VI. My grandmother had an aortic aneurysm.



She was at the hospital with chest pains, then, suddenly, she had died. My parents told my little brother and myself that morning. It was near Easter-time.

He was in footie pajamas. He kept rubbing his sleep-filled eyes with balled up fists. I remember that someone there said we would see her again, in heaven.

I ran down to my room, tunneling into the covers on my bed. I shut my eyes hard. At first I saw only the red curtains of my own eyelids, then everything soothed into black. My mind's eye, free of the house, ascended through open space toward a brilliant shaft of light, in the heaped-up clouds. I was held, in the firmament, by a floor of empty air.

She came out, then, walking to me. I opened my eyes, as if I would still see. But under the covers was dark.