When someone you love dies, your heart becomes a desert, a wasteland of hollow echoes and weird, roiling voices that bubble in your mind like water boils in a pot.
Someone I love died on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, and I watched her disappear from this earth, and from the warm, gentle basket of love we shared.
Her eyes seemed to click off, like a light switch, and instantly she was not with me anymore. Gone!
No matter how deeply my heart ached to reach out and somehow bring her back, she had gone.
Helpless does not describe the desperate sorrow that flooded my mind and soul when I recognized that she had disconnected from her body and was, even in those several seconds it took me to recognize that vacant, empty look upon her face for what it was - at the end.
The end of moments now never to be shared, the end of new dreams and happiness in each other's arms.
My life is so much better for having known her, for having loved her and for knowing her love for me. I learned from her the wisdom that life imparted to her very special heart.
I don't know what caused her to go, but I pray that she knew my love was reaching out to her.
I ache for her presence, I cry for the loss of her gaze, her smile, and her fingers in my hair.
However, I feel joy in the belief that she is no longer suffering the daily tortures that she endured for far too long.
Debra loved with her whole being, and people were drawn to her light. But she could only give as much as she had, and she did.
Every bit of her love was given to those who she felt were mistreated or unjustly harmed, and to the innocent, beautiful children - all the children!
I am blessed to have been allowed to share some years beside her, wrapped up in the beauty of her joy in life, while sharing a fight with terrible pain that, every day, tried to eat away her ability to speak (she loved to talk!); pain clouded her thoughts so at times she trembled with rage when her poetry turned dark and harsh - she did not like to feel like life was a burden.
And she fought bitterly to keep a golden thought in the forefront of her mind, no matter the intensity of the demon's attack.
She thrived on her daughter's smiles, her grandson's giggles, her mother's sweetness, and her sisters' rock-solid support. She found strength in her son-in-law's hugs, her father- and mother-in-laws' acceptance, good humor and friendship; and, sometimes, when the sentences seemed to effortlessly glide from her pen onto the page, she found magical wings in her poetry, and the waves of pain would fade into the background.
At times, moments of grief well up inside my chest and spill out of my eyes, and I gasp for breath because the emptiness stabs my heart, and its blade twists and plunges again and again, until I'm on my knees begging for release.
But sometimes, when I silently say her name, a peace visits me, and a smile blooms in my heart, and I know that my love is forever entwined with hers.