If walking through a store or possibly a home and spelling that perfume, I will instantly and forever think of you. Happy by Clinique. Something that doesn’t fit neatly into one category, much like you. Something that constantly revolves around musk or floral or orange, not easy to describe in any sense, much like you. But without a doubt it is a scent that is so delicate and happy, much like you or much like you strive to be. Perhaps you wear a perfume that smells like happy with some desire that this word will somehow sink through into your veins, sliding gracefully into your heart cavity and permanently reside there. That the happy you wear wont have to come from a perfume bottle anymore. You, someone who had a life that was not filled with too many bottles of happiness perfume. The loss you suffered, the decisions you were forced to make, the strength that almost seemed mandatory. The moves, the disease, the breakups, the harshness of the world in general. Maybe, just maybe that’s why you drench your clothing and the nape of your neck in something that promises the smell of happiness. If only you are able to inhale what happiness is supposed to smell like, then maybe, just maybe you could taste happiness, live happiness, feel happiness. Long ago this perfume seemed to be a mask. One that was obvious, one that you believed had people fooled. That if people smelled happiness on your freckled skin, then you believed that they would believe that you were in fact happy. But, lately the happiness of your perfume seem to express your inner thoughts and happiness rather than mask them. It seems to be an extension of the deepest part of your soul and, nothing makes me happier than knowing that now not only do you smell like happiness but you feel like happiness. Happiness for you doesn’t come out of a perfume bottle anymore, it comes out of your soul and that perfect smile of yours.
Death has many effects on people. When we find out that someone we love will no longer be able to answer our phone calls or hug us when we are lonely, our minds, our souls, and our hearts goes into overdrive.
Our mind has us examine everything we have ever been taught. It is in our mind that we replay every single second with our loved one that we can remember. It is with our mind that we picture their faces and their smile and hope that our mind will not ever let these images become faint. It is with our mind that we figure out the arrangements that must be made, the things that goes here and the people who get what. We must somehow work out a way to survive without this person. We must think of ways in which we can continue on without them. We are forced to think of a future world without them and are completely made to reinvent any idea of our lives. Our mind tells us that while nothing will be the same again we will be able to go on. We will find a strategy, we will compute, we will go on.
Our soul feels lost. Our soul searches for an answer late at night through blurry eyes from a higher power. Our soul feels empty, which feels like someone has managed to scoop out the deepest of your insides. Our soul silently prays for a sign, any sign, just to know that their soul has not left ours, and this is a process that will haunt you for the rest of your own life if you do not find an answer. Our souls search within ourselves to see the ways in which our loved one has changed us. The way in which they have inspired us and pushed us and saved us. Our soul looks for this and always seems to find it. Our soul feels our loved one in the warm summer sun, or the way the flowers grew just right this spring or the way a ladybug seems to always be near. Once our soul doesn’t feel empty anymore, once it finds the connections we have made to their soul we are able to feel ok again. Our soul searches for an answer, our soul fills us and gives us hope when our mind tells us they are gone. Our soul knows that they will never truly be.
Our heart takes us on another journey. One filled with questions and longing. Our heart makes us hug our children and little tighter at night and reminds us to pray before we sleep. It makes eggs and toast taste extra delicious and it makes us rethink the fight we had with our significant other. It makes us call up that person that we seemed to push away and it makes us crave forgiveness for our many past mistakes. It makes us cry and show emotion when we normally keep to ourselves. It makes us hug and love much harder than we have in a long time. It is our heart that forces us to realize the uncertainty of time and also the way in which we have decided to fill it. Our heart makes us forgive our friend and give a parent a second chance. Our heart makes us notice the way our lives have ended up and gives us hope to change it. It is with our heart that we see how the person would have wanted us to live. While our mind reprograms and our soul searches, it is our heart that tells us the right way to go. Our heart that takes a death and a loss and uses it to reshape our lives.
Even after all this time,
I crave you like the crackling soil of earth craves water after the summer of no rain,
I miss you like the sun will forever miss the stars,
I long for you like the trees long for the warmth only spring can wrap them in,
I need you like the wind needs a forest, because after all, if it wasn’t for the shuffling of the trees on a cool autumn day how would anyone know that the pure existence of a breeze,
I desire you like the soft arms of the ocean desire the rough hands of land,
and I thirst for your soul like the poor lad that has gotten lost in the desert searching for anything to quench his undying thirst,
Even after all this time.
I remember when they took you there, when they knew it was getting close and you really didn’t have a choice. I remember how the air was a little tighter and the obvious a little more obvious there. When you walked in you could no longer deny what was the next step in the plan of life. That’s how it is on the inside of nursing homes or hospital facilitates, they have a way of making me feel like death is crawling up inside my chest and, out of fear of what would happen if I sit there for too long, I go outside because that is the only place that I can find relief. It’s the only way that I can feel the relief of spitting death out of my chest, by clumsily walking to the outside garden provided (there is always an over done garden usually with some sort of stone looking fountain so maybe I’m not alone in all this) and taking tremendously deep breathes and looking up at the sky as if to remind my body “you are alive, you are alive”, or, maybe its for my soul.
After hours and hours of sitting in a calm colored room filled with deep reds and sun shining on dirt brown, I knew I needed a break. I needed a break from sitting in a room trying to act like the thing that was happening wasn’t really happening. Maybe it was because I couldn’t look in your eyes anymore, or maybe it was because I had to pee, who knows. All I know is I left the room for a stroll around slow death valley, or as people tend to call it, the hospice center. After one too many turns in the maze of halls I somehow got lost. Then the world began to spin, in my frantic search for your room. I got lost in the indoor prison of beige colored walls and, after turning corner and corner and corner they felt like they were closing in. All I could smell were burnt potatoes wafting from everyone’s rooms and families talking softly about what to do and people in their bed dying and going over every little day of their lives wishing they had more but they don’t. And I begin to run because I know that’s you, I know that’s what you are doing and I don’t want to miss a second of you. I don’t want to miss a second of your warmth or the smell of your weathered skin. I don’t want to miss another millisecond of your rough over worked hand holding mine. Running faster and faster I still can’t reach your room and the beige colored walls swallow me up and my lings feel like they are about to rip out of my chest. I can’t miss another minute of your beautifully, cut short life. I run and run along these creme colored walls, along the windowless plaster prison walls in a place that takes no survivors. I run and run and run, how big could this place be? Finally I hear the all too familiar voice of my mom, I smell the tartness of my grandmas perfume and I see you. I haven’t missed it, that greedy disease hasn’t stolen you away from me just yet. And, before I slip quickly back into that room so I can hold your hand I say a very quiet prayer thanking god for those extra five minutes.