Vernacular

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with my dear widower friend, and he said something that really stuck with me. "You know what I miss the most?", he said.
"I miss her vernacular. That way that she spoke, that only she could speak. The way she spoke to me."

After thinking about this long and hard, about what he said and what he meant by it, I realized that the thing I miss the most about my husband, is this very same thing also.

Vernacular.

What a perfect word for it.

"noun [ C/U ] US ​ /vərˈnæk·jə·lər, vəˈnæk-/:

The form of a language commonly spoken by the people of a particular region or by a particular group, esp. when it is different from the standard language: the word choices or speech patterns spoken by an individual person."

Yes.
This is it. This is what I miss most.
Beyond his touch.
Beyond his hugs.
Above and beyond his laugh.
All of those things I miss so much.
Every single day.

But ...
sometimes,
if I sit completely still,
and let my breath turn to silence,
and if I focus really hard,
but without trying at all,
sometimes,
in that moment of nothing-ness,
I am able to bring back in my heart or my soul,
or somewhere I can't quite identify,
what it felt like,
what it sounded like,
what it was,
to be hugged by him.
to know his laugh.
to sense his touch.
And in that tiny fragment of time,
in that one small measure of music,
I am allowed to be with him again.

You see ...
there are certain things,
very specific things about a person,
that you can hold onto,
or bring into focus,
in different ways,
after they die.

Their eyes.
Their hands.
A memory.
Stories or events or places or songs,
that instantly take you back to them.
Pictures.
Videos.
Hand-written cards or notes.
The cologne they wore,
or the way their shirt smelled.
Their favorite foods.

None of these things are enough to satisfy,
the forever ache that comes,
from your person being gone.
Not even close.
For that ache,
it is a monster that lives inside of you.
It resides there,
like a nail sitting in the depths of your throat.
You can't swallow.
You can't ever swallow.
At least,
not the way you used to.
Because that ache acts like a blockage,
like a gate,
stopping any kind of normalcy,
from ever entering again.
And now,
in this version of life,
you have to swallow through that ache.

So having a measure of time with a memory or a song,
something that brings you back to them,
it is never enough to dull that ache.
But,
it is something.
And when it comes to grief,
and missing your person,
and craving to feel anything,
that brings them close to you again...
When it comes to the forever death,
of your person,
something,
is always better
than nothing.

So you hold onto those somethings.
You cling to them,
because they are all that you have now.
A change in the wind,
a feeling in the air,
a shift in the moon or stars,
someone that reminds you of them ...

And for a second or two,
sometimes,
they come back.
Sometimes,
you can recreate
in your heart and mind,
pieces of them,
that exist within you,
and around you.

And so,
just as there are things like that,
which you can hold onto,
there are other things,
that you can never get back.

Vernacular.

That way in which he spoke to me,
spoke with me.
The word choices he used,
which were often,
strange.
odd.
Him.
That pitch in his voice,
the tone of his whisper,
the beautifully specific sounds,
the phrasing,
the places where he stressed the syllables,
the sexy without trying,
the calm,
the tranquil,
the peace and safe feeling,
that lived within his rhythms.
The way that he would respond to things,
that would leave me equal parts baffled,
fascinated,
and in awe,
of his intelligence,
his wit,
his sarcasm.
What he would say,
in conversation,
with friends,
with family,
with me.
The life that breathed air,
through his speech.

Vernacular.
It is a thing that only exists in real time.
You can't recreate it.
You can't even remember it.
You can try.
I have tried.
Nothing comes.
I sit and try over and over,
to find that thing,
that way,
that language that only we knew,
with each other.

But I can't.
When it's just me,
alone,
in a room,
as much as I want to,
I can't.
I try and I try,
then I try again,
because I want it so badly,
but I can't.

Because there are some things,
some very specific things,
about a person who died,
your person,
that you just can't get back.
Some things,
are just gone.
And in that darkness,
in that nothingness,
it is always so much better,
to have something,
some morsel,
rather than nothing.
And this,
this is nothing.
Nothing comes.

Because the truth is,
there are some things,
like vernacular,
that are so uniquely precious,
so incredibly special,
that they turn into dust,
into nothing,
at that very moment,
when that life ends.

 

 


Showing 3 reactions

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  • commented 2016-09-18 06:53:04 -0700
    I think i’ve been feeling this a lot lately too, without even realizing it. Especially as my birthday comes up. I remember the very specific way he celebrated me for an entire week around my birthday… how he would tease me for weeks about the presents he’d gotten me, leaving me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. It was distinctly his way of doing things, and his way of making me feel special. His way of humor. His specific kind of goofiness and playfulness. This was a wonderful post. Thank you my friend. <3
  • commented 2016-09-16 21:59:14 -0700
    Love this post. I can relate on so many levels. Looking so forward to meeting you in Toronto Kelley Lynn…..and you too Sharon Wall :)
  • commented 2016-09-15 22:32:35 -0700
    OMG, yes! “Dust” in my eyes right now! Brian’s way of turning a phrase. His way of perfectly imitating the Italian barber after a haircut (perhaps politically incorrect, but astoundingly accurate)! I miss that so damn much – and so many other things. 💔💔😰. Looking so forward to seeing you in TO, Kelley Lynn

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