In my head, you’d made a promise and you didn’t keep it. You said you’d always be there. I guess that pissed me off and 22 years later, I’m still a little bit… livid. I can feel how my body feels like it’s boiling while the ice runs through me. I can’t get warm, I can’t sit still, I’m exhausted and everything hurts. I am angry and I am sad.
So I sat on the computer, because that’s how therapy works now… welcome to a pandemic where the world crashes down in waves across my soul again and again. It’s like drowning, only it never ends, and I can still breathe even when I don’t want to.
Anyway, Dad. I sