Yesterday was one year since you let out your final breath as you arrived at the end of your journey.
What have I learned since then?
I realize that in a way, I’ve sort of grown up a bit. All those fears and issues I would have with life, you know the ones that we would always come back to in conversation, have had to be dealt with on my own. I didn’t have the safety net of you; the one person I could say anything to.
At first it was chest grabbing and crushing. I’d feel the panic start and that buzzing cycle that runs through an ever thinking brain, full of “what-ifs”. I have sort of learned over the last year that when I can’t reach out to you, I won’t explode. My world won’t explode but, I’ve had to resolve MY issues, on my own. That, or suffer the consequences of the cycle of obsessive thinking.
Over time, I’m learning to actually walk the rope of life on my own. Some days it is hard, other days, “I got this, girl.” Always though, I miss you and am grateful for you. Regardless of every thing you did and didn’t do to yourself, my hurt, anger, sadness…you have taught and continue to teach me much. I know I’ll never have a fill in for you, but I will always be a better friend, because of us.
I don’t feel guilty anymore for how I feel about your kids. They are mine now. We will always have a bond because of you and I will always be a tie to you, with them. I’m pretty sure you would be OK with that. Living, and watching your children grow and live, will honor you.. I will never be you to them, but I am Auntie and I will there when they need a mom figure to turn to.
The plus one day…
I woke up this morning, went out back to smoke in the frosty darkness. I thought:
So I, am 1 today. One year ago today I woke up to live without you holding my hand. I’ve been doing it one my own for a year and a day now. I’m pretty sure I am going to make it. It does feel like it will be ever so much longer without you here. I miss your laugh and you quick witted, cutting humor. I miss your love, though I know it is still there following me, as mine still does you. It’s the loss of physical you. It’s made me feel so selfish because all of this grief has been about me. My sadness. My loss. My feelings. Me, me me.
I still cry, just not as often. I just went to get a tissue to wipe my eyes and saw your ashes in the slender vile. I had taken them out the other night because I was debating them taking you with me on the one year day; to have you close to me. Instead I left you here. When I saw the vile I began to really cry. Holding the vile close to try and hug what I have left of what physically held your beautiful soul and then tucking you back in my safety place.
I also realize that everyday, the randomness of death touches someone. If you are lost, wandering, not knowing how to deal with your grief and reading this… I am so sorry for your loss. There is nothing I can say to you to make anything make sense, or stop hurting, but I do understand grief, and I am sorry you are here. My only words I can even attempt to share, the words I hang onto in the darkest moments are that Love…never dies. Physically, it changes how you live it, but it never dies, because it’s pure energy. I know that Melissa’s energy went back to beginning so it didn’t just die. It absorbed back into where it originated from. I originated from this place, and so did you. I just haven’t always recognized the moments that it still touches me, but a few times I have. Those little moments keep me going.
So, one year, plus one day. I still love you.
I haven’t been writing, because I fell in a hole again.
In five days, I “bury” you at your memorial. I definitely feel like I am going to watch other people say good-bye to you, because I don’t think I’ll ever say good-bye, even though you need to let me go.
I dreamed of you all last night, woke up with a few tears falling and heard myself saying good-bye, but don’t go yet. I am scared this is going to be an emotional and hard week.
You told me (?) that was you and that you did come to me that night to show me how you were seeing things and what your reality would be on life support. I wish it wouldn’t have freaked me out when I realized you were with me. I wish I hadn’t gasped and said “MEL!”, and then woke up.
I miss you.
Please let go of me a little. I know that sounds weird coming from someone who will never let you go all the way, but you can’t keep hanging onto the part that makes me ache. I need to remember our friendship and love and not the last two weeks of your life and death.
There is so much love.
The birthday card you gave me the second year we were friends, you signed it Sick n Sin and told me you loved me. The day I finally stopped lying to you about my bruises, stitches, and marks. Unconditional was your support and love. When The Girl went away. Not once did you tell me to get over it, move beyond it or, put it away. You didn’t care that ten years went by and I was still hurt, angry, self-destructive and not done grieving. You never asked me to hurry it up. You never asked me not to be angry at Jack, or hurt by the same. When The Girl came back, you were as happy for me, as I was. When I talked to you about my fears, what DO I talk to her about, and what do I NOT talk to her about. You understood and supported me in NOT bringing up that Superbowl Sunday, till she seemed ready to remember or talk about it.
