, I don’t want to get used to it.

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