I can feel your ghost when I'm awake. Coming home because I want to.... When I'm bored, I send vibrations in your direction through the satellite mind.
Hold it, I'm about to drop off, let me tell my last thought. Drift into a deep fog, lost where I forgot to hold it; I can feel you most when I'm alone.
I find myself talking to dead people a lot. So far they don't talk back, but I have faith they are hearing me. I speak to them through thoughts, memories, stories I tell about them, and sometimes bursting into tears when I find myself alone in my car and something is triggered.
I find myself talking to dead people I haven't met yet; sometimes I find myself sending out thoughts to the universe about people I know are going to die soon and want them to not be alone. They have a life I know nothing about, people I've never met, friends and family who've gone on before them.
It doesn't bother me when elderly people die. I miss them, I am sad, and I would much prefer them here, but it doesn't *bother* me. It bothers me when young people die, or people die without any warning while still having much life left to live, or when my pets die. I grieve hard when my pets leave this earth because I don't really think our words are adequate to tell them thank you.
And the shock gives way to disbelief, which gives way to anger, which gives way to change. Those days are long, hard, blurry and frankly, they are excrutiating. During the whirlwind of the funeral and decisions that have to be made whether you are willing to or not, things are surreal and you bounce from event to event, taking the murmurings of friends and loved ones who are also hurting and don't know what to say, the awkward handshakes and nervous drinks, celebrating life, mourning death, and wondering when, if ever, you might ever see all the people in this room together again. These thoughts are water colored and seen through a haze - unreal, surreal, murky.
It's the long, dark days afterwards when the demons visit you. They don't knock politely on the door and wait for you to let them in. They slide in through the cracks in your mind and worm their way until they swing on the bottom of your heart, pulling it with their grasping and desperate weight, making it hard to breathe.
When alone, they whisper thoughts that you cannot understand yet somehow they sink in. Eroding pieces of your sanity a grain at a time, tossing the pebbles into the growing mound that walks behind in your shadow - the shell of the person you were before.
They hold your hand and skip down the street with you, despite the unseeing eyes and forced smile and banal small talk that slips out of your lips, preciously guarding your state of mind lest someone says the cruelest of all words telling you to get over it.
Those walls are glass but they are thick. You and your demons alone, watching life go by, wondering if you will ever join the human race again. You want to sleep - you want to sleep, forever. Yet things call you back - kids, family who needs you, dogs who need to be fed. Yourself is neglected; if you're lucky you can write or play music and channel love and loss into what they call "outlets" but they are more like glass ponds that skip stones of memories across and watch them sink then ripple. Tenuous, growing, and finally disappearing.
The walls, however, don't magically disappear one day. They don't even eventually grind down. You find that there are fissures, little cracks that parts of you can seep through to this new life, without that person or persons, and breathe again. It's shocking to many to find the air contains the same stench of bloated human petty emotions and cracked veneers of cowering that most do to blanch themselves of full feelings. This is what you suffered through to return to? This bloat and greed and anger we take out upon the earth who loves us and nourishes us?
Grief and love are the closest we get to nirvana. Every fiber in your being alive and buzzing with life, with energy, with loss. The pain that is love is loss. Those are unsustainable - our bodies could not handle being to in tune to the intensity all the time. They would explode from the sheer weight and burden of feeling them. Gradually we accept this new life - for what else is there to do - this new you, this new person, this person who is without now.
One day someone is there and the next you are left standing with the knowledge that you will never, ever speak to that person again. At least not in this lifetime.
And when you are awake and alone, you can feel them inside of you, pulsating with your blood, your life, your stories, your memories. This is love. This is life.
I do a lot of talking about death. It's part of my job, to get people to think about things like Legacy and stories and timelessness. Sometimes I enjoy it, more often it makes too many people feel uncomfortable. I feel guilty bringing up topics that are difficult with them, but I do not back down. They can dislike me, they can dislike that I'm taking them away from a sunny afternoon, but they cannot hate my message. Neither can you.
[Opening lines are lyrics slightly twisted from a band called "Metric: Satellite Minds"]