I all the time knew you fell in love with someone whenever you began pronouncing their name in a different way. It was a subtle change, but I could all the time tell how the syllables tasted fresh in your tongue. You pronounced each letter as rigorously as in case you desired to be certain that you might pronounce it like nobody else. I’d probably find that lovely if it didn’t mean you do not love me anymore.
It’s an odd thing to lose the respect of somebody who once treated you want your most precious, most delicate thing. How one moment you are so sure of the undeniable fact that you are the center of their solar system, the gravity that brings them to their knees, after which suddenly you are just one other lonely planet lost in orbit looking for the heat of the sun that now not burns for you. The whole universe starts to look different – or possibly it all the time has, and you only made me see it in a different way.
The truth is, I’m not even sure I miss what you were to me, but who I became once I looked through your eyes. I won’t ever again be the one that grew up in your pedestal, who existed only due to you. There were parts of me that you just once loved so fiercely that I could not help but love them too, but on my worst days I begin to wonder in the event that they ever existed in any respect. What parts was I and which were what you wanted me to be? How much have I trained myself to make you like me?
And possibly it’s all for good. Maybe I’m higher at creating an identity for myself that’s separate from the one which can exist even whenever you’re now not around to justify it. Maybe that is the way it should all the time be. But I still cannot shake the sensation that the moment you left you took something with you, and what I fear most is that it’s something that ought to still be mine. I feel I’ll spend my whole life attempting to make my name sound half as beautiful as yours.
* * *
My age of innocence ended 4 years ago once I woke as much as the news that a family friend had shot himself. The next day, one other person near me also tried to commit suicide. Before, my life was not untouched by tragedy, but then it appeared to be destroyed by it.
I remember the funeral so clearly that sometimes once I close my eyes I can tell myself I’m still there. It was held in a room with ceiling-to-floor windows, but when the sky turned dark, the glass acted as a mirror, reflecting our sadness back to us. No one else looked as if it would wish to look directly at it, but I could not look away – not from the redness that surrounded my very own eyes, or from the faces of individuals I’d never met before, but a cruel act of fate brought all of them together. Deep down, I felt it was my duty to witness their pain, but in addition the aftermath of what he left behind. To find traces of affection for him which were etched within the sorrow of others. To know of course that regardless of how things ended, regardless of how he felt at the top of his days, his life had meaning.
I still do, I noticed. Even without mirrored windows, I am unable to take my eyes off the tragedy. I need to know its depth, truth, reality. My friends say I’ve change into morbid; They say there is a darkness that hides behind my usual shining glow. But I feel it’s less about being fascinated by the macabre and more about accepting it for what it’s. It’s about knowing deep down that even in all of the chaos, there are some things that ought to never be ignored.
Because now I do know of course that it mattered – his life, his love, his loss. That it still is. That those emotions still live here, even when he doesn’t. And it’s all so precious, if for anyone else, then no less than for me.
* * *
Nobody talked about it when my aunt got sick. There’s something particularly awkward and even embarrassing about contracting Covid whenever you’re in a pandemic-denying family. Everyone thought it was higher to pretend it wasn’t happening. When she was rushed to the hospital just a few weeks later, nobody said a word. After her death, I rarely heard anyone say her name.
It’s weird how sometimes you lose people in pieces. When someone has been fighting for his or her life for months, you grieve in stages, step by step eliminating those bits of hope, over and yet again. But to be honest, I began losing my aunt before she even got sick. The cracks in my family began to form a few years ago, and he or she and I discovered ourselves at different ends of the spectrum. By the time we lost her for good, she had change into unrecognizable to me.
Now I even have change into a one who talks little about it, if only because there aren’t any words to elucidate these complicated feelings. Anyway, I’m undecided anyone desires to take heed to them. Those who knew her don’t need to listen to in regards to the dead; those that thought I shouldn’t have ignored all of it anymore. Somehow I agree with each and neither at the identical time.
I feel all of that is to say that I even have lost a number of faith over the past few years, and within the long, drawn out means of losing my aunt, I even have lost an element of myself. And I hate that love, hope and optimism can eventually turn into something so nasty. I hate this thing within me that fills all this empty space. I still hope that sooner or later I’ll leave all of it behind me too.
* * *
I briefly lost my mother to cancer once I was 11. I say “briefly” because by the grace of God, the universe or another higher power that I even have yet to satisfy, she survived after a yr of treatment. This story has a glad ending, but does that make her glad?
For years I missed my mother’s laugh. I missed her smile. I missed the best way she made the world seem right. I missed how her love made me feel protected before it suddenly became just one other thing to remove. Sometimes I still miss all those things because time has been spinning and the world has moved on, but there are things that just don’t come back, not quite. I used to be too young to know the importance of what I had before it was gone.
But I’m grateful. I’m grateful to have a mom who can laugh again, who can smile again, who can still sometimes make the world seem a bit of less dark than other days. But I’ll always remember the things life took from her, the things life took from me. And I won’t ever stop wishing, in some small, futile way, that we could get them back.
* * *
There was a time in my life once I lived in many various places in a short while, not because I needed to, but just because I could. I liked the sensation that for once I used to be accountable for coming and going, that life couldn’t take away something I had voluntarily left behind. I liked to imagine it was a cure for lifelong, persistent sadness.
But what is the difference between leaving and staying behind when the consequence is all the time the identical? Because now I look back on those moments of my life with the identical heavy sense of nostalgia as with anything. I feel back to those cities I even have visited and the way they still haunt my dreams; I feel back to the people I met and the way naive I used to be to think that by controlling the situation I could ever control the consequence. Because that never made them any less vital to me, did it? It never modified the best way they made me laugh or cry or feel so loved, so understood. And it doesn’t change the best way my heart still aches once I remember it. It doesn’t change the best way all this has modified me.
I feel I’m done attempting to force the hand of life, to emerge victorious from a situation where there isn’t any win or lose. Because it’s all a little bit of each, right? I’ve gained an excessive amount of within the last three many years to ever pretend it wasn’t value it. And I’ve lost an excessive amount of to pretend I’d be higher off without it.
* * *
I’m attempting to do that where I take a look at time in a different way. I’ve all the time viewed my life as a series of events before and after— before something began, after it ended. Before I met someone, after I lost him. Before I became who I’m now and who I shall be later. All these lines I’ve been drawing over the many years have begun to look arbitrary.
I wish I had learned to treat time so linearly, as if each moment only matters in relation to where I exist in the current. I feel it is a disservice to the people I’ve met, the things I’ve seen, the versions I’ve been in. Because there was once a time when all of this meant all the things to me, after we existed in that space between before and after and where I feel in a way we would still exist.
We lost so many things along the best way. But the wonder is that I can mourn these items simply because I once had them, because they filled me with light and hope, heartache and anguish. And God, how wonderful it was to have something value losing.