When I wound up with The Knuckle Dragging Face Breaker and he broke my face, you didn’t judge me. You didn’t ask if I didn’t see the red flags or tell me how fucking stupid I was for moving in with another abuser. You told me he was an asshole, that you would like to put your concealed weapons permit to use, and that you loved me. When I told you, the night you had the god-damned-mother-fucking-fucking-fucking-fucking stroke, that I regretted not making a police report, you reminded me that I could still do it, and you would support me through it, because…you loved me.
When I wound up talking to Mr. Yummy again, you were happy for me, and you because you got to have a sex life, vicariously through me. When I was on my way to his house, that first time again after fifteen years, and I took the wrong turn and was freaking out, you were reminding me to breathe, and that you loved me. When I told you the next day about the previous night and how nice it was, and then about him still having my hemp shampoo after 15 years, you laughed and told me you KNEW that it meant he still had feelings for me and you KNEW there was still a seed there for the love we once had. I didn’t think twice about you saying that till I was in Texas after the fucking, fucking, fucking stroke and I found the hemp hand lotion I had given you 15 years ago was still in your drawer. I knew instantly that you saved the bottle because I gave it to you, and you loved me.
There’s so much love.
I think of you every day. I try to think of the good times, the fun, the laughs, then special quiet times we had, the wake n bakes, the trashed dancing. Honestly though…the shit is still flinging itself off the fan blades 7 months later.
I think of the many examples I saw in Texas that just brought such absolute pain to me. When your medication was withheld, and you were in fucking pain because someone ELSE had an issue with you having morphine too often. I mean heaven forbid you might get addicted as you lay there dying in pain. I asked the staff when you were last given pain management and was told 5 hours. I didn’t know if I should choke “HER”, or the staff, but you can damn well make sure I told them to give it to you, and they did. Knowing you were photographed in NICU really pissed me off and I wonder all the time, if you were aware when it was done, because if you were, you were fucking hurt and pissed off by that. You would have never violated anyone like that when they were hooked up to life support. You’d have bitched at the person and insist it was deleted. I saw so much and learned so much, and I realize now why you never mixed certain people.
I more than ever understand your pain, why we were the best of friends and family, why you did some of the things you did. I am so sorry I couldn’t fix your pain any more than you were able to fix mine.
But it was you and it was me. We were so close in spite of our wounds. I know that I’ll never have a friend like you again, and I am OK with that because you were my kindred, sacred, soul-mate. I was so lucky to have found you, and to be part of each others world for 25 years of our lives.
I am having such a hard time without you girl. I got blocked from Facebook, because of that illegal name I had. I never used my real name when signing up and regardless of the fact some people have REASONS for anonymity when a social media service makes it easy for someone who broke your face to find you. I refuse to give them my real name, so I guess no more Facebook for me. It’s been almost a week. I don’t really miss it and find it really fucking funny that no one has noticed me gone. Today though, I just realized that this will only make it easier for me to isolate myself, not pick up my phone, not reach out.
I’m pretty sick too. I think I might have pneumonia. I know I should go to the doctor, and should have a week ago when I coughed up a mouthful of bright, fresh blood after a coughing fit that pushed my parting gift rib injury from my ex-husband, back out of whack. Mr. Yummy said he thought I hemorrhaged something in my throat while hacking. Since my throat immediately hurt afterwards, I believe him. But still, I haven’t gone to the doctor.
I am not in crisis, but I’m not here. Part of me is just dead. I don’t know how to “be” without you, because you were such a part of me. I was closer with you, than any romantic relationship I have ever been in. You were just, part of me. You still are, I just don’t “feel” you anymore because I am dead or in pain. Is this ever going to end?
I love you and I miss you.
I’m starting to feel again.
Last night Mr. Yummy made me laugh. That was the third time I have laughed and felt it since Christmas day of 2014.
I still am having good days and bad days. Some of the bad days are REALLY bad and some of the good days, are pretty good. I will take that because at least it’s not all just this soul crushing loss. That’s good, right?
