one sunrise at a time

Hey handsome,

I’m supposed to be writing something, I’m sure of it. There’s a bucket full of post ideas, overflowing from my desk, but I’m going to write to you, because I can’t talk to you.

You’re gone.


I don’t know why it still shocks me.
You’ve been gone 157 sunrises.

You weren’t here when I stepped out of the prison gates.  You weren’t here when Flash spent his first night outside, or when I found a new perfume, or when Perdita started wanting to wear it too. You weren’t here to comfort me when seeing your ashes in a box wracked me with sobs and split my soul in half.

(I know that doesn’t make sense. But life doesn’t make sense, why should I?)

You’ve been missing from Life for 157 days, and I’m still shocked.

But you know that.
You’ve always known your girl.

In that way, and many, I am lucky.

We had said our goodbyes already.  I saw you just days before you left.  I was weaned off of my need for your presence by one full year of state-imposed separation.  It’s why the big things aren’t so bad.

I learned a lot in a year.

I learned how to fall asleep without your shoulder to rest on.  I learned to look up from my meals and not see all of the colors of the earth twinkle through your eyes.  I learned to stop looking to my right as if you were standing silently by.

And I learned how to tell people that you died.  That you existed gloriously, and died quietly.

I learned how to look straight into the blank space where you once were and not flinch.

I learned.
But I am still shocked.

Because when you look life in the eyes, it self-corrects, and the blank spots fill.  It isn’t on purpose.

I promise, handsome.
It isn’t on purpose.

The shock rocks through me at the strangest of times.   It’s not your absence ripping against my reality. It’s the fullness that has nudged in.

It’s the nonsensical question that keeps me awake:

If you didn’t know you were missing,
would you know you were missing?


Would you know the cat avatar is yours?  Would you know that the picture with my crazy hair is hashtagged #BasicallyAXMen because you taught me how to geek?  And how to adult? And how to blog? And how to widow?

Would you notice that you aren’t to my right, kissing my cheek?

Would you sense that, in 2006, we stayed up for an entire three-day-weekend talking about how I put doors on everything? Even robots, apparently?

And how you thought my habit of door-drawing was the perfect analogy for how I live?  And how I insisted that I only do it because I don’t know how to draw anything else?

Would you know you’re the most important part of my long story?  And the fuel behind the short version?

I don’t think so.

This is just a girl’s Instagram account.


And it doesn’t show all my missing pieces.  It doesn’t show my shock.  It doesn’t show the cracks breaking through all sides of my heart.

It shows what I’ve learned.  It shows the prison calluses you never got a chance to kiss away.  It shows all the fullness you left for me, and how I let into the blankness.

But not on purpose, handsome.

I just have this habit of making doorways, you see, because it’s the only thing I know how to make.

And when you build a door, sometimes it opens.

And when it opens, sometimes life sneaks in, no matter how many sunrises you’ve counted, or what they mean to you.

It isn’t on purpose but you know that.
Because you’ve always known your girl.

And you’ll always know me, no matter how far I go, because I walk through every door, carrying your dreams in my heart.

So sleep easy, and I will, too.
Love endlessly, and I will, too.

And maybe I’ll write something tomorrow
about how lucky I am:

To see doors where it’s easy to see robot-tummies.
To see 157 sunrises when it’s so very easy to see one dark cloud.
To see the empty spot you left behind, no matter what I’ve painted all over it.


Tomorrow, I will write all about how very lucky I am, and–
if we’re both lucky–

I might just believe me
enough to make it through


without you.

