I stared down at the paper. Nothing but a blank, white surface. Like my life now, my future. I couldn’t fathom stepping into that blankness, of moving on.
Of moving beyond my last moments with him.
All I had left of him was this: a task to show the world the brother, the friend, the man I know. Knew.
In a eulogy. An obituary. Cold, sharp words against my brain. Words I shied away from, cowered from.
But how do you distill a remarkable, intricate, utterly personal life down to a few lines of words? How do you show the colors and dimensions of a life in flat, black and white text?
How do you resurrect memories without resurrecting the ghost, those haunting, precious, painful reminders?
So I wrote the only thing I could—the dearest, most desperate wish of my heart:
If I could write you with words
Create you again
Blood and bones and body
Flowing from my pen
In streams of sentences and lines
That rebuild you
Stronger and better
If I could resuscitate you with language
Breathe life back into your lungs
With the words in my head
In my heart
Pulsing inside of you
If I could fill your eyes with light
And the spark of life
Ignited from the power
Of this pen
On this paper
Words like fire
Burning from me
If the poetry in my heart
Could become the life in yours
Keep you here
In this world of words
And human emotions
If I could unwrite your end
Edit out the pain
Replace it with triumph and joy
And a hundred more years
And a happily ever after
If my words could alter reality and time
Change the world
Shift the course of your life
Just for a moment
And then when the last word bled from me, wrung out of me like sweat and tears, I caved in on myself. Wrapping my arms around myself, around my heart that felt split in two, hunk of bleeding flesh sitting at the bottom of my chest.
Other words came then, about a life and a brother. I stored them away in that battered heart for later and merely held myself together.