On the sixth night, she finally dreams of her. There is a pebbled beach, and her grandparents, the shape of them both like penguins waddling toward the water. She wants to go after them, and speak to her grandmother. The one who will never see her children, know their names, see what she will do in the world. The one whom she will never see again.
On the sixth day, she is sick in a way she has not yet been. Sick from going to a healer who turned her energy around somehow so that she is sad, sad. Sad. What else is there to say? Her grandmother died. Her grandmother left her. On the sixth day she is so sick that she is the only one weeping as they pray. She is so sick that she prays for her grandmother to take her away as soon as she comes for her grandfather, who is her father, the only father she has ever been able to stand in all her life. She is is alone now, almost orphaned, and there is nothing she can do in the world that she can do without her grandmother.
So she follows them down the pebbled beach. She is so happy to see her grandmother, so happy to have more polaroids of memory to keep stored behind her eyelids. Even in her dream she knows she is dead. Her grandmother is dead and she only wants to be. She wants to take the walk they are taking, her mother and father who are her grandparents, along a shore lapped mildly by timid water.
Then her grandmother turns around and she does not seem to smile. “You stay here, I’ll be back.” Again and again she says this in their own language, until she is convinced, until she sees she cannot follow them. This is their time to walk alone along the shore.
She returns to a stone courtyard full of people. Her lover is there. He shows her his hands. He has just been to the doctor. “I may have to cut them off,” he says. He has cancer of the touch.
She has been with him forever, she has wanted to not be with him forever. She hits her head against stone. And then, again. This is how she has seen women mourn. We can only do things the way we know how to do them, the way we see them being done.