Mr. Yummy said that at this age, we should be sort of used to it, but you my love, were my first very, very, close loss and it was more devastating than anything I have known. It has been worse than the loss of my daughter, because I know she wakes each day and takes air into her lungs.
Can you believe that?
You were there every step of my journey with her. You saw it all including the years and years of self-torture I put myself and others around me through. You never left my side though, and you unconditionally loved me through it and saw me coming out of that fucking hole to taste happiness. You saw the beginning of my shine, and we both marveled at how bright I had become. So since I am telling you, that your death was harder than what you watched me go through for years, imagine how hard this has been for me. I am by no means saying I am through feeling this loss. I will always feel it, but I am seeing a light and the end of this total isolating tunnel of sadness, mourning, and grief I have been stuck in.
I hope the things I am doing after your death are right. I’m just trying to get through the memorial, and then I’m taking my life back from the people who call themselves your family. I know you love a few of them, but I just can’t keep up any type of interactions once I go watch other people say good-bye to you. I’ll eventually let you go, but I’ll never say good-bye, because you are still with me. Today I “felt” you in the dip room with me. Perhaps as more happy memories of our damn near 25 years together, return to my thoughts, I will “feel” you more.
That was probably one of the more horrible things, I couldn’t really remember any of the good times, everything was swallowed by the darkness of surrendering to the loss of you. To think of your true laughter, was something so elusive, and all I could see was the laughter I managed to give you in NICU and Hospice. Though those moments of laughter that we shared between us, will remain precious as fuck, it is the moments of you laughing full, loud, open mouth, head back, and hair loose, that will remain my companions also and I was afraid that none of those memories would come back. They are starting to.
As always, I miss you and love you and forever we will be sick n sin.
Tomorrow is three months. I miss you SO fucking much. Part of me tells myself that it’s “already” been three months! Get off your ass and get your shit together! The other part says, “It’s only been three months?! Life without you is going to seem like an eternity!
I had to stop writing to you here till I accepted that you are gone. You really aren’t going to call me ever again, I’m never going to hear that, “Hey Girl!” again. There is no mistake, you’re gone. I hate it, but I know it is true.
Remember the only concert we went to? kd lang, the Invincible Summer tour. She sang Hallelujah. We had good seats. It was right before you left for Texas, that God forsaken shit hole that I am convinced, houses Hell. There is one kd song in particular that has become your song. Though you have so many songs, this one really rang true to me this morning, when I was sitting in my car, in the dark, early for work.
I don’t think tomorrow, I want to write about the three months mark. In fact, I wish I could just let the day slide by, but I imagine, or at least I thought so on my drive home, that for a while, the 8th of every month will probably make me think of it, since I am now counting your death in months. At first, it was days, then weeks. One day it will be years. An eternity…life will be that without you.
I’m not so angry at you. I’m still pissed, don’t get me wrong. I always will be, but the love will by far outweigh the anger. I even managed to have a happy memory of you this morning, when I thought of us at the Egyptian getting ready to see kd lang together!
I still see your eyes. Your in the hospital dying eyes. Staring into mine. J asked his dad if he did the right thing not spending lots of time with you. I told him to tell him I think he did. It was his preference to remember you as you were in life. My problem at the moment is that I can’t un-see so many things I saw. I hate that the last time we locked eyes, was the suction debacle in hospice.
I told the lady in the grief session about that. All of it. I said out-loud to another human being that I whispered to you if you didn’t want it to bite down, and you did, and your mom fought you as I held your face in my hands, eyes locked, jaw clamped, breathing heavy, fighting her every step of the way, wanting death on your terms. Do you know what she told me? This grief counselor lady? She told me I honored you, our friendship, your wishes, and I had your back.
It was like she understood what I was trying to do with you as you walked that road. I just wanted you to know how fucking honored I am to have been your friend and soul-mate in life.
We had something a lot of people don’t have. I may have had shit luck with relationships that are romantic, but I fucking nailed it with you. It’s not something that is just an in life thing, because through your death, I have learned and will continue to learn. A lot.
I’m so lucky our last words were that of love. I still hear them.
ME: K girl, it’s 11:30, I’m tired, tomorrow is Christmas, I’ll talk to you then. Goodnight, I love you!
YOU: K Girl, Love you too! Night!