Day 14: Life on Planet My Son Died

As Dear Sugar would describe, I live on the Planet My Son Died. It looks very similar to Planet Earth — the home of most others. I have to wait in the same, excruciatingly long lines at the post office. The produce section in grocery stores even have similar coloured, shiny skinned red and green bell peppers. Sometimes, I take long walks on Planet My Son Died and the crunch of the autumn leaves sounds and feels the same as what it used to when I also lived on Planet Earth. So, what makes my new home any different than the one I used to live on?

Well, the air, for one. It is thinner and harder to breathed and the air pressure, temperature and humidity changes from room to room. Sometimes even within spaces of the same room. It can get really hot and I feel sweaty and uncomfortable, not just in my own clothes but also in my own shin. And then air sometimes suddenly thins and its hard to breathe and I am gasping and gripping with my lungs only invisible, diminishing molecules that are heavy than the ones I used to know so they don’t circulate through my body like I am used to oxygen cirlucation. My feet and hands go numb easily and my heart is beating harder because my brain is aware of the deprivation and is terrified. It knows something essential to life is missing. So, with numb-tingling extremities and a racing heart in a body that it one minute flushed and hot, then chilled to the core the next. I feel panicked. I think, “What if I can’t breathe anymore? What if I suffocate and die”

That’s when I start to calm down. I am awash in relief. Sweet, welcomed relief at the thought that my heart could stop, too and my whole being might reconnect with that little boy whom I love so dearly and miss and long for his company. WE could be together again. Sigh of relief. I feel better.

But then my insides start to knot again because what if rules don’t conform on Planet My Son Died like we like to think of them falling into place on Planet Earth. What if, in death, we cannot find our beloveds? Are rules of death different on different planets? Life, atmosphere and elements do not obey the laws that I used to know. So, it would make sense that afterlife does not align with what I used to know. What if space and distance is to big in death or there are too many other people — it too crowded to be able to find a little, lost boy? That’s why my airway constricts again, as if gripped by tow squeezing hands.

“Oh”, I remember. “If laws of life aren’t the same on Planet My Son Died, this must mean that afterlife laws are not the same”, I say to myself. Its as possible that my dead son is in a room that looks and feels exactly like our living room. He is leaning over the coffee table as the warm sunlight filters in and he is looking for one corner piece on the puzzle that he just started. But don’t worry, he is patient and will wait for me to help him sort out the pieces and assemble the jigsaw picture together. And because laws are different, he will be there, ready and willing and with a smile, today, or tomorrow or next May, waiting for me to be his company.

With this scene in my mind, I can look up an select two smooth, crisp bell peppers and manage to cart them over to the check out line. The currency on my new planet is the same as the old. Everywhere takes cash, checks (with id), credit cards and emotional currency.


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