Beautiful things

Beautiful things

After my son died, I rescued a dog. She taught me to live in the moment. She coaxed me outside and reminded me that a pinecone is a greater work of art than a good book, that a stick is more fun than a gadget. My wife, dog and I walked through the burnt hills. We approached burnt oaks and watched green sprouts, somehow, push out of the blackened branches. We sat down next to a stream and read each other poems about the changing of the seasons. We became like the ashes all around us, impossible to make out which piece came from which person.

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The first 1,000

The first 1,000

I realize in just a short span of 9 days, our family will approach a milestone of sorts. This number can easily be considered arbitrary, one that would otherwise come and go without any recognition, perhaps it's only quality being that it is so tidy and divisible. I hesitate on letting my mind wander to this calculation in the first place. What good can come from this? It is a simple formula with only two variables, measuring one unit of distance since I last held my middle child. 1,000 days.

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The dialogue of death

The dialogue of death

Regardless of the frequent opportunities, I struggle to frame the discussion. Death, of course, does not follow a prescribed timeline, it does not bend to logic or will, it is not fair. Not everyone young will grow old. Far too many times I linger in the anxiety of the subject matter, lost at the beginning of the conversation, pen and mouth idle to find even the first word to console a heartbroken friend, or to answer an inquisitive 4-year-old.

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With the words of a love song

With the words of a love song

They are songs of grief and death and the intersection of life and loss that is my permanent residence. These are the melodies I frantically return to each time I feel I have lost her again, clinging to each syllable when the strum of grief reverberates throughout my hollow body. They are the exact same words that remind me that I will always be able to find her in the deepest parts of my soul, that she will forever be a part of me.

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Keeping my distance

Keeping my distance

As I walk to my car after work in the early evening darkness of winter, I realize that my shaky situational management has, what appears to me, a consequence. I cycle through the past moments of avoidance and self-preservation, replay the flashes of tense minutes forced upon me, of gritting my teeth through apathetic dismissals veiled in platitudes. I weigh them against the softer moments of kind words, timely gifts and acknowledgement, but find an imbalance.

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"Our baby died yesterday. Please help us..."

"Our baby died yesterday. Please help us..."

We are strangers to one another. You arrived to me through a website in a series of zeroes and ones. But we are space travellers connected forever by shared astrophysics. I was once pulled apart into a drifting cloud of atoms and molecules. Like oil in a dish, my specks magnetically drew to one another over what felt like millennia until there were enough atoms and molecules for an arm, a kidney, an ear, until I was myself again.

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