When I’m Old and Gray, Will I Count More Wrinkles Etched Upon My Face or the Number of People I Mourn and Grieve?

I don’t have insomnia, but there are four times a year where I find the most difficulty in sleeping. It’s odd how each time I always wonder, before I remember. The truth is, no one was lying when they told me that time does heal all wounds. If you asked me to pinpoint where in the cycle of grief that constant pain, labored breaths, the raw feeling in the back of your throat and the weight of thousands of stones falling on your chest… would turn into a dull ache on occasions but mostly a commiseration of fond memories, I couldn’t tell you. It just happened. But four times a year it comes back, it is a slow process like my mind is subconsciously easing me into it. It’s not until I’m consciously aware of the why that it feels like I am being submerged. I think the worst part of living is having to miss someone for the rest of your life, knowing there is no possibility of them ever coming back. 

I know I feel things deeply, sometimes far too deeply. I was on call with Taylor talking about all this, and I remember saying something like, “I’m not sure if you know this, but I am very sensitive.” I am fairly certain he laughed at me because out of all the people in SL, I have known him the longest and of course he knew. Anyway, this is the reason why the prospect of growing old and gray is not something I look forward to. I can’t help but wonder how many times in a year will I feel like this when I age. Will that be what my life will come to? Just adding more each year, as if I’ll be in a constant state of remembering where my thoughts keep me up all night mingled with this overwhelming feeling of sadness and grief and memories of those I love and care for who were here, but are no longer.

I’m not sure.

My free time has been minimal as of late, but there is something to be said about SL photography. Talking doesn’t always help because it feels like there is no release for what I’m feeling, but I’ve found that when I do photos it offers some solace that I so desperately seek. I knew I wanted to do a photo like this. I wanted those four candles by the window lit in memory of the people I lost and cared for the most, and I wanted that window section as the focal point. There is the old man I fear of becoming, though even now if he’s anything like I am, I can’t help but feel an ache in my chest for him. There is the foolish boy who didn’t understand why everyone was crying around him because he thought that hospitals were where you brought dead people, so they could come alive again. There is the teen, who could understand what the finality of death actually meant and for the first time had to deal with regret. Then there’s my current avatar, in the foreground but blurred, just praying for a bit of peace.

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