Nothing happens only when it happens

It’s strange how something as final as your death
Should be bookended by a series of beginnings:
The first Sunday after
The first meal without
The first solo visit to our shared hillside spot
The first time I messaged you with no reply
The first year

And further strange that this loss
Is not only joined to everyone else’s— 
Simultaneously wounding and comforting— 
But also to every grief I’ve felt
That previously seemed isolated and abstract
Like finding an underlying motif to a background melody 
Or spotting a similar hue in every stranger’s iris

This ending is only the beginning 
Of a life without you. I take comfort 
In the fact that your absence places you 
In a legion of the missing
I don’t believe in heaven, but I do believe
In the afterlife of memory
So we held each other, so I vow to you

My sorrow does not conclude with this final line
And cannot be contained 
Within the ritual of elegy
Each moment is a constellation
Every word spiralling outwards 
Into atoms. I picture your smile 
And you are here

*N.B. The title of this poem is taken from a line in Be Holding by Ross Gay
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