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TO MY SON AND ONLY CHILD: YOUR MOTHER IS CLOSE TO FADING by Nathan Elias

This may come as a shock, but since my death I’ve spent copious hours (each hour a lifetime) relearning the laws of the living. I rediscovered what it means to mourn when you wept capriciously at the side of my casket. I’ve also reimagined gravity as the weight of my sorrows sifts through the sieve of time’s welcoming hands. But now, my boy, my final hour is upon me. The hourglass drains, and so I must transmit, as well as the dead are able, these lessons I’ve procured since the time we spoke last:

The dead’s days, too, are numbered. Upon entering death’s doors, all personal memories are stripped from the ghost-mind until only those of fleeting, trivial observations remain. When I was a girl in pigtails, I once watched from my bedroom window a mourning dove fly from its branch, only to hang in the air, flutter its wings, and return to its branch. After the dead have fully detached from their sorrows and hopes (I had so many for you), we are granted access to a lens through which we may temporarily view the lives of those we loved. 

I was there, at your wedding, and you were right to tell your wife I would have loved her.

~

When the last grain of the dead’s days approaches the tunnel toward the bottom chamber of the hourglass, we begin to fade completely. We are sent back briefly to embody one of our trivial memories from a torn perspective outside of our bodies. 

I’m flying from my branch, only to hang in the air and flutter my wings before returning to my branch. 

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