I wore the white dress today that I wore the night before I was a bride, on a night while my mother was still alive. Today, the dress was dusted with the pollen from white lilies, a mark, I'm told, that is hard to remove. I can smell the sharp sting of the tiger lilies my mother's Tante Muriel Iris brought to the house when I was small. I can smell the perfume I sprayed on my mother's pillow as she lay dying (Near, it is called). As we are made, we are marked. The kriah ribbon lies in a silver shell next to my bed. It is torn, I am torn, and I wept to remove it on the last day of shiva. I do not yet miss what I will not have. I miss what I had two weeks ago. I miss caring for her, I miss the bittersweet house full of love and sadness, I miss her brothers, I miss my brothers. I miss the moment I heard her take her last breath, for though she was leaving, and left she has, it was her breath.
I basked in you;
I love you, helplessly, with a boundless, tongue-tied
And death doesn't prevent me from loving you.
in my opinion you aren't dead.
(I know dead people, and you are not dead.)
-Franz Wright via The Long Goodbye by Meghan O'Rourke