They hover around him as he prepares to get up, leaning in, ready to catch a crutch or heaven forbid, him! But not too in, not far enough in to imply that he can’t manage to stand up on his own.
Curiosity gets the best of me. Who’s in the middle of this circle of concern and love? Who’s so important?
And then I remember. It’s Art. And I want to laugh and cry.
Everyone settles to just help him up, to will him up, with their eyes. Noting how skinny he is, the effort it takes for him to just stand, the wobble at the top of the stand before the crutches are in place.
And they all smile.
And I want to scream "LIARS!!!!"
You see him. You’re scared. You wonder, for maybe even a nano second, “Is this the last time I’ll see him alive?” Then whoosh, the thought is out of your head.
You smile, instead of cry and shriek with the unfairness. Damn it! Cry with me! Please. I feel alone in this sorrow so often. Share my fear, my anguish, just for a moment.
And know I’m a liar too.
Cause I won’t cry with you.
I won’t share my fears that have no answers, no comfort. I, like you, will do it alone. Clutching myself, tightly to hold it in. Holding it in, holding it in.
It really does hurt to love a good man suffering at the hands of a shitty disease, doesn't it? The grief pounds in my head (and in yours?) until I can’t remember why I’m crying.
His image reminds me and you, that really…nothing is permanent. Your life, the life of my children, my life is not permanent.
We have no control.
And instead of feeling the freedom in that lack of control, we feel fear.