• Kirsten Freeland

The Haunting

One night. You were laying beside me while I was reading. I read a poem that blew me away. There was something so beautiful and haunting about it.

A few weeks later. I was searching for words, something to read aloud at your funeral, and I found that poem. There it was. The essence of us and our time together.

Three months after that. In a deeply quiet moment, while contemplating you, I whispered, "I can't believe this is the end." And from somewhere beyond me - yet within me, I heard "This is not the end. This is only the beginning."

The following summer. A box was delivered to my door. Apparently the police were required to return to the site of the accident to clean up any remaining debris, and send it to me. I opened the box and pulled out a compass. It was the only thing left from the helicopter. It was broken, but I knew what it meant. "Honey...your turn." How devastatingly poetic.

Almost five years later. I was thinking about the many times you told me you would haunt me when you died. We didn't know how our lives would play out, but you were certain that you would be gone first, and certain that you would haunt me. Knowing the kind of man you were, I believed you. So for almost five years I waited, expecting your ghost to appear. Hoping for an apparition, a vision, anything, but got nothing. I didn't want to admit it, but I was completely disappointed. With having given up on you (somehow) coming back alive, the fact that you had not followed through on haunting me? How dare you not make that happen. And then, while ruminating on all of this, a thought occurred. I went directly to my computer and typed into Google, "haunting definition". The response, "difficult to ignore or forget". I burst out laughing. Of course. Of course you were right this whole time, if I had looked at it that way.

Today. Our experience of life and death really does depend on how we choose to define it. Life and death. Both beautiful, and haunting.

Risk and Truth

by Mark Nepo

“Once there were two friends, and one was very daring in the way he met experience, always trying new things, always breaking new paths. The other was more timid in the world, but had the strength to look directly at the truth of any situation. They helped each other grow.

In time, they fell in love and became partners: the one leading them into new experience, the other showing them the truth of where they’d been. This worked for many years, but eventually, the one who was daring wanted to go farther and farther into the world and the one who could see the truth of things wanted to go further and further into her sense of truth.

Eventually, they had to go their own ways, which was very sad. But the one who was daring had to discover his own ability to see the truth, and the one who could look directly at any situation had to discover her own ability to break new paths.

It took another lifetime, but they met again, these friends who had become lovers who had found their own way, and while each needed the other less, they wanted each other more.”

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