Today, sitting at my desk, there was a loud, low, rumbling and the building shook in response. It was probably a passing truck, but I imagined an expansive, thick, stampede of a cloud, effortlessly washing over the city, erasing everything in its path. I imagined lifting my hands to the sky in surrender. I thought about my child. If she were to survive, and the pain she would have to forever bare, of missing me. I imagined these feelings that I was experiencing would be similar to the real ones I might have, should I ever make the acquaintance of death, the moments before it takes me.
My dad visited me today through the story of someone else’s loss. Her father died too, when she was too young to lose a father. She didn’t get to say goodbye the her father. The loss still haunts her, like it does me. Her father is in her work just as my father is in mine.
I thought about absense today. I wondered, would I be missed? I considered that possibly the ones who would miss me are the ones most eager to listen, to the ones most eager to share their stories with me. These people change throughout a person’s lifetime, but at some point, a shift occurs and one becomes “missable.” I wonder if the shift can occur for one and not the other. I think this is true. It makes me feel lonely.
I have been trying to be quiet lately. To see what the world might look like in my absense. I have found, to little or no surprise, that it goes on without me. And so, I add my voice back in until it is taken from me unexpectedly. I know who I will miss. I try to keep them close. I want them to know I am here. Being quiet is too lonely.