What makes me sad is that we have one word for love in the English language. No singular word that evokes the soul-stirring precise description of what we mean. We need modifiers to really describe what we mean. Tough love, love at first sight, tender love, slow burn love, compatible love like peanut butter and jelly, granny panties love which is different than bikini wax love, sibling love, sisterly love, brotherly love, the parent’s love of a child, the child’s love for a parent, sliding doors love, missed connections love, love love. Like they were in love love to indicate that it was a serious love, above a crush love.
What do you call love for someone who is dead?
What do you call the love that still exists in this world, passing from the dead back to the living, it circulating among the stars, passing over our heads by the north winds and landing with a gentle beat in our hearts? The whispers of conversation, exchange of memories? In the quiet moments, deep in the mind’s eye, a glimpse of someone walking in the distance, a few city blocks away, his head leaned back and mouth open in a wide laugh, the gait stirring up a pang of familiar love?
We sat there last night, the three of us, savoring the last bit of birthday cake. Talking about our favorite parts of her visit here. I asked her what she would want to tell my dad. She said, oh don’t worry I’ll be telling him a lot of things.
My dad died a year ago on Sunday.
We all still tell him things.