The Things We Carry

Monday, February 27, 2012

How can you look at a candid photograph and tell yourself that one of the four people smiling and hugging the other three is gone? How can you convince yourself the memories are real, if only he and you shared them? How can you accept that someone so full of life is now not living at all?

The walk is long and the line longer. Dust gathers as thousands of tanned feet drag into the falling daylight, winding around blades of grass and bodies of water. Some carry their sleepy children, some carry glow sticks, noodles, blankets and flashlights. Others smuggle beer and snacks. Everyone carries jackets in anticipation for the frigid night ahead. And Gunnar carries a smile.

It’s up to us to carry him there now.

We’ll sneak his memory into our backpacks like we sneak other secrets. We’ll wrap blankets around each other and feel the warmth of his presence. We’ll carry him just as his memory will carry us forward.

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