Just last week I was telling someone that this month (today actually) marks 3 years since you died.
And then, just like, implausibly, some people take a long time to remember their age, I realized that I was off by a whole year.
It is two years. But you have to hush your grief in this world after 6 months. Or 6 weeks. No one wants to hear. You are supposed to move on.
I am trying to put distance between this day two years ago and me. But I can’t get past a few things.
Your illness still does not make sense. When I try to ‘carry’ you with me in my daily life, I have to reach way way back to before you got sick so I can remember who you were.
I thought for sure I would know conclusively where you are now. I can’t picture anything and that is disturbing.
I want to picture you eating Pistachio ice cream after a tennis game, just before a swim, with the Economist beside you and maybe a spy book or that Michael Ondaatje you then gave to me to read. You aren’t in a wheel chair. You are lean. You are funny. Everyone is around you because you were the guy to be around. You’re fantasizing about your next meal. I am making you laugh, but I am also there to ask some advice. You give me the best.
Is that Heaven?
Two years ago this morning started off with profound SHOCK. I can’t say exactly how long I was in shock because that would imply that I am thoroughly out of it. You see it coming, the end, plus it is a natural course to age and definitely serious illness, but you can’t accept it. Then you open grief the way you peel an onion, the gift that keeps taking, the sting in your eyes, the layers of loss and hollow, empty confusion.
We have our ways, to let life fill in, to distract, to numb, to act grown up. No one wants to hear how much you are still missed, there is a statute of limitation on grief, on how I don’t feel right, how I can’t find you, how I keep asking you to help me with difficult things and I can’t hear what you have to say.
Sometimes- maybe too often- I imagine what life would be like, if you were like some of your friends, with better luck, and you were still 100% you and how much value you would bring to my life. And me to yours.
Unfortunately, I picture you lying in that bed, no longer alive with a look that is not you. And it still breaks my heart.
But my fear of unhappiness prevents me from letting it take me down. The only place I can find you is in myself.
I hope somehow I can reach you and I can make you laugh with this next post. I know you would love it. I can practically hear you laugh.