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Café inévitable

The frankincense sifts across the room, like a memory.

The candles, robed in ruby, flicker.

A daughter's drooped shoulders, a husband's supportive embrace.

Friends with spines that curve and voices that ring true, spoke of friendship.

"Voila, mon amie est mort." She with the nuage of hair said to me.

It has been a year of death.

My beloved Valerie, ready, brittle and strong at the same time, fiercely stubborn, even in the last days.

The friend of my parents in law, an affable man full of courage.

The tragic death, just this Monday, to cancer of the best teacher I'd ever met - Jen - who just wanted to love her kids and motivate her students and be with her adoring husband. She was not much older than 40. And today in Normandy, celebrating 'la pauvre petite maman' of my darling sister in law.

Ceremony and rituals. I think they help us to make sense of such things. To contextualize somehow. To make sense of what can feel senseless, tragic, lonely. On my way home, I passed by a spot called café inévitable. How fitting. It is sure we will all die.

We don't know what that will look like...who will be with us.

All we can be sure of is now.

And we gotta make the best use of this now because just like the frankincense, it will quickly float away off, bending and swirling into thin air.