Well, we didn’t quit make it to death.
It certainly feels like death. Same darkness. Same eternal silence. Same gathering of mourners offering condolences on our loss. Same tears both from self-pity and genuine sorrow. The only thing missing is a stirring eulogy, although I imagine that’s what I am writing now.
The photos above mark the happiest day of my life. These words spilled out now before you mark the saddest.
I remember our wedding day as though it happened this afternoon. We were married at the Heritage House on the cliffs of Mendocino overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The day started out foggy and overcast, cold and wet. Kerri and I were certain it was going to be that way all day and made our mental adjustments to allow for a less than perfect wedding day, but fifteen minutes before the ceremony began, by the time everyone had gathered and the music filled the afternoon air, the sun burst through a bank of clouds and the fog burned off, leaving a rainbow arching against the horizon. A flock of pelicans flew over the dais where I stood anxiously awaiting my beautiful bride.
My best man whispered, “pelicans are a symbol of eternal love.” I smiled.
Well, here I stand, 9 years later, and the fog has rolled back in. The sun is nowhere to be found, and I am almost certain those pelicans are dead by now, as is my marriage.
I don’t ever want to go through such joy, followed by such loss, again. I don’t keep these pictures as a way to torture and punish myself for all the beauty and wonder that is leaving my life. I keep them as a reminder that at least once in this wretched journey called life, I knew unfathomable love and joy. When people see this broken shell of a man in future days, they will be hard pressed to believe that once I knew happiness and beauty in my life. These photos are all I will have to prove that we once existed.
I have had my fill and am quite content to end my days in the certain knowledge that I was once loved by the best. She can have the house, the dog, the friends…. I have have custody of the memories…and that will have to suffice.
Now where is death, and why has it not done its part?
I am waiting.