It is a call that no one wants to get. No one wants to think about. The person calling does not want to make the call.
It is a flight that no one wants to take. No one wants to sit and think about what awaits them when they land.
It is a vigil that no one wants to attend. No one wants to sit and listen to the machines beep. No one wants to hear the nurses scurrying quietly, efficiently doing what must be done.
But when you get that call and you take that flight and you sit in that room with the machines, you know that you could be nowhere else. Not at that moment.
You stroke his hair. You tell him your latest pun joke. You recite childhood poems. You sing, quietly. You hope that he knows you are there.
It is quiet. So very, very quiet. Just the two of you in the tiny, electrified room.
He is gone. His hazel eyes will never open again. His auburn hair will never shine in the sun again. His face will never crack open in a grin ever again.
He is gone.
At that time, at that point, there are no memories. There is just that room and those machines and your own voice. Grief has a way of stripping all else from you. In that moment. At that time.
It has been eight years. The memories of that day and the next feel like a movie. The emotions rise but the feelings have no where to go. They are disconnected. They are are now filtered.
That lonely spot in your soul remains. It is less intense now. It is more manageable, easier to continue the daily routine. Disconnected from those days.
Until the Christmas card from his best friend arrives. Then you can actually feel the texture of his hair. You can actually hear the machines beeping. You can smell the room. And the grief grabs you one more time.
But now, I smile before I cry. I remember the grin. I remember the puns. I remember the music. I remember the love.
Good night, Daniel. Sleep well, my dearest brother.