– Ra



  1. Oh Ra! That was just so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. ~sigh~ it seems that every post I read brings tears to my eyes today – nearly every blog post has touched me deeply. Sometimes tears are good, they allow sadness and tension to be released – even when you don’t know they are lurking below the surface. Peace and joy be yours always dear Ra xx ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Lyn. I have those days, too… tears everywhere! In fact, I’m having one of those days right now. I’m hoping the tears are just making way for peace and joy… or, even just peace. Thank you for reading. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. None of my thoughts make sense right now. (They sound like: Hearts shouldn’t go around unlocking doors willynilly! And doors stink because they keep letting things in and those things are filling up his space. And I don’t even think I like doors anymore.) 🙂 So instead of standing by my parenthetical, I’m just going to say… thank you for reading, Sreejit. Thud. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful again. Cyber hug. And you know, some things will never go away. They linger forever. You move on. Things change. LIfe continues. But some things will never go away no matter how far you grow. But you are aware that we…oh, I wanted to write something wise, but I’ve got nothing. Shit is shit, and we deal with it the best we can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Shit is shit.” … and that part about us carrying everything we love everywhere we go, yes. Yes to all of it. Here’s to dealing the best we can!

      Thanks for reading. ❤


  3. Thud. Because I agree with him about why you put doors on everything.
    I thought it before I read the next sentence.

    I miss him too sweetness. My 31 Nightmares are not the same without him stopping in & us discussing what makes people scared.
    My Tuesday nights are emptier.

    He came in, started a whirlwind, and like you said, quietly left.

    I think about him often. I always think about you right after. I think its his way of nudging me to check on you because he always knew I could “see” regardless of his beliefs. It was some unspoken thing – like many things, within our little family.

    I cannot imagine how much the shock is still there. But he trusted our family to take care of you. Maybe because he knew that together, we may never be him, but we love you just the same.

    & If those sunrises get a little lonely, just know this night owl is probably awake, just as lonely, because I’m missing some loved ones too, and I’ll be there. I’m not going anywhere. I’m just a phonecall away & you’re stuck with me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thud.
      And tears, and hugs, and nostalgically-smiling-head-shakes over my little horror-obsessed loves.

      It’s when I realize that people who meet me now may never see the space he left in me that I get shocked and queasy. Someone asked why the Instagram avatar was a cat, and not a dino, and who drew it– and I thought, “Dave drew it, of course. Look how distinctly his it is! And of course I’ll keep it. He put it there and I don’t have the original and he probably loved it, and… oh yeah… you didn’t know him.” To some people, it’s just a cat on a girl’s page.

      They haven’t been counting sunrises.
      I don’t know.
      Maybe I just need to go to sleep. 🙂

      Thanks for reading, chica. Love you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Stop all the clocks”, they said
    “Cut off the telephone”
    But the planets turn inexorably
    And still we are alone
    Somehow the world keeps spinning
    To my constant surprise
    I’m torn apart forever
    At another sunrise
    They may as well have told me
    “Stop all the breaths”
    But each day I discover
    There IS life in what’s left
    Some days it even feels ok
    (If that’s not betrayal)
    Some days though, just existing
    Is all that I’m able
    To do or think, but never say
    Because you are gone
    Dark, wrenching threads in tapestry
    As life carries on.

    My dear, sweet, Sparkliest One,

    I can never know this grief because it is solely yours, and yet somehow you make it belong to all of us, because we all in some way belong to you. I think you are showing one of the most remarkably sensible approaches I’ve ever seen, because you seem to have (though perhaps behind the closeder of those doors you draw, but that’s yours, and you are under no obligation to open them for viewing) no expectations of yourself for this time of mourning – no expectation that grief will do anything than precisely as it chooses, at whatever time it chooses, and I am so, SO glad that you are able to articulate your thoughts and feelings so beautifully, and get them OUT, rather than letting them spin into agony and isolation.

    I love that you’re sharing these sacred times with the people who knew you both, and the people who didn’t.

    Most of all, I love your heart.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I love your heart, too, Lizzi. Thank you for your kind words. Yes, these times are sacred. Yes, I open them to those I love. Yes, I feel almost worse about being okay than about not. And yes, thank God for words.
      All the yeses.


