All are asleep around me, I’m alone at the kitchen bar silently singing again, and again, with James Vincent McMorrow’s ‘We Don’t Eat.” Two days after our brother John’s heart took a great leap up and off and out in a restaurant in Idaho on his drive up here with his family for Thanksgiving. Family sped down, getting the children home to Sarah and Napa. Now we are riding the details, the waves of pain and of stories and images that rise and fall and are shared, and the musics that come to each and are seized and used in gratitude for something that resonates. The feeling out for what matters, for river cairns, walks out into cold and snow, a puppy’s chin under-pressed to your chin, and aspen leaves and snow white feathers gathered and sent in love. Nothing is sure. And until we can be together again, phone calls — quiet updates, each others’ voices, little details of children, memories of John. We are not ready, we are never ready. The familiarity of grief that curls around at odd moments bringing weeping that might be stifled or can flow. I am shadowed by the sisters of grief and compassion, and neither can be missing. Tending to others and also to yourself. It must all come through. I will sing this for John and for all of us, until the song’s ready to change again and carries us through.
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