1. You died before the pandemic, missed it by a year, exactly. The way you were in the last few years, you would have found it exciting. But you would have found it exciting before the cancer, too, I think. You loved nothing better than an excuse to stay home, chill. Universal chilling would have been a gift for you.
2. You would not have been scared. You had a nice house in the woods and great faith in the love of God. I do too (have faith in the love of God; my house is smack dab in the city), but I am scared for all those who will die of neglect, because our country is built to safeguard the rich and the White.
3. You would have cared about others, too, but you would have found a way to help those around you, way more than I am. You would have been busy on the phone. You might even have risked your own health to make sure others had what they needed.
4. You might have taken someone in. Something tells you me you would have taken someone in. Those who are alone. Those who are scared. It was routine for you to put people up. You and I. were the most generous people.
5. You died way too soon, but I am happy you do not have to be here for the pandemic. I know I just said you would have been okay with it, even liked it, but still, it gives me peace to think of you safe and happy basking in the presence of Love.
6. I haven’t felt much of you since you died, G., I’ll be honest. I thought our conversation would continue uninterrupted but that didn’t happen. You and I, we talked so much. I know there is a plan of love for me in this, too, this silence of yours, or, rather, this deafness of mine, and this is why I carry on.
7. It feels strange to be left here. You and D. and many others, gone. Yet we talked about this, didn’t we? You said you’d help. You promised. I know you are helping me. You are not someone to break a promise — never.
8. What do you want for the anniversary of your death? I know you would like a celebration. I will celebrate for you, honey. I will have a feast here on my own, maybe get S. to join. We’ll have a cake, maybe, some cookies at least. We’ll sing. We do this a lot now. We sing together when we are happy. You would have gotten a kick out of it.
Painting by Beate Tuback, Leaf-Line.