The Month of May

My father died in May 2006. Each year, when May comes, my heart races, I have trouble breathing, my whole body aches. Just performing ordinary acts, like brushing my teeth, taking a shower, getting out of bed, is arduous and almost impossible. The grief congeals inside my veins, fills every part of me. I see grief everywhere. I have to touch the loss in everything.

As I write this, my mother stands at my door and, with tears in her voice, tells me that today (May 9th) is her mother's birthday. Grandma died in 2007, just a year after my father. Her grave is close by, in an old cemetery next to a water tower and a gas station. Some of the graves are over a century old, blackened by weather erosion, so many names lost to time. When we drive by the graveyard, I think of her. I think of a vanished past and the emptiness of life. Death is what waits, always. Death came for those I loved, and it will come for me. The month of May is a warning, it tells me that, one day, I will be next.

May will be the death of me.