I thought I saw you walking yesterday. That was almost the moment, because I always used to think I saw you walking— you were always walking somewhere or other. And even after we lived far apart, every once in a while, there you would be, walking to see me. It used to drive us nuts, you know. You never called or texted to say you would be around; you'd just drop by. Sometimes the day before or after would have been a lot better. With a little notice, we could have scheduled some things around what days were better for you, too.
I'm getting angry again, which is not going to make composing myself for my day any easier. I have things to do today, but here I am trying to carve out a little time for you because I couldn't do it enough in life. And I know there is no enough. I could have done it more and it still wouldn't have been enough, and that's both of our faults. Damn, Dan. You left us with nothing we can do. That's where every fucking person that knew you is. With just a wealth of nothing we can do.
The biggest lie about grief is that it gets better with time. It doesn't, it just keeps hurting like a knee you hurt back when you were younger. You know there are some things you'll never be able to do again, but you learn to hold your weight on your other leg. The other leg, the rest of you, they get stronger if you let them. You knew that from our childhood. When Grandma died a few years ago, we joked that we didn't ask to be stronger, we were already strong enough. I didn't ask to be stronger, dude.
But this is where our paths have parted. I have to carry on, which completely fucking sucks, thank you very much. For reasons I know, but may never understand, every moment puts more distance between us. In concept, that's just part of life. That you will lose people you love and though you carry their memory forward, they themselves are left behind. This reality, though— this is the kind of thing you hear about but happens to someone else. It's completely, maddeningly surreal. It's an out of body experience.
I wish— honestly, so many things that it's impossible to form one clear sentence on the subject. The closest thing I can come to putting words to what comes after "I wish" is this:
Sitting in an empty row boat on a body of water so dark it seems completely still, surrounded by a mist so thick and a sky so gray that you cannot begin to guess where the, directionless, anyway, horizon may lie. There is nothing to see, nothing that can be seen, anyway. Each wave sneaks up on you in a cascade of cold that neither leaves your bones, nor your soul. The damp leaves you with a chill that feels like a breeze unto itself. But there is no breeze, only a cloud that clings to you, stifles you.
A splash. What did I drop into the water?
Do I dare move?
That. I wish that wasn't a thing that I could make comparisons with. But, that is where grief takes you, that blank, frigid place of nothingness where I hope you are not. And I must move. I told you I had things to do today and I must try to do them.
One's inability to linger has no bearing on one's ability to love.