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Shycat

A very heavy day

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Today is the three year anniversary of my son's lost other half. They were BFF for eight years. Austin was the most beautiful, talented, genius boy I've ever seen. I don't use the word genius lightly. He was one. No, I didn't actually like him. I was too worried for my own Jon, and I knew Austin was extremely unstable. Jon. Jon kept asking Austin to "talk to my mom." And it was Jon who kept such close tabs on Austin that he was there shortly after two OD's to get the proper medical help. Broke into Austin's parents' house once, setting off alarms, and then running, knowing the police would come---sure enough, it had been necessary. Jon had to go to Clarksville--Austin Peay--for nine short months to finish his degree. The name coincidence...IDK...Austin made it two months without Jon's strength to hold him together. I can tell you one thing for absolute certain--Jon had never felt it a burden.

I remember Austin now with tears in my eyes before they open for the day. The third time is the charm, and for that attempt Austin bought a pistol. Smart, smart boy, two weeks later he placed it over his heart. I so fear he blew out Jon's heart as well. Jon wrote this poem the day before the funeral, and way, way, way too fucking late, Austin's parents realized the importance of love in a child's life. As this poem was circulated among the circle of friends--Jon always thinks of helping others, giving hope and healing, Austin's parents asked Jon to read it at the funeral. I watched Jon put the first shovel of dirt on the coffin. From a short distance, I watched everybody leave the cemetary. And I watched Jon fall to his knees at the grave side. How long do I give him? Ten minutes, I decide. I actually timed it. Then I walked over and gently pulled him up and away.

I talk about Austin in late June, to let Jon know I also remember. I give Jon his privacy on the actual day, to grieve in the peace of silence. I find I grieve as well.


"Go Around"


You never know
How much you assume
That someone is alive
Until they're not.

Then they're not
And this gaping hole
Is left in your head
Where they once were.

Your everyday thoughts
That would normally pass through
Are stopped at the edge and told
“Go around,” by you.

“Why,” they ask.
“He's dead,” you say.
And you just admitted it
To yourself.

.

Slowly but surely
The pain fades.
The worst has passed.
You stop assuming.

This hole begins to heal.
Restructuring, mending.
New thoughts come through
That might even assume.

But the old ones
They still go around.
They take the long way
Even though they don't have to.

And all these tiny detours
Keep forever in your memory
The shape of that someone

Always there, never forgotten.




by Jon
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