There are things, and then there are Things- you know: the ones with a capital “t.”

Most times, dealing with the things in existence every day- pain, frustration, anger, questions, resignation, depression- is difficult enough. So on some level, you understand it when you hear that everyone is going through these things. It’s life they say.

But then, the Things happen. And because they are so big and so final, you are isolated, even from the ones going through them with you. For you, darling, it is the intervening periods that make or break these waves for you. The intervening period is the period between the glass slipping out of your hand and it shattering on the floor.

It begins the moment they tell you Papa is dead, and ends the moment you toss your handful of soil and pebbles onto a coffin that you had jokingly picked with your sister, who is the only one who understands your intervening period. It continues through those moments when friends come to mourn with you (before the useless utterances of dust-to-dust) and instead of sitting with them to hear the wisdom they have to impart about how to deal with the sudden non-existence of your father, you are typing up minutes of the funeral meeting that just ended. It is the time you spend picking out socks for the man that wouldn’t have worn socks in this heat, as if these socks would thaw the frozen feet and jolt your father back into the January heat. It is responding calmly to the questions from a friend about how to choose a mortuary, as you drive to a funeral meeting.

It is more than that, darling girl. It reasserts itself the day you hear about N, and have to “put the news on hold” as you finish edits on an ENB in a faraway land. It is the flight back to Boston, and the tears that you finally allow to flow when you see her sitting on a golden cloud, as if she was always there. It is the lighting of a single candle in the presence of strange people, and smiling through graduation days later. When the glass shatters, you won’t remember these things. There will only be darkness for so so long.

It re-enters your life years later when you are rushing over to see Mr.  I, mostly because you can’t believe S is dead, but not knowing what to say days later to their daughter.

Darling, use the intervening period to prepare for the glass to shatter. Unprepared, the shattering of the glass will shatter you. It will seem unending, and will cause your isolation to be unending. You will lose years to the darkness, if you don’t recognise the intervening period for what it is- salvation.

Grace to you, darling,


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