Summary: Everyone has past. A one shot piece, showing a snippet of Grissom's life, and the pain, that no one knew about.
Spoilers: Gentle Gentle, Hunger Artist, Nesting Dolls, and Grave Danger.
Author's notes: takes place before the G/S relationship really began – as in made manifest in canon. This piece was originally written in 2005.
Everywhere – to my left and right- children run around in bare feet, with torn garments, laughing as I think only children know how to laugh.
Lepers smile at me - smile their deformed smiles - as I make my trip to the edge of Orissa, which was where Meghan and I had had our honeymoon.
At the moment, the sickness of grief has subsided like the tide. I know it will return soon. Maybe tonight when the air temperature cools and I'm reminded of my own mortality.
Tonight…when the last of the lights in the village are extinguished. When I feel the anxiety of knowing that my wife is dead, and my son too. An anxiety brought about by the setting of the sun and the blackness of night.
It is a blackness that, like tar, one chokes on.
Not a blackness of body. Not a blackness where you know that there is someone waiting for you somewhere - even if somewhere is 3,000 miles away.
No, this is a blackness of dread that attacks from all angles.
A blackness that I imagine is like drowning in cold water.
Blackness like losing consciousness from bleeding out - a pain too overwhelming that bombards you day and night. A pain so intense and pernicious that you no longer care about pains of the body, or feel the singe of a blade as it cuts into your flesh.
It is blackness of guilt, of loss not caused by death alone, but of death merged with regret.
When it is completely dark, I'll fall fitfully asleep only to awaken on a cold cot. I may even reach out to her – out of habit.
Then I will be firmly reminded that they aren't here anymore.
Other than in memory…
That they are actually gone from this realm entirely and forever…
I'll be reminded that I'll never be able to hear my son giggle again as I give him a bath, or smell my wife's perfume or observe her nightly ritual of getting ready for sleep.
For a month, I left the bottle of Chanel open by my bed. I found it a little easier to breathe so long as I could smell it.
But then one night I dropped it, spilling it all over the carpet. That simple accident brought about as much acknowledged pain as attending her funeral. It made no sense.
I could buy another bottle of perfume.
I don't think my tears that night were over shattered glass and spilled perfume.
The very next day I packed up our photos…
Meghan holding Jude in the delivery room, with a blue cap on his head, followed by a shot of Jude with outstretched hands – our own little E.T. – in the neonatal intensive care unit. An incubator filled with mini stuffed animals (one of a katydid and one of a walking stick). Meghan gardening with Jude in his hunter green snuglee. Jude – in the baby bath that he loved so much – laughing. All gums and pinkness, intensity and awareness; the blending of expressions and physical features a composite of myself as a child, and Meghan too.
But those times are over.
Right now I feel torn: both peaceful and full of faith, but also fatally wounded.
There is a pain in my heart that hasn't gone away in four months.
I wonder if it ever will.
I go towards the sea, almost instinctively, not needing a guide.
I am returning for our first and last family trip.
When I reach the edge of a pier, I say my prayer for my little boy and my wife.
My hands shake as I hold the urn. It's a faint tan colour - filled with the raw constituents of the human body. Resorted through the pyre of the furnace. Ready to return to the ground, the air…the sea.
It is not, however, the container of the human spirit.
That particular container has broken.
It is time to say goodbye.
The words to my wife are internally spoken, and I dump the urn, sending sandy bits into the air, carried on the wind, the howling wind nearly drowning out my inner thoughts, my inner words.
And then, it is time to say goodbye to my little boy.
He floats away from me.