These messages of death come
across social media as swift as wind-swept leaves.
Robin Williams killed himself, Lauren Bacall is gone,
a teen killed in Missouri, children in Gaza.
We are all connected in our mourning.
I am saddened by Robin Williams’ death,
but I do not think about him.
I think of my dear friend Dan
who struggled with the same demons,
who swallowed a shitload of pills
but then could not swallow his own vomit
and died in his bed with dreams dashed
against the headboard
and pain spilled upon the floor.
White sheets like cotton clouds floating heavenward.
I think of razor blades against my young wrists
and know again that we are all connected.
And I do not think of Lauren Bacall,
but instead see my aging mother
confined to her bed where dreams
are fulfilled in daytime fantasies,
where reality is the four walls around her,
the pillow beneath her head,
and whatever memories and fantastical visions
God allows to intrude
at any given moment.
I ponder her life—
how she has come full circle from baby
to adulthood and back to infancy,
will soon enter the womb of the universe
and be born again into new life,
and how some day I will follow her into the stars.
We are connected that way.
I do not think only of movie stars.
I think of my heart and its betrayal,
and its continued beating within the walls of my being.
I think of the mortality
those who have lived and died already,
my heart beating toward its conclusion,
the idea that in my living I am dying.
I can celebrate both–
the living and the dying–
I can celebrate all.
Today we have this moment.
We are connected in this moment.
it is what we have.