Last night I had a vivid dream about crema. I was pouring shots and watching the thick caramelized sugar swirling in ribbons slowly dissipate over and over again, left repeatedly staring quizzically into the murky darkness of the coffee beneath it.
I woke at 4:24 am in sweats and quickened breath like I had had a nightmare. See, the thing is that in that little space between my ears, everything is tainted by death. So even the most banal and insipid activities, like pouring shots, become about grief.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Mark and the people she left behind. The family who is shaken to the core by their loss. The ripple effects of suicide, the shockwaves that last for longer than anyone could predict. The loneliness that echoes ruthlessly in the rubble that is left where a home used to stand. I’m thinking of them.
As weird as it is, there is something precious and unique about the moments after death. The moments where we are frozen in place, stupefied by trauma. The casseroles pack the freezer, the emails (even if it’s exhausting) pour forward with offers of support. People drive you to your therapy appointments and help you do your laundry. Your friends grief shop with you and let you buy cheap hot pink polyester dresses that you literally will never wear because they make you feel better.
Like the beating of her heart, and the beating of yours, everything just stops. For a second.
Like the thick, creamy caramelized sugars swirling above the murky water below, we want to hold on to those moments. Because real life, life after death, when the dust settles, when the world goes back to work, when you have to pick your sorry sobbing ass off the floor and cook your own fucking casserole, when everything for the rest of your life is tainted by grief, when you can’t go 5 seconds without thinking about her, hearing her laughter echo in the chambers of your selfishly beating heart - is bitter.