I wrote the following after returning from Kansas and Spencer’s funeral. Spencer was my nephew and is a role model of commitment, fidelity, and perseverance.
These are different ghosts.
Usually the spirits I find in my garage when I clean it are small, pesky.
But not this time.
This time the spirits are all together different.
The jack stands, old brake pads and calipers, sockets and end wrenches are laying in a swirling legion of spirits.
One is kindly acting like a chalk outline. “This is where you were lying when your sister called.”
Several hover at the ceiling. “We are the ones that blotted out the light as you heard your sister’s halting voice tell you that Spencer was dead.”
“Some of us began to wail, making it impossible to hear the words and impossible to misunderstand their meaning.”
This is where I was when I found out my sister had lost a son,
my nephews lost a brother,
my dear friend and brother-in-law had lost his first born.
Each grief took up residence in these artifacts of a Saturday morning.
The losses tumbled down.
My wife, a nephew. My mother, a grandson.
Ghosts wobble and fall down. They wrap their arms around their knees and rock.
These ghosts are welcome to stay here.
I hope they abide with me in this place, on these tools.
With these tools and these ghosts I will work out the living with this grief.
This is a kindness to me.