You wanted to be held; you dug your little velvet forehead under my chin, and burrowed closer, closer, on your last day – I held you and paced, because you were quite particular, and didn’t like it when I sat down. And so, we walked. My arm trembled and ached and I thought “so soon, your weight will be gone forever, so I won’t let go,” and it became a yoga exercise of heart and soul tenacity.
It was the longest and most brief time of my life. I set up a camera timer with one hand and held you in front of it, watching as I distracted myself, “look at how hard it is for you to be present with him, look how you escape,” I observed ,
And my lower back was screaming now, “this is why we crossfit, silly woman, so you can hold your dying boy as long as he wants. As long as he lives.”
Then they were on their way, I got the call, and my heart sped up, and I shook with instant cold. With one hand then the next, I put a sweatshirt on slowly, not jostling you, my love, my own heart’s darling, and I sneakily stretched my back a bit, too-
Hold on. Let go. Hold on. Let go.
I don’t want to scare him, I said, and my tears leaped back into my heart, to wait until you were gone. “It’s ok, love, you are safe,” Which didn’t feel like a lie, as there is really nothing safer than to meet death held by love and accepting and with peace.
But this was our island, before they came over – I knew today I would wake up in a life without you in it, and my heart would stumble, learning to beat without yours near,
and so I held you and I let you go.
2/11/2020 Figaro, fly free