      Liked by 1 person

  5. He leaves his mark on everything for you Rara. Even when you think other things fill the space that was his, they don’t, they can’t, because he is still there for you. He knows you… know him……he understands.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The sun has risen on another new day. Thud.
    Can we draw a door on sunrises?
    Can his commanding presence, swirling within you and those of us who had the honor of knowing him, still smooth away the calluses from prison?
    Can we look to your right and see him standing next to you, supportive, loving, even when he isn’t there?
    I believe yes, yes, and yes. Also, thud, thud, and thud. Those are basically the same this morning, as the sun is still pulling away from the horizon.
    You are loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am in awe of the beauty with which you convey his presence and meaning in your life. The sadness is overwhelming and sneaks up over and over again, no matter how much time passes. But you honor him with your words, with your heart, and with your willingness to count those sunrises, one at a time. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your love for Dave is as clear as the sunrise that you fear will put you another day further apart.

    Time will force you to experience the world without him, but love will keep him close always. Please trust me, I know.

    I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. The state imposed year apart prepared you to hurt, love, fear and laugh without him there to comfort, share, ease and smile. The calluses are there to ease your pain. Eventually, they will wear away layer by layer as calluses do, and love is all that will remain. A memory, a smell, a sound or a picture will bring a smile instead of tears.

    Thank you for sharing this. You inspire me my friend.

    Always remember, you are loved.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Charles. The universe looks out for me, mostly. I am lucky. Most times, I know that. 🙂

      I’m especially lucky to be surrounded by so much love and inspiration. Thank you for being part of that “so much”. 😀 ❤


  9. If you’ll be ok. I’ll be ok but in any case everything will be ok. I do think about death a lot. What happens after. Sometimes I just think they are still here. Poking fun at us or crying with us too. Your post reminded me a little of this Ole Lund Kierkegaard book: Otto is a Rhino… Otto has to escape from bullies.. draws a door with magic chalk and goes.. then he draws a rhino and poof he’s real. Love never leaves but it is a stinky world.. Loads of robot hugs your way and loads to outer space. I sometimes wave to the moon and think my two tiny ones had gone to Neverland. I sometimes wave and smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So I probably cried through that. Yep. Those are tears on my typing fingers. Couldn’t be helped. Part of it is because this post made me think about the background to my current WIP, and how I do my best not to cry as I write it. Thank you for letting me leech a place to spend those necessary tears, and know that lots of them are for you as I sit shiva over here. Doors open. We step through. And they are there, smiling and welcoming us when the time is right. Before the time is right, we might get the wrong door. But at the right time? All is again … right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m excited to read your final product. 🙂 Thank you, AR. There’s a post for you one day, mostly written… a Monday Melt, no doubt… because I know you remember Dave. You remembered him for us at the funeral.

      Doors open, yes, they do.
      And maybe that’s okay.


  11. because I walk through every door, carrying your dreams in my heart.

    I’m going to add that to the best lines I’ve ever read.(And I’ve read A LOT.) And it will rank among the first top five.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I understand how grief sneaks up on you. How life will be going along quietly, then all of a sudden, WHAM! You get blindsided by missing your loved one so much that you can’t even breathe for a moment. I was reading a book review in the LA Times a couple weeks ago that I couldn’t finish because something in it trigged my Daddy grief all over again. I like that you keep drawing doors, Rara, because life does come through them. So does everything else, and that’s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hugs, hugs, hugs. Those moment sneak up on you at the strangest times, open the door and walk in, shake you up and leave you crying. But when they walk out again (there’s no point showing them out because they leave when they’re ready), the beautiful memories remain, and you realize that they make you stronger, push you forwards. Love never dies. I’m going to quote my great literary reference “Winnie the Pooh”, who said: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”. Big squishy hugs, beautiful xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  14. We are lucky because you carry him along with his dreams, and the way you write lets us know him, and the you who you are because of him, even if we’ve never met. You are our doorway into something magical and wonderful, full of grief but more full of love.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Aw, Rara, this is stunningly beautiful. I dont know that I’ve ever read anything that so perfectly describes the loss of a loved one and the process of grief. May all the doors swing open before you as you find your way through this maze.x


  16. I was going to be cute and try to mix thud and hugs, but then I realized that thugs doesn’t really convey my thoughts on this.

    I really just wish I had the words to say to make it a little better.




  17. Rara, this may seem silly, but as I read this I imagined your Dave reading it to. Approving. Making comments-that of course I cannot hear-only you can. It was so beautifully touching that I know it had to touch him.



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