She’s Not Here. But It’s Still Her Birthday.

I truly hate the process of grieving. Shit! I hate the fact that there are reasons to grieve! And, knowing there are “steps” in the process does not help. In fact, the whole world can fuck off with the seven-step business! Those of us who grieve can tell you about the multitude of second-by-second steps necessary to remind our hearts to beat and the encouragement it takes to induce our lungs to expand with air.

Yes, we have reasons to continue living on. There are those still with us in the flesh who also own parts of our hearts and for whom we know our putting one foot in front of the other is important. People we love so much that just the thought of losing them too, our hearts, well, our hearts…

But the cycle of life mandates we come, we live and then, we go. And, it is gangster enough to not allow us a say in how long we stay; perhaps because it knows some of us will never leave. So, it decides for us. And for some reason, it takes some of us way too early (at least for those left behind who still love them) and in other instances, it seems to take the good ones, leaving some of the ugly and wicked behind. No rhyme or reason to its order. But, we all must leave, I hear.

My friend, I miss you. I miss you today, your birthday and I missed you every yesterday since you left a little over one year ago. I take the elevators and walk the halls of our school and still look for and wish I see you. I saw your (full) name as a character in the book, Crick Crack, Monkey the other day and almost lost my breath. Yes, there you were, Gloria Foster, page fifty-one. Thank you for saying “hello.” I continue to challenge the administration at Hunter to include you in the Commencement program at our graduation next Spring; I will not give up. I love you.

Sending you all sorts of birthday wishes in every corner of the universe you now occupy. And know, even as you see my tears and every struggle I have to catch my breath, I am glad and proud of them. Because, my friend, my grief signifies how beautiful you are to be this missed. Thank you for having happened to us all.

Happy Birthday, my friend.

(This was the last picture we took together at a birthday celebration; mine. I now use it to celebrate yours. I love you BIG).

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