I visited your grave today

23 Nov

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I visited your grave today. There was no gravestone, only flowers. I wanted to see your name on the off chance it would give me some kind of closure. I know the more likely scenario is that I’d see it and I’d be hit hard with the reality of your absence. I’d buckle to my knees, sob hot tears onto the grass. But as it was, I simply sat there amid the flowers and imagined you were somewhere else entirely. I wanted to feel close to you but today it was more comforting imagining that you were very far away.

Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary, and I’m no closer to understanding any of this than I was then. And yes, I still reach for my phone to call you, and I check to see if you’re online, and I feel a pit in my stomach because I think, “It’s been too long since I’ve seen Roxy,” and then I remember and the pit deepens and threatens to swallow me whole. At times I feel like I’ve been grieving you forever. Other moments it’s like you never left.

There’s so much I want to tell you, and I wish all of it were good. I wish I could say that things were better than ever, that I had found a way to not be lonely or, even better, that I had learned how to let someone else in. I wish I could tell you I had gotten myself into shape or that I had decided to love myself as I am. It’s terrible to know that I’m incomplete, because that means you never got to see me whole. Not that it’s about me at all, really, but so much of my self-worth was tied into showing you how far I’d come, even knowing I had a ways to go.

On the way to the cemetery, I drove past my high school. My 10-year reunion is fast approaching, and I can’t count all the reasons I’m not going, but today I remembered how spending time with you was my respite from all that. I don’t want to go back to high school because, even now, with a job and a life and a place of my own, I can’t survive high school without you. I don’t even want to try.

Most days I’m fine. “I’m fine” becomes a mantra in its meaninglessness. But I know you, more than anyone else in my life, could understand the value of being “just OK,” that sometimes leaving the house is its own tiny victory, and not letting dread consume you is an ongoing battle. I know you wouldn’t judge me when the darkness takes over, but I still want to be better because I know that’s what you would want for me. And I want to make you proud the way that you made me proud.

I want to write a book just so I can dedicate it to you.

Usually when I write about my grief, I hope that it serves a purpose past my own self-indulgence. But sometimes I just need to document it all. Like today, I visited your grave and I didn’t know what to bring, so I didn’t bring anything. And I’m leaving you this instead.


3 Responses to “I visited your grave today”

  1. glennyfromtheblock November 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    For what it’s worth (which, understandably, is very little), that was a really beautiful and moving piece. Sometimes all you can do when you get dealt hands like this is to at least just be honest with it and hope that, eventually, something good grows out of it.

    I wish I could say something that would offer any true sense of comfort but, the most frustrating irony with these things is that, the more completely you loved the person means it never really gets better, just easier to cope with. I’ve always taken comfort in the fact that this kind of feeling of utter loss is at least a strange sign that what I lost was something truly special, and it’s always a reminder of how lucky I was to have something like that in my life, if only for a time. A lot of people I know never get a connection like that once, and they never know the difference. At least that kind of constant pain – sometimes dull and sometimes sharp and unexpected – means that you will inevitably always be reminded of all the good times you shared, and that the person lives on in that. Memory can be the most beautiful kind of secondary timeline when harnessed correctly – and those pangs of loss almost essentially mean that as long as you have them you’ve never really lost it completely at all.

    Anyway – that’s probably a little on the rambling side, but still.. *Hugs*

  2. awfulandwonderful November 27, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    My high school best friend committed suicide 2.5 years ago. It doesn’t get better but it gets a bit easier. Sending you good thoughts.

  3. 0n0b0r0 January 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    Beautiful piece, Louis. Thank you for sharing.

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