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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

By a Monastery on a Mountain

What do you say when death talks to you?
When her voice is the sound a river makes when it’s a looooooong way down, or a wind that just needs to make you stumble?
Do you talk about your family, or how you need to cut your toenails?
Or do you ask to see a friend again so that you can say, “I wanted you to know I’m sorry, before I slip and leave little pieces of myself everywhere, I wish I had been better and I wish you were here, or at least that I could hear your voice instead of the wind or my own breathing before I fall.”
But nobody ever says any of that, because it’s rude. When death talks in a voice that sounds like the world is a bigger place than your problems and concerns, or like a mountain– when death is in every syllable of the climb, you do not make a noise, and if you breathe you make sure it’s a whisper-breath.
Death has something to say, and you will never get to reply.