12:33 AM

Before I open my eyes I can feel the bed vibrating faintly, a constant, growing rumble that is half-real, half-dream. I curl up into a ball and fixate on it, seeking a source, letting it roar underneath me like some heartburn-suffering beast in the depths.

Liam comes to me alone in the kind of darkness that has nothing to do with night. Not him exactly but the demon of what happened to him, the caricature of memory that taunts and stings. The shaking woke me up but the demon keeps me fitful, clinging to me at night when I am unable to shoo it away with the blessed busyness of life.

See look here it cackles, holding a vision in front of me against my will.

Liam on that morning, moments after I cried desperately and for the first time prayed to a relatively unknown God to please take him, to help me let him go. And that very second the air lightened and I knew he was gone. I placed him on my lap then, let my eyes rest on his shell, the injured body that would pin him to the earth no more.

That sight is the face of my demon, the memory I can’t bear to keep nor lose.

I love you lili, I’m so proud to be your mama.

How I miss you though, how I wanted you.

I wonder how I can ever be ordinary again with this thing camped out in my soul, this thing that finds me in solitude with its horrible visions and sadness and haunting. Not the kind of warm, sweet haunting that you summon, that wraps you in light and says I’m okay now mama, I’m everywhere and I’m waiting for you but the kind that leaves me shaking long after the beast has calmed.