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A Brave and Wilder Love

"grief heals us, even though everyone wishes you would hurry it up and be okay already. Our tears baptize us, wash us, hydrate the ground at our feet, where we might now be able to let some amazing new plants grow." —anne lamott

Cutting my dreads.

my haircutting shears lay on the bathroom counter, i had them out recently to give Wilder his very first haircut. 

i pick them up and let the cold, slick silver metal lay in my palm. 

i have tied all of my hair up on my head leaving my three dreads hanging.

i will cut my dreads off tonight. 

i had these three dreadlocks made the night of Brave’s funeral. i sat in the living room with a blank stare as she teased and twisted and palmed Brave’s hair into my own hair. She would so gently say, “okay, now I am going to put his hair in.” her hands rubbing his hair so deeply into the curves of mine. I longed for him to be so close. He was suppose to be in my arms, at my breast…and my body begged for any part of his body to be near, to be pounded into my own. 

these three dreads: one for me, one for Andrew, one for Brave have hung from my head for almost three years now. i have been comforted to have something of Brave’s close to me, always with me. 

but the last year, these dreads have reminded me more of death than of life. they have become heavy on my head. they do not represent the little boy that is very much alive in our home now, they only seem to remind me of the little boy we tragically lost. 

i slid the mouth of shears on either side of Brave’s dread and i begin to cut.

i imagine Brave just a world above me running across the clouds.

and i begin to cry. 

he feels very much alive to me, just very far away from me.

tears fall hard as i lay the first dread down on the bathroom counter. 

i don’t look at my eyes in the mirror, i just look at the next dread and begin to cut, 

and it lay it down beside the first. 

and then i grab the last and i cut before i can talk myself out of it. 

i find my reflection, my face looks relieved, my eyes look wet but bright. i can’t stop looking at myself, i look so young all of a sudden, like i looked years ago before i knew death. i stare at her and i say aloud, “you are okay, you made it, i have missed you. i have missed you so much, it is good to see you.”

i stare at my reflection, i look more like my boy’s momma now…more alive, more brave, more wild.