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Life After Death

The Miami sun is a friend of mine. Dappling off the pool's surface in the early morning, the sun creates playful, refracted, writhing patterns on the surface. The rippling patterns shifting in size and shape bring me a little joy.

I wait quietly, knowingly, for sunscreen-covered, bikini-clad teenage girls to fill the pool area with boys, giggles, and estrogen.

Eventually, their parents will arrive with the day's heat.

The paisley lemons on Mom's and Dad's matching shirts will contrast with both the giant sea turtles on the beach and the idyllic aquamarine hotel pool. The red and peeling skin of Midwestern Americans will add nothing to the photos I take.

But taking tourist pictures is what I do since she passed.

I love the salty-surf mornings, though!

Wow! The smell of ocean spray fills my nose and my life! It's unbidden, and it's welcome! Soul-cleansing spray, mixed with heart-pounding surf! It's good for my Chakra.

And yet, too often, I find myself weeping into my Tilley as the surf swirls about my feet.

It's the mournful cawing of the gulls that remind me I grieve for her.

The pain of her passing hurts so much. I'm twenty years older than last year.

When the gulls caw mournfully and whenever my grief curls to the surface, I yank my Tilley off my head and simply bawl into it. Loud sobs. Tears. Pain. Loneliness.

No one wants to see a lonely man cry. I wear my Tilley so I may hide my tears from others.

I mourn. I lament. I remember.

I remember her telling me how every man needs a Tilley hat just as much as every man needs a woman to love. She bought me this one.

And then I cry. I cry for my wife, who died and left me behind.

I cry because it isn't my turn to die. I yet live while she lies in the grave. What cruel god does this?

The sun sets every night on the grilling of fresh seafood at the hotel pool. The sun also sets on me.

It isn't my time to die. I know it. I mourn for me just as much as I grieve for her.

It's not my time to die and join her in eternity; it's a cruel god who tortures me.

The sun will rise tomorrow, and so will I. I know this. Our children, hers and mine, are coming to check-up on me. They're bringing our grandchildren with them.

I will take their photos by the pool amidst the playful sun patterns. I will kiss them and love them in the sand and the surf. There'll be no crying in the Tilley tomorrow, or any morrow until they leave. But when they leave, I will cry again. What is left of my empty life will return.

It isn't my time to die. I know this.

It isn't my time to die.

I grieve over her death, and I cry for my empty life.

 

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