Chapter 14: If I Could Write You

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

My heart

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

Sustaining 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

To you

If the poetry in my heart

Could become the life in yours

Keep you here

Bound here

In this world of words

And human emotions

And love

If I could unwrite your end

Edit out the pain

And suffering

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

Remake you

Rewrite you

Just for a moment

I would

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.

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