My death was warm.

I took no last breath; rather, my breath was an orchestra playing the final diminuendo of a piece.

It was not my body dying, for my body’s death will not be my death. The death I experienced, the death that mattered, was hers. 

We were, and are, one. The furthest we’ve been was the three years of my life before her conception and the slow shift into death. After that death, though, we became closer in ways anew. We had to sacrifice the comforts of physical touch between us, but we were gifted with unending closeness. 

 I am always with her, she is always with me. 

It is only by her leave that I continue to live. She anchored me by the closeness I found with my parents in caring for her; she gave me love in ways I had never known; I now devote my painful living to the chance that I might find anything remotely and like it ever again. 

The agony within me shall never cease, and neither shall the joy. They are tides, coming to and from the bay, shaping the beach itself. They bring new creatures, they erode old barriers, they bring new, rich sand. They deliver the bodies of those left, and they bring out with them that which once resided upon me. 

I push myself every day. I take leadership and responsibility; I speak in empathy; I love our parents more and more every day, I practice the phases of pain and joy as the moon phases around privacy and publicity. She did not teach me these things; rather, we were these things, and we are these things. 

The pain continues to push itself. It furthers my years beyond that of my peers more and more; it pushes me to the hearts of isolation; it takes all hope and leaves it unimaginable.

When the night comes, we forget the sun continues to move, pushing itself towards rising. We become lost in the darkness, forgetting all that we once knew in light. 

When the day comes, we forget the night, though it has marked us. I can tell you how long this day has been; I cannot tell you how long the night previous was. 

I would not appreciate the night if I had not known the garish light of day; I would not appreciate the day if I had not known the cold of night. Nothing can be one; pure simplicity is an illusion.

We were not an illusion. Every day, I sing the songs you loved. Every night, I remember crawling into your bed and burying my larger body into your smaller arms. It is this and your laugh that I miss most. It is the look in your eye and the softness of your skin that I hold close.

Should I grow to forget everything I once knew, the holiness of the world will hold you for me, and you will hold me. Someday, I hope to bring with me more family for you to be loved by. We, ourselves, hold love enough for legions. 

As the physical senses diminish, our spirituality in senses grow. I’ll feel you in my contrabass; I’ll feel you in my tears; I’ll feel you in my warmest blankets.

Our death is warm. 


This poem is about: 
My family
Guide that inspired this poem: 


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741