fifteen years later

“You are mortal: it is the mortal way. You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell. You grieve. Then you continue with your life.
And at times the fact of (his) absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on.
(He) is dead. You are alive.
So live.”
– Neil Gaiman, Brief Lives

I dreamed of my cousin.  An early morning dream.  In my dream he was alive.  There had been no accident, just a big misunderstanding.  He just needed to go away for a long time, and his absence just appeared to be permanent.  In my dream my refusal to fully accept his death wasn’t proof of emotional weakness, it was proof of my faith.  I was the one who had faith.  He knew I wouldn’t be shocked to see him again.

I woke up feeling grateful for such a visceral dream, a dream where I could touch him again, a dream where everyone was happy and relieved and we could focus on mundane joys like watching my nephew play.  I woke up smiling.

And then the morning coffee is brewed and breakfast dishes need cleaning.  And it’s been fifteen years.

Some days it feels like a lifetime ago.  Some days I weep like it just happened.

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