Graveyards and Memories
I love graveyards for their tranquility, where life takes form in the shape of memories of those who lay there. Where I do not feel alone, like the way I sometimes would whilst standing among the living. Where I could just be because nobody was trying to fix anything. Where I can seek comfort among the dead, because they do not question.
The night before 15 years ago today, I’d climbed into my grandma’s bed to kiss her goodnight. Her mind was consumed by Alzheimer’s and her body was slowly losing the battle to pneumonia. We’d just ran the suction pump to clear her lungs so she could breathe.
“Goodnight, Ahma. I love you very much,” I said as I held her hand in mine. Our bodies so close to each other, she left the scent of her skin on my t-shirt that night.
I didn’t want to say goodbye because I was afraid I would jinx it. My younger self wanted to keep her around for as long as I could. For that one second, she looked at me and said “Goodnight’. Because of Alzheimer’s, she’d gradually forgotten me by then. But for that one second, she knew who I was. I saw it in the way she looked at me. And for that one second, I felt so loved as though nothing in this world could go wrong.
She was gone the following day — 15 years ago today. 15 years, and I would still occasionally mentally climb back into my grandma’s bed to kiss her goodnight. Just for that one second. Just for that one second when she would know who I was and for that one second of knowing that I was loved so immensely by her. And that’s comfort, right there.
Revisiting the dead isn’t always a bad thing. Because memories are sometimes comforting like that.