You try it.
You try getting a call from your mother at 5 am.
You try listening to her screaming out in tears, in sorrow.
Her husband’s lost.
He’s buried alive somewhere in Haitian rubble.
You try saying something to her then.
See what comes out.
See if you can say anything at all.
You try hearing her call back with the news
that he didn’t make it.
But, she won’t be able to tell you.
She can’t even talk.
She’s just screaming in pain.
That’s how you’ll get the news.
You try making sense of this pain.
Try telling your mother something in that moment.
Anything at all.
You try holding it together.
Try thinking of him there.
Try thinking of him, losing his life
while you dreamt last night, unaware that the earth even moved.
You try hearing her screaming, ‘I don’t want him
to die. I don’t want him to die.
I love him so much.
Please, I don’t want him to die.’
This is your mother.
Over a phone.
A thousand miles away.
Because she needs someone.
You try letting her go.
Hang up the phone.
You try it and see.
You’ll be overwhelmed with anger.
Anger more than anything.
Anger more than grief or hurt.
Anger that death could be so cruel.
It takes the best parts of us:
Takes our prayers.
Takes our hopes.
Takes our love.
Takes our bodies.
And keeps taking.
You try packing, taking a greyhound, then a plane,
and having her pick you up the next day from the airport.
You try hugging her and kissing her.
Say how much you love her.
You try talking about the weather or something else entirely
to get her mind off of it.
You try laughing.
You try smiling.
You won’t be able to.
Not a day later.
Not a week later.
Not a month later.
Not a …
You try it and you’ll see:
Life is nothing like you thought it’d be.
Life is just something we lose.