I carry your family with me into the breach.
They are in the corners of my home next to the lint,
They rest on the counter as I cook soup for dinner.
During the Yizkor service, some believe it is bad luck
To stay present if one has not lost their own parents.
As if being among another’s ghosts as we move between years
Will seal your own book of life in ways you do not wish.
But we will march shoulder to shoulder in grief processional.
Say their names. Write eulogies on signs.
Listen to recordings of your voice as it breaks over memories of getting the news.
Each loss is more than just that–it is cell division.
One death magnifies to two funerals,
Magnifies to four obituaries,
Splits to 16 homelands desecrated. Each loss expands, contracts.
It is taught to us by the mourners who came before
That you cannot stay in mourning forever
But neither are you required to put your beloveds down for long.
A holiday, an anniversary, a song, a joke, and there they are
In your voice, the corners of your home, on the countertop
Watching as you cook soup.