And this is the persona I’ve adopted. I am strong and do not break. I glance at death, then quickly look away. Avoid the high emotional scenarios. Keep on keepin’ on.
But, I’m grown up, now. And doesn’t age require us to rationalize reality? Be an adult, think like one. Leave childish tendencies behind. No more farms or dashes to the ocean. No more disillusioned kid. Dewey is gone.
Gone so suddenly, that all we’re left with are sharp, shocked, intakes of breath. Furrowed brows and attempts to make sense of it. “Wh….’s” left hanging in the air. Unfinished versions of ‘what?’, ‘why?, ‘where?’, ‘when?’.
My heart is heavy when I read a memorial post. My shoulders slump as I scroll through the archives of her blog, for fear that it, too, will disappear. But I keep on keeping on. Shields up, avoidance on. Then, I came across her name while reorganizing files the other day. And I sobbed.
Her name is in my files, on email lists, reading lists, lists to follow up on, emails to reply to. Her name. Dewey. Not her name, yet, her name all the same. The pun that brings to mind a blanket of delicate water beads on fresh, morning foliage.
Her online existence is as alive to me now as it was before she left. In her wake, she’s left a life suspended. Giveaways organized, date stamped, and incomplete. Stacks of TBR’s, and overdue library books by the front door. She announced her Giving Season, acknowledging all celebrations of faith for the holidays. There’s so much to do! So much to do.
She is the visionary that worked tirelessly to keep us all together. She is the inspiration who greeted me when I first started out by applauding my dream and my work. She warmly invited me in, offering advice and guidance.
Do I cry because I never knew her name? Never knew she was suffering so badly? Knowing that this outpouring of adoration and respect will forever reverberate the walls of cyber space, and worrying that they will never quite find their mark? Or, do I cry because my sadness is exposed for all to see?
I see Dewey in my mind, now. The internet, her farm. Forever frolicking the pages of books and blogs.