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Absence Looms as Presence


Day 45:

Early on in grief, absence looms as it’s own presence. It is in every nook and cranny. Vacuuming the rug you gave me. Your slippers at the garage entrance. Your bathrobe hanging on the hook. The last text I sent, not replied to with “love, dad.” Your rhododendrons in the back.


You died, and then the next day, spring came. The buds opened. The pollen blanketed my car. We started to sneeze.


We picked some eager rhododendron blossoms that don’t usually bloom until May.


My heart wants to make some meaning out of this timing—desperate to concoct some balm that makes something about your dying ok. And I feel it happening inside of my brain…and then I resist. Because both things are true. I’m so freakin grateful that spring came the day after you died AND spring coming doesn’t make your dying ok.


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