318 Words about Death

It’s like green. Like losing the color green.

Your brain clatters on, and your heart keeps pumping. It’s just green, after all. You’ve seen green plenty of times, it’s common and commonplace. A shade that your eyes find unremarkable as a whale finds the sea.

And what’s more, your brain can process the loss. You know what things are

The Final Illustration for Siren - Owen Gent Illustration
The Final Illustration for Siren – Owen Gent Illustration

green, it’s as simple as math, as simple as subtraction. When you see the blank your mind ticks and says “Oh, that’s a thing that Once Was Green. Just move forward as if it were Green.”

The trees are blank, but I know they Once Were Green. The grass is blank, but I know it Once Was Green. Traffic lights present no problem – I see the yellow, the red and then the blank light. I press the gas as if it were Green. My favorite mug is blank but it still holds water.

I begin to avoid avocado and it’s blank flesh. Kermit is blank and his song just sounds like static. Blank lettuce, blank pickles, blank tractors on the roadway. Blank markers in my bag writing in blank ink.

Blank push-pins and my toothbrush is blank. Blank shirts in my closet, all of my money is blank. Pidge pilots the Blank Lion but still helps form Voltron. Obi-wan’s light saber is blank.  My eyes are hazel, a mixture of green and brown. In the right light my eyes are blank in the mirror.

Each blank is a scar. I move forward through the world, startled again and again by how much has been erased.

The blanks burn. They burn like a net of empty.

One day, will I forget about What Once Was Green? Will my mind triumph through silent substitution, the blanks covered by quick illusion?

One day I will see green trees again. I will see green grass again.

But I will know that they are blank.

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11 thoughts on “318 Words about Death

  1. My fiance was killed in a car wreck in ’99 and I’ve never fully recovered… I can still see the future we planned together that is now impossible to reach. Thanks for sharing these words… nothing will ever ease the pain of a loss but it helps to know others also feel the same way… keep us human and connected. The scene in Cast Away when Tom said you have to keep moving and breathing because you never know what the tide will bring is my daily affirmation.

    1. Ha, I’m glad you enjoyed it. My mom passed in May, and this is the closest I’ve been able to really talk about it. It’s a shitty club that everyone joins eventually, your posts have been very honest and very beautiful. So welcome to this awful club, here’s a hat.

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