Fourth installment of a weekly letter to Ian. Again, if you have someone you’ve lost and want to write a letter to them, feel free. You can email me, post it as a comment, whatever. I’ll post it if you want… if you don’t want me to post it I’ll hold onto it. Seems to help me.
It’s been exactly three months since you died. Probably very close to the hour. I’m writing this letter at 2:30am on May 18th. Three months is both an eternity, and no time at all. Seeing how your nephew has changed in that time makes it seem like forever. He’s growing fast. You’d like him. He’s fun. The weather has changed some too, though we’ve been having a cold snap and frost advisories the past day or two, so not that much. I haven’t talked to you in three months. That’s harder than you would ever have believed. I still think about you, want to tell you stuff, every day. Every hour. Every minute.
But then it seems like just yesterday I was laughing with you… watching you dance around your living room. Drinking the crazy concoctions you would make. Listening to music and talking about life and love and all that jazz. Planning what we were going to do for this wedding next week. Another wedding that you and I were supposed to enjoy together. Dance, laugh, get drunk on free alcohol, eat free food. Share the expense of a hotel room so it was easier to do. Sing and laugh and just have fun. All those plans that went up in smoke. Burning flames, leaving only ash and destruction behind.
I may be waxing somewhat poetic. It’s been a hard week. Several very stressful situations. They seem to be resolving, but I’m so tired. I was planning on baking a pie today. But when I got home from the one errand I had to do, I couldn’t fathom doing it. So I ate some takeout and sat down to watch movies. Decided that maybe I’d see if your strategy of drinking until happy worked. But I’m bad at that. I always have been. So I drank a couple drinks, but not enough to even get tipsy…. got distracted. Didn’t feel like drinking more. So just watched movies and tried not to be sad.
I didn’t much succeed at that either. However, I did discover something. I watched The Great Gatsby, which was a book I loathed all three times I had to read it in school. Watching the movie, however, it occurred to me that maybe we, as a society, try to push profound and touching books on students too young. As a student, I hadn’t yet experienced deep loss. I couldn’t identify with the characters. I just hated them. Tonight, I cried. I’m going to read the book again, to see if I’m right. It’s entirely possible that I just don’t like the writing style of Fitzgerald, and will still hate it, and the movie touched me because I didn’t have to deal with it. But I have a feeling I was just too inexperienced all those years ago to truly appreciate it.
I kind of wish I was still that inexperienced.
This week also marked the anniversary of my grandfather’s death. A year ago tonight, I was at your house, telling you stories about my grandpa. Talking about my experience in Vegas watching him die. Crying to you. Being comforted by you. This year, I’m in so much more pain, and I don’t have you to comfort me. BECAUSE I don’t have you here.
I’m used to it some now. I guess it’s been long enough that it doesn’t hit me in the gut much anymore. But still, every day, I find myself baffled by the permanence of your absence. It’s almost incomprehensible. How can you be really gone? Forever? Never to talk to me or laugh at me or call me a baloney or burp at me again? That’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s stuck in my throat, making it hard to breathe.
I wish I didn’t have to miss you. But you made me. So I do. Constantly.
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