In Search of A Sunset

“For a second I was almost jealous of the clouds. Why was he looking to them for an escape when I was right here beside him?” - Kamile Shamsie, Kartography

 

Ben, there was not one cloud in the sky yesterday that could keep your rays from touching our skin. We felt you all day. As your love poured over my body, I had sat speaking with a trusted advisor who told me that the only way to get through the physical pain of missing you was to reaffirm my decision to move forward and fight, minute by minute, hour by hour….and in those tough minutes where my heart’s pain was unbearable, to talk to you and ask you to help me through. Your sister, the soul of my trinity, is helping you to be my salvation, since she can still touch me physically. She reaffirms our love and life when it is needed, as you would if you were here.

We spent hours upon hours together yesterday, laughing, smiling, hiking, climbing on rocks, her hugging me when I cried. She willingly helped share the weight of my burden, as we travelled on our journey in search of your sunset one last night. In her own way, she was as determined as me to tell you goodnight and see your sleepy eyes close just one more time, as you snuggled into the chest of the hillside. 

As we neared our vantage point, our gaze lifted to see the clouds descending – a 360 view of our horizon showed clear skies – except for the one spot in the West where we were to tell you goodnight. As if God were telling us, “No, you cannot say goodbye to him, as he is here with you forever, until you meet again.” 

“Thirty-nine years of my life had passed before I understood that clouds were not my enemy; that they were beautiful, and that I needed them. I suppose this, for me, marked the beginning of wisdom. Life is short.” - Iimani David

“Thirty-nine years of my life had passed before I understood that clouds were not my enemy; that they were beautiful, and that I needed them. I suppose this, for me, marked the beginning of wisdom. Life is short.” - Iimani David

Undeterred, we continued our journey. I felt her excitement and determination as she bounded in front of me with her endless energy, up the trail to the rocks where we would lay our blanket and look to find you, once again. She carried pieces of my heart with her, just as I carry yours. As she crouched at the top of our summit, amongst the Gods, she leaned forward, feeling your love (just as you used to crawl up her legs to lay on her)….I sensed she needed to touch you, just one more time. 

“To make myself understood and to diminish the distance between us, I called out: 'I am an evening cloud too.' They stopped still, evidently taking a good look at me. Then they stretched towards me their fine, transparent, rosy wings. That is how evening clouds greet each other. They had recognized me.” - Rainer Maria Rilke, Stories of God: A New Translation

“To make myself understood and to diminish the distance between us, I called out: 'I am an evening cloud too.' They stopped still, evidently taking a good look at me. Then they stretched towards me their fine, transparent, rosy wings. That is how evening clouds greet each other. They had recognized me.” - Rainer Maria Rilke, Stories of God: A New Translation

In that moment, I felt you, through her – your energy in my present earthly life – in her love, my husband’s strength, my oldest daughter’s tender kindness and wisdom, my friends' invaluable support. And, for that minute, you sent me a reaffirmation. The clouds of our God hid your descent, as we are not supposed to say goodbye to you and, as I whispered through my heart’s aching, “I love you Ben,” I realized we were only meant to say good morning to you, each day as we edge closer to your spirit. As I turned my eyes from the clouds back to our earth, I saw your sister's hand reach out and we both verbally confirmed our love for one another, and, in that moment, my love for you was transformed.