as i said earlier, i discovered i was okay with my death. finally.

it’s while i am alive that i am not okay with your death.

tony’s tragic car accident. killed everyone. except his girlfriend. not his love. she spoke at his funeral.

nonna, at age 91. you meant everything to me. knee high wool socks while you picked tomatoes in your backyard.

liz’s accidental overdose. i gave your photo book to your son who was adopted years ago. showed up to your memorial. i cried. he could not. your daughter six months from eighteen. her adoption would have been revealed to you. you will never see her again. 13 years later and you were dead.

mom. nothing will make me whole again. i drank dry rose everyday for 24 months after. cried every night for 24 months. mom, i wish it could work like this. i would die. you would come back. watch your grandson’s become beautiful young men. watch your husband’s eyes widen with love for your rituals together; going to the bank on Saturday mornings, catholic church sunday mornings. grocery shopping in the pink suit that still hangs in your closet.

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.