Miranda with Elephant on the Pacific Coast
Miranda and Elephant on the Pacific Coast, California (Synch Media)

Death has never been my friend. The necessity of her existence is no more comfort than my own. I don’t hate her, but I look at her the way she looks at Disease. We are all harbingers. We all bring Pain.

~

I slip in sideways, just after Shock. Her job, at least, is sometimes good. It’s also shorter–she gets to flit away afterwards and dance with the thunderstorms.

My job is more complicated. I don’t dance; I sidle. I ooze in to fill the cracks. I soak up sun light with darkness. I choke away everything but Pain.

Nobody wants to face Grief. Nobody wants to understand Death. I have to create this environment because without darkness, my voice is too soft.

I stroke her cheek. I sing to her. Sometimes I bring Memory and we sing together. Memory is one of my favorite people, because inside her, everyone lives. But Memory’s best friend is Future, and Future does nothing for me.

When Memory has finished singing, and Future has released her dreams, Reality comes. And that’s when I’m most needed.

Who better to understand the emptiness? Who better to hold her through screams? Who better to wail with her keening? Who better; who better than me?

I won’t ever tell her she’s whining. I won’t say he’s in a “better place.” I won’t condemn her if she reaches for me in 10 years; I’ll be here. I will reach for her too.

And I tell her, “There won’t always be darkness. When my voice is familiar, some light will seep in. When my voice is familiar, you will make friends with Joy. She’s waiting for you. She’s best friends with Patience.”

And I tell her, “Come meet my twin sister. Though you already know her, she lives inside you. She lives in the Love that you hold for your child. And that’s where I met you, where I’ll always find you.”

And I want to say more that is comforting, but that isn’t my duty; it wouldn’t be real. I exist as her constant reminder of the unwanted power and permanence of Death. And if I had a choice, I would shield her from everything. I would shoulder her suffering, and soak up her tears. But that too is denied me. I can only hold her, sing duets with Memory, remind her of Pain. I can only live here, her constant companion, as long as she’ll let me, as long as she Loves.