redwoods, Santa Cruz- January 2010

(written June 2005)

I’ve never had to be an adult for anyone before.  I’ve never had to hold a child as a man.

It’s quite striking the way that death grows on a child. It seems to sneak into every expression they hope you will catch and every word they hope you will hear.

How do you sum a man up in a conversation? How do you reduce an entire life to a few happy memories? Why is it that adults are happy to live in denial and in secrecy and in Hallmark cards, yet children want only the truth? They want only to hear that their father is not coming home. They want only to hear that people do die. They want the fear. They are not scared of facing it all. They are far more mature than us.

I’ve seen a lot kids with too much on their hearts. I’ve been there. I’ve been that. But this time was different. This time, I was the liar. This time I was the thief. This time I was the adult who couldn’t pull through and could only offer empty promises that ‘it gets better’ and that ‘it wont always be this hard’. This time I was that weepy adult who forgot that whole lives had just been altered and redefined.