Reflections on Grief II

The train was a central part of Sham and Lance. We rode the train together many times. We experienced falling in love on the train. I remember the first time we rode the train together. It was the PATH train between Newark and 9th Street. Our conversation was sweet, vulnerable, and meaningful.

The next train we took was later that night. We rode up from W 4th Street to 116th Street. We sat down together, our hearts melting, our faces aglow. Our eyes locked. They burned with young love. His leg pressed up against mine and mine against his in the heat of the moment. Before I knew it, his warm hand had embraced mine and all I could do was smile as my cheeks turned a bright red.

The train was the place where we held one another. We received good news on the train. It was on a NJ Transit train back from New York City when Sham got the email that he was cast in “Shades of Blue” with J Lo. We also shared bad news on the train and had difficult conversations.

I waited for Sham at the train station again and again. But, I know that I cannot wait for him anymore, though I have tried. He is not there, yet I still sometimes look to the parking spot where I would sit in my car and wait. And still he is not there. My eyes well up with tears, because I know that he will never be there again. I have no hope of seeing Sham at Princeton Junction walking the way that only he walked, unaware of the world around him, with his (my) black and red headphones in listening to Patti LaBelle, and that messenger bag stuffed full of papers.

He is gone.

Nevertheless, this does not change the fact that we sat down on the train together…

And it made all the difference…


We sit.

We sit down on the train.

You have me sit first.

I sit on the inside.

You want to protect me.

You are vigilant.

We do this.

Again and again.

But I begin to feel.

I feel like you are slipping away.

I reach.

I reach and grasp trying to hold on.

But I can’t.

I can’t stop you from going.

Going. Going. Going.

Before I know it, you are gone.

And now I sit.

I sit on the train.

Alone.

And now you.

You are gone.

Because you sat down.

And then you were laid down.

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2 comments

  1. gregoryjosephs · May 31

    I’m sorry Sham couldn’t stay on the train with you longer, but I’m glad you got to sit together for a little while. I think you’re right to say it made all the difference.

    I’m really glad you’re writing this, and I wish you peace on your journey through grief. That’s a whole other train, and sometimes it gets stuck in the tunnel between stations. Keep writing, keep sharing, and keep grieving. I’ve been there and I know it’ll take as long as it takes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Korena Stewart · June 1

    When God places us on earth we will all ride the train we call “life”. One never knows who will get on an off; Or where they will board the train or when they have arrived at their final destination.. selfishly I wish Sham was here with you Lance, but as I was said at his funeral- God has work for him to do in heaven. I’m glad you had the chance to share train rides, and when it your turn to get off of the “life” train Sham will await you.

    Liked by 1 person

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