If Lament Were Enough

Can you hear me?
I would like to fling my voice out like a cloth over the fragments of your death,
And keep pulling at it until it is torn to pieces, and all my words
Would have to walk around shivering, in the tatters of that voice;
If lament were enough.0

In the blink of an eye. They're born. They die. To an immortal every human life is over in the space between one thought and the next. The more we care the faster the lives fly until those we love best die as they are born. Like a kinetoscope, they flicker by, flare briefly, then are gone. An endless stream of humanity. A blip on the radar of history, no more than that. Just a moment in time. All life ends. Assez vu, assez eu, assez connu.1

Some shine more brightly than others. She was my anchor and without her I am adrift on a darkling sea, light and land far distant. Mo cridhe. Mo anam.2 My shade. My shelter. Sunnydale is too small a town to contain her death. It expands outward in waves that rock the foundations of the world and we all tremble. Crumbling. Emptiness. Ash.

Ce n'est plus que poussiere. Dans cet abîme enseveli, j'ai le même destin. Le monde me quitte, vous vous en allez. Je ne puis demeurer pas loin de toi. Elle est morte, et n'a point vécu. Elle faisant semblant de vivre. Et maintenant elle vit nulle part excepté mon coeur. 3

Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable. 4 My heart is no longer habitable, and a cold wind blows through empty rooms flooded by tears of grief, the rain that death brings. Larmes. Pleurs. 5 Hold open the door to eternity. Nous sommes mors, ame ne nous harie. 6

It's been several months now. Time passed slowly, like watching a clock face with no hands. I wasn't sane. The madness was brief but frightening. That abyss plunged deeply into the earth, drew me with it, filled me with darkness. I wanted to stay there, or go to wherever Buffy now dwells, fulfill my destiny at her side. Or better yet, meet the coming tide of evil and forget her death in the dust of others'.

I don't remember much except the pain. I thought I knew grief before, but it was only a sketch of the finished work. I was buried, smothered. Dust filled my lungs. There was no air or light. I had to be reminded to breathe, that there was still love in the world, that there was still a world. It was love that pulled me away, and also that held me here.

I was wrong about the life span of those we love best. As long as there are people alive who remember them, love them, they will live forever in our hearts. I must live for her so she will survive. That is the true immortality.

0  Rainer Maria Rilke, Requiem for a Friend, [1909]
1  Enough seen, enough had, enough known. [from the French]
2  My heart. My soul. [from the Gaelic]
3  Only dust remains. Buried in the abyss, I share the same destiny. The world is leaving me, you are going away. I cannot remain far from you any longer. She is dead and never lived. She pretended to live. And now she lives nowhere but my heart. [from the French]
4  From the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz
5  Tears. Lament. [from the French]
6  We are dead, let no soul trouble us. [from the French]

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