Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two Years Ago


At this time, two years ago today, I was curled up with my face buried in your shirt.  I had already lost you several hours ago, but little did I know that hearing your last heart beat {See this post} would not serve to be the only traumatic part of that day. I had thought about losing you over and over again, imagining (morbidly) what it would feel like.  I've learned that the brain does that for survival. . . it tries to prepare and figure out if you can make it through the event you keep thinking about.  What would it feel like? Would I survive?

But I never thought about the other stuff that goes along with death.  Having to call your mom and tell her the news, calling your best friend in the world and telling him. . .  waiting . . . simultaneously wishing for more time alone with you and someone to show up to fill the emptiness. Dealing with the police officers who to this day, I wish I had taken their names because they were so insensitive and awful to me.  Being asked by the funeral director to pick out clothes for you to be buried in.  Hiding in the bathroom while the funeral home carried your body out in my favorite Pottery Barn sheets.  These are things no one can ever prepare you for.  These are the things that made your death seem casual, messy, and like something else that just happens in life.  I hated every second of it.  I'm not sure what I wanted to happen.  I knew angels were not going to come down and carry you away in front of my eyes, but I just wanted something more.  I wanted the rest of the world to feel the gravity of the loss, too.  I wanted the policemen to be kind, and respectful and recognize all we had gone through -- maybe I wanted some sort of credit for dealing with all of this alone, for the most part.  Didn't they know who we had lost?? But it never came.  The sun came up against my wishes.  Papers were signed, an outfit was selected, and you were gone.  Suddenly, our tiny apartment felt huge.

There was a sense of finality in that last moment; an emptiness that I'm not sure I will ever be able to fully put into words; a sense of defeat.  We had lost.  You were gone.  And in those few seconds of silence where your heart beat was supposed to be, the world got a little darker, and the future seemed blurry.

Two years later, I can still close my eyes and feel every second of that day.  I hate today because I almost want to just skip past it.  I hate commemorating it.  It's not your birthday, or another special day -- it's a bad memory, a life-changing event that causes flashbacks for me, and causes pain in the hearts of the people who love you most.

Sitting in that apartment two years ago, the concept of going on with my own life seemed out of the question.  I never thought my heart would open up to someone else, or that, two years later, I'd be the happiest I've ever been. Remember last year when I told you I was going back to school after taking that time off? Well, I have three months left! I hope I make you proud.  There are so many things I wish I could tell you, but deep down, I know you already know.  I know you are responsible for so many of the happy things in my life, and the lives of the people closest to you.  I can't thank you enough for sending me Danny.  Our hearts are the same.  I could not have picked a better person for my husband, and I feel so incredibly lucky to be loved by him every day.

What I want to make clear is, I will never ever be without you.  Being with you, and losing you, shaped who I am as a person to my very core.  You are with me in so many little ways, every single day.

You're in my words, in the way I approach things, in every ounce of confidence I have.  I believe in myself a little more because you always believed in me.  Every time I laugh at a joke about poop, you're with me. Every time I giggle with your sister, or tease your mom or listen to Almost 6' 6", you're with me.  Every time I try to correct my grammar, or edit my own paper, you're with me.  Every time I put mayo and mustard on a sandwich, you're with me.  Every time I look at Danny and smile, you're with me.  I know it might sound strange to some, but you taught me to love fiercely.  And inevitably you taught me that life is too short, to wait around for the "right time" to do things. You are in everything that makes me, me.  You are what I like most about myself. You brought so much magic to this world in such a short amount of time.  I feel lucky to have shared so many memories with you, and so privileged that you chose me to share your life and inner most self with.

I will never stop missing your presence in this world. I will never forget all that you taught me.  As the years go by, as they invariably will, the light you brought to my life will never fade.  The world and the people you touched will always shine a little brighter for having known you.

I know you are safe.  That you are happy.  That everything makes sense to you now. I can feel it.

Two years, or two thousand,

I carry your heart.