A stream-of-consciousness free write…
Do you know what it’s like to lose something…someone. To feel as if their absence has left a permanent void in your life? Not gone as in death, no, that would almost be easier. With death you know that the person is never coming back. They’ve either been buried deep into the ground or baked to ash. No, what’s worse is losing someone who you still see around. That’s worse. Despite how much finality you know was made in the separation, your brain knows it’s over. It’s done. Gone. As good as buried. But the heart? Yeah the heart still holds on to that one sliver of hope. The piece of thread that forever ties you to that person, but not really. Just enough of a catch to make your life miserable.
It’s kind of like stepping in dog poop. You can wash and scrub your shoe. You’re pretty sure you’ve removed all the muck, but as you walk on you can still smell it. It’s that. The knowing. Then there’s how everyone else knows. They shoot you the look. You know which look I’m talking about. The, “Oh, she stepped in poo” look. Only, when it’s a person, and not actual poo, it’s more of a, “Why is she still holding on?” look.
It gets worse. Because even if you don’t actually, physically, encounter the person on a regular basis anymore, it’s not like they erased your memories in the process of leaving. So now you’re stuck, reliving all the happy times. Life has become waking up from a pleasant dream only to realize you’re still stuck in a nightmare. It’s rolling over in bed and expecting to find him next to you, but you only reach out and touch a cold pillow. A pillow where the sent of his cologne still lingers.
Scent is a powerful tool. One sniff of my favorite lotion can take me back to a time spent on a tropical island. One whiff of that pillow and I’m back to lazy Saturday mornings lounging in bed wrapped in his arms. With death comes closure. But this? No, this hope still calls upon the What Ifs. What If he came back? What If he marries someone else? What If, What If, What If???
No one understands how to fill this hole inside of me. I get the same advice: Move on. You’re better off. He didn’t know what he had. He may not have, but I did. Am I really better off, living in this stupor? Just functioning enough to barely make it from one day to the next? That’s not much of a life, and yet it’s better than when I was happy and whole? Do these people know me at all? I don’t even like the way I am now. I liked who I was then. But I cannot find me. I cannot come up with a way to live, or want to live, without him in my life. I know how bad that sounds. As if I dote on him too much. But when you lose someone who means that much to you, and then all of a sudden the world you know has shifted. Has toppled. You cannot go on living like you once did when the sun rose in the east.
This is not about me killing me. Ending me. This is about trying to how to take a step. Not a leap. I’m not ready for a leap. Baby steps. But only one. In some direction. I cannot stay here in this dark haze. It hurts too much. I need to wash my sheets. I need to open the curtains. I need to…but I won’t. The ache is stronger just thinking about washing what’s left of him out of my life. Maybe if I could throw my heart into the machine along with the sheets all of the pain and sorrow would seep into the water like excess dye from a red shirt. This is when the What Ifs haunt – What If he returned and learned that I had thrown out every last bit of him? Of us? Would his apology be taken in the wind? I cannot dwell on the unknown. What I do know is that he is gone. As far as I can tell, for good. Forever. Like death, but not. And yet, I think I’m still alive. I should breathe. Should move. Should live…with hope.