Vigil in Moab

Moab, Utah is beautiful; everyone says so. With the purist intentions, devotees call on the spirits of the red rock canyons and mesas, the blue skies and the Colorado River. I used to be right there with them, eyes as wide as saucers, breathing the air so fully I’d hoped I’d take a little bit of it home with me. Moab was otherworldly; a striking vortex of adventure, respite and awe.

But not anymore. Driving past the cliff walls, backed by Moby’s “Everloving”, we were on our way to visit someone who wouldn’t be there.

His body rests beneath the mound (as it has for one year now), the granite marker dutifully engraved with truth and lie. A fiction. I want to feel close to him again, to commune with memory, to find a glint of peace in the shadow, but these tasks prove impossible under the oppressive weight of trust gone so wrong.

Several yards away, a ragged American flag twists in the wind. We tend to his grave with eager hands and open eyes, painting monochromatic earth with reds, pinks, greens. “Just come with us,” I want to say.

Instead I make a promise…because here, now, that is the most and all I can do.


roses spades

Across the road, this guy.

Across the road.

We keep vigil for hours on a day he shouldn’t have been alone. When it’s time, we leave Moab in our ruddy, city slicker dust. With each mile wedged between ourselves and that soulless chasm, my chest cavity loosens and expands accordingly. That night, sleep is deep and restorative. It is clear that this was necessary.

The missing is constant, these twelve months a temporal arc flash of loss and emotion. I’d give anything to have him back with us, with the hope I’d get to hold onto the wisdom that tells us not to squander one damn living second on this planet when we’re with the ones we love.

A peaceful sight from Lehi City Cemetery taken on my last day in Utah.

Found. — at Lehi City Cemetery, taken on my last day in Utah

*I realize you may not fully understand what or whom I’m writing about here. If you wish, please visit these posts on The Young Thumbs (a massage therapy blog of which I am a participant) dated 3/19/14, 5/29/14, 8/15/14 and 12/1/14 for reference. Thanks.

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