I’ve spent more time without you than I have with you this year. My life feels different. My life, no longer our life. I have reached the point where I realize that I’m going home to an empty place, I know I won’t find you waiting for me on the couch, or in bed. I don’t reach over to octopus hug you in bed anymore, I cling to the body pillow now. I made a pillowcase from one of your shirts. It does not match the bed sheets, but that’s ok, it’s a small and non painful reminder of you. I still have not learned to cook for one, which is fine I can take the leftovers to work. Not many people know about you there. I try not to talk about you unless they ask if I’m married. Not because I’m ashamed of you, but because it’s always followed by an awkward silence, when I tell them you died. Their reaction reminds me of scaring someone and they jump out of their skin for a moment. And of course it’s always followed by oh but you’re so young, or you’re young you can get married again, sigh.
5 months. I don’t know where I thought I would be at 5 months. The naive part of me, who had first thought grief was linear, probably thought that I would be somewhere past depression leaning towards acceptance. Truth is there’s some days I experience all the stages of grief multiple times. There are days I’m stuck in depression, days I’m stuck in shock, and the new stage I’m going to call the middle of nowhere. You keep walking but you can’t see where you came from, and you can’t see where you going, you just know that you have to keep walking, hoping that at some point you find something, anything that can change you for the better.
I remember the day after you died I laid on the floor and I asked God why he had forsaken me. I asked him why he thought this was okay, I asked him why he did this to me, why he let this happen to you. I asked him every why question imaginable. I laid on the bathroom floor and cried for hours. I didn’t care if the floor was dirty or clean, it was the only place that made sense. So I laid on the floor and I cried out to him, why have you forsaken me God? Why have you taken the best thing in my life away from me? Why did you think this was okay? I look back on it now and realize that he definitely had not forsaken me, even though it felt like it for a while. There’s many moments I know I could not have made it if he had not shown his love through our family and our friends, through the people who sat with me, prayed with me, cried with me, the ones who called, the ones who held me, the ones who made sure I was eating more than a cookie. The ones who sat on the other end of a very tearful phone call. Oh I miss you Brian. The person I want the most to comfort me is the one person that I can’t have. That hurts. But God has shown his love for me so strongly through our friends and our family, and even through strangers. I have wept in more places and around more strangers than my introverted personality would normally allow, and God remains amazing. He has filled so many hearts with compassion and care, and for that I am grateful.
Things have not gotten better per se, things are different. I carry you and the memories of you in my heart. I think of you everyday, I think of your laugh, your smile, the way you looked at me, your voice, the silly things you would say to make me laugh or smile. I think of the way your hand felt when it held mine. I see your guitar and I remember all the times you played and I would sing along. I see my hiking shoes and I think of all the hikes we went on, 10 miles, 6 miles, 1 mile, it didn’t matter, as long as they were with you.
5 months and I still have bad days, I still have moments that I run to the nearest bathroom and scream in my head. I still have moments that I fall to the floor and my heart shatters all over again. I still have moments of weeping in my car, yelling at my grief, angry that it is once again trying to consume me. But those moments are not as frequent, and for that I am grateful. I wish you were here Brian, I wish our story could still continue. “I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)”