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Mind Games

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My mind plays tricks on me;
Memories come in so fast, so rough
But come out
Changed.
A foggy haze forms around
What once was so clear
And takes me somewhere else, somewhere
Better.

Three years ago? Or was it four?
The phone rings,
Once then twice until my mother
Picks it up.
The voice on the other end is
Barely there, shaking and quivering
Just like my mother’s body
When she hears the news.
Oh my god, she says,
He’s
Dead?

That word is so unreal to me;
Death is that horrible thing
So far away, hurting others
But never me.
It’s happened before,
To people I only know by
Thanksgiving dinners and holiday cards,
But it’s never caused my heart to
Fall out of my chest
And my eyes to
Explode with what
I can’t control.

My mother and I
Stand still and wait,
For my father, for a sign, for
Instructions on what to do and how to act
When your entire world crumbles
With a phone call.

I haven’t seen my grandfather
In a few months, and the familiar feelings of
Guilt, and sorrow, and if-only’s,
And every stage of grief
Begin to wash over me,
One by one
Until they all
Collide.

The clock ticks and I’m
Left in a daze,
Packing clothes and calling friends and leaving everything
Behind.
The car ride is filled with the silent sounds of us
Counting our regrets.
When the car stops, we pile out,
Dragging ourselves towards the place
We don’t want to be.

When I step through the door
And see my grandmother,
She’s
Broken.
When was the last time she’s cried?
The tears are so unwelcome,
Racing their way down her cheeks
As she stands so
Still.

Everything that happens next
Is distant, vague, someone else’s life.
All the people, the ones I know and the ones that
I now know only through death,
Are forever blurred together,
A mass of bowed heads and “I’m sorry’s”.

I wake up from my reverie
A few days later at the
Funeral,
When my grandmother speaks
And my mother cries
And it’s over,
He’s
Gone.

But it’s only when my three year old cousin
Asks when Grandpa’s coming back
That I realize it’s all just
Beginning.

Death is a funny thing;
It steals the ones you love,
Tearing them away no matter how tight your grasp or
How much you scream.
You can fight it and deny it and try to make it
Disappear,
But it’s all the same
In the end.

And my mind pushes it
Farther and farther back
Into a place with no return.
How soon until I forget
His eyes? His touch? His love?





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