There is a crack in everything
There is an end of hope. When you put all your thoughts and purpose toward trying to make something happen.
Make someone change. (Which can’t be done, I’ve learned.)
Tell them it is time for them to go. Until eventually you let the kite billow up into the air with your hope attached to the end. Till it is so far up it is completely out of sight. And you know it is time to move on.
There is but one thing that comes to mind for which there is no end. And that is when a child is missing.
I once interviewed the family of a young girl who had been missing, at that time, for several years.
There are the first hours, when hope still reigns. Then there is the next step, when darkness begins to fall. And the hours turn into days, and the days into months.
And life, for that family, will never ever be the same.
I watched a family squeeze out possibly their last shred of hope as I interviewed them. Wrote down every fact. Every memory they could summon up of that child during the last 24 hours.
What they were wearing when last they left. What time it was. What the weather was like.
You try to infer importance upon every small thing. Hoping it means something. Even a few years down the road, when there has been no word at all.
The trail has long since gone cold. Family members who loved the child eventually die.
And what I find most tragic is that there is no “end” for them. No period at the end of the sentence.
No grave. No knowledge. And you have to wonder if there finally, perhaps blessedly, came an end to hope.
You realize that you never knew this child. Aside from what you saw in their room. What they had on their walls. What softball trophies were placed proudly on furniture.
What stuffed animals rested on their pillow. The layers of dust that had settled on window panes.
Yet you have gathered those facts and they took on an energy inside of you. You will walk through the years of your life with them.
It will take up residence in your mind and come back every year on the anniversary of their disappearance.
No matter how much time passes.
At odd moments, someone or something will remind you of them. A fair-skinned girl with blond hair; some little thing you recall from the photos you’d seen.
It becomes a trigger and I walk through that last day in my mind yet again. I have not forgotten. How could I possibly forget?
Sometimes endings are good. Or at least they bring closure. And that is better, I think, than going to your grave not knowing.
Wondering how long that child felt fear before the end.
“No memory of having starred atones for later disregard, or keeps the end from being hard.” -Robert Frost