BY TAYLOR INGRASSIA
When a beekeeper dies, someone must tell the bees.
Someone must be charged with collecting swaths of black cloth and delivering them from hive to hive. Someone must speak softly of the loss to the workers weaving in and out of the honeycombs. For when the sun continues shining on, how else will the bees know to mourn?
When the MRI is processed and analyzed, the doctor drapes the veil over the hive.
And you must now continue to work, but in darkness. The sun will shine, but for months, you will not feel it. You will not see it through the cloth that remains draped over your eyes, the color of the rain on the day of the wake that will stream from your hair and stain the sky gray. The people from other colonies will not understand why you now stumble as if blind. And you will not understand why your father had to die.
For years, these are the kinds of thoughts that will drip through the shower faucet, will spill onto your pillowcase in the moments before sleep. The kinds that will flood and soak through the shoes and skin on your feet. The kinds you will want to whisper to the bees.
But when the veil is lifted, won’t the blue be that much brighter? And in the wake of a loss, won’t the world have a way of remaining unchanged? The petunias in your garden will rise each morning. The mourning doves will sing sweetly to the skies: alive, alive. Isn’t that a diagnosis in its own right?
Young honeybee, the beekeeper has died. And the sun still shines. And the flowers bloom and fill to bursting with pollen. And honey gathers sweet within the hive. And your life will be happy and peaceful.
Your life will be happy and peaceful.