Say a Prayer for Me Tonight

“Say a prayer for me tonight. I’ll need every prayer that you can spare to get me by. Oh, say a prayer for me this evening. Bow your head and please, Stay on your knees tonight”—Gigi (sung by Betty Wand)

I have a scavenger’s personality: I’m all about the search, discover, and seize. I trophy my wall with conquests of things desired. Lately, instead of a quest of want, I’m on a quest of need.

There’s a distinct urgency to my prowl; an awareness that I’m wallowing in alack without limit. Eyes shift from face to face looking for traces of what I’m missing. I’m lost in the mist of my chase. The way I use to chase men who couldn’t love me, I now chase the ghost of the brother who left me. Was taken from me.

It’s weird to hear laughter, remembering the echo of my brother’s chuckle; I sprint toward the fading sound. I find myself longing to be hugged the way only my brother could, strong arms that wrapped around me, then a brace of his knees as he lifted me in the sky. I suffers substitutes for strong arms, sniffing for a similar scent, someone to joke with about a receding hairline, who’s hat collection never ceased to surprise me.

Because I can’t seem to discern these feelings, I spend a lot of time alone. Or working. Or both. I don’t know what I’m thinking about half the time, then all of a sudden the realness of death hits me, permeates, blasts of cold air engulf me in a bubble all my own. A realization that death is permanent and things will never go back to normal.

There is no normal, just a newly developed consistency. Foreign territory, foreign language, I have to make sense of this new land where I was deposited.

At every corner a reminder, a memory I never want to forget. It’s so easy as time passes to lose the moments you hold dear. Maybe that’s why I’m not sleeping; sleep defining a lapse of time, and elusive understanding that each time I lay down my head or close my eyes I grow farther from his death. Yet my dreams won’t let me forget. I relive the news, revisit the funeral home, reinvent the last goodbye.

I only hear brief sound bites of his voice. I only see snapshot images of his face. I hate how easy it is to let slip, yet how hard it is to stop the hurting.

His death shocked my system, tilted the axis of comprehension for my whole family. To say I’m grieving him is an understatement.


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