One of the support groups I’m in (www.pos-ffos.com) offers the suggestion to write a letter every Sunday to the person who died. They say it might be a good way to get some things out, and while I know he’ll never see it, it makes sense to me.
I figured in the absence of guest posts, that would be what I do every Sunday. If anyone wants to send in a guest post, feel free to send it via the email link at the bottom of the page.
So, here’s today’s letter:
It’s been a hard week for me. On Tuesday, a group of us went to a Brewers game. We tailgated, and I made a playlist that was inspired by music that reminded me of you. That may not have been the most painless of ideas. Your nephew was there, and I wish you could know him. He’s a delight. And this coming from me, who feels much the same that you did about kids.
That evening was the first time I’ve been drunk since some time before you died. It was cathartic. I think it helped me work through a couple things, maybe. On my way home, I stopped at your house. I am so lucky that your family hasn’t asked me to not do that, though it would be perfectly reasonable for them to do so. It doesn’t smell like your house anymore. They’ve had it cleaned, and it’s mostly empty. I laid on your bed, that’s now in the middle of your room and cried. I talked to you. Yelled at you. Sang to you.
Then I couldn’t be in your room anymore. So I moved to your living room and laid on your couch. The couch we’d sit on and cuddle while we watched movies or listened to music. The couch we slept on one night when I refused to sleep on your crappy little hard bed. The couch we argued on. And I realized that I wanted it. I talked to you more, hoping to feel something, anything. A presence, a remnant… anything. I didn’t. The only thing I felt was the emptiness of an abandoned house. So I cried more. It was a long night.
Your mom was in town this week, too. I love her, and am glad I can know her. I think it was hard for her, both to be here when you weren’t, and to leave… because she felt like she was leaving you. I understand that dichotomy.
See, I’m not sure of the healthiness of some of my actions. I still sleep on a pillow of yours (as long as my hair isn’t wet, so I keep the scent as long as possible), so I can smell. I have pictures all over my kitchen table. I have your stuff everywhere in my house. It’s as if my entire house is a shrine to you… and I can’t tell if keeping all that stuff is easing the pain of losing you, or if it’s unhealthily prolonging the process of moving forward. I can’t tell, and honestly, I don’t think I’d be willing to give any of that up even if my therapist told me it WAS unhealthy.
Everything reminds me of you. I had a very frustrating interaction with someone at work this week, and I wanted nothing more than to go tell you about it and see you roll your eyes and make me laugh. I went to the bowling alley we used to go to today to pick something up. I thought about the little side to side slide thing you’d do before you let a ball loose. I remembered how you’d always start your run of jukebox songs with Green Grass and High Tides by the Outlaws because it was so long, it would allow you to finish making your choices before the song was over.
I can’t drive by your house on my way to and from work yet. It makes me cry. Driving home from work, I drive the way we walked back from the bowling alley one night in the rain, carrying your stupid bowling balls.
You can’t have known how much I would miss you. I certainly didn’t realize how deep it would go. I wish you’d talked to me. Told me what was going on. If you’d realized, I have to believe that you wouldn’t have done it. Either that, or you would have left me some note… some thought.
I will always love you. I will always miss you. Somehow I’m managing to live a life without you in it, but it sucks. You’re a dumbass for not believing that therapy or meds could help you. For not even TRYING. But I know you fought. I saw the fight as much as, if not more than everyone. I just wish you’d let me help you in the battle.
I can’t say it enough. I love you.
If you would like to write a letter to Ian, or whomever you’ve lost, feel free to do so in comments, or send me an email. I’m happy to post them as comments or not, as you wish.
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