Beginning of the Last Letter I’ll Write to You

She told me to write you a letter and burn it. She told me that in Chinese culture, that’s how the dead receive letters. I’ve been setting paper on fire for hours now. The ash sifts through my fingers.

I can’t really process you’re gone. On one hand, you have been gone for years. You burnt with an incredible intensity that makes daily rituals of life difficult. I understand. I live with the same intensity.

I know the expression goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” but being strong did indeed kill you. Your mask adhered, and only you knew the chains you dragged. I’m sorry I didn’t reach out. I’m sorry I can’t remember your voice or that we never had late night discussions about God and man.

I can relate to the dichotomy, the desire to please an unyielding, unbending religion. I know how it feels to have the sputtering candle light of hope snuff out. I’m just sorry I lost you before you robbed the world of another beautiful, raris avis.

I can’t write this yet. The pain is too fresh, the wound–too raw.

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