How to lose someone twice

To be precise, I lost him twelve days ago. Twelve days and one hour. But this was my second time sensing his departure. And recently, it has been a lot of trying to contrast the two, to determine which time was a bit harder to bear. In the end, it doesn’t quite matter I guess. Because in the end, I still lost him. Twice.

Hidden in the back of my thoughts, there is a scattered memory when I went cotton-picking. I remember my cousins and I fighting over the baskets. I remember pinching the fluffy cotton out from its stalk, giggling and flinging my basket around as I danced around the cotton trees while my grandfather shouted after me to be careful. I remember running to the house and bringing back a pot of freshly brewed tea for him. Then I would plop down next to him, on the top of a dirt mound, with my legs crisscrossed and the teapot by my side. And I would watch his face as he drank the tea, resting my own face against my palms and letting the glee soak in.