Katherine Van Eddy

How to Grieve

It wasn’t until I left childhood that I found out not everyone got travel-sized supplies in their
Christmas stockings. Those tiny shampoo and conditioner bottles, shower gel, toothpaste,

toothbrush, shaving cream, pack of Q-tips–just enough for a short trip. Not everyone had a parent
who commuted cross-country for work, would be gone a week or two at a time, who affected the

climate of the house by his presence or absence. My dad told us he’d seen yellow lights on the
horizon when flying that he couldn’t identify, the way they hovered and moved. He’d fly to

Bermuda sometimes, which made me think of the Triangle, which made me think he’d not
return, his plane would join the list of missing ones that disappeared in fair weather conditions

without sending up a distress signal. But he always came back eventually and I silently wondered
how. I couldn’t even find Bermuda on a map. Still can’t. It’s Christmas next week. He’s gone

and not coming back. I’m making a quick trip home to go through my bedroom, one last
touch of my childhood. I can hold all the travel-sized bottles I’ll need in two hands. I’ll make

them last as long as I’m able, even after this trip, eventually pound the open necks against my
palm, squeeze to edge out every last droplet. Even then, I’ll probably leave them lying on their

sides around the rim of the tub, unwilling to admit there is nothing left,
                                                                                                                                              nothing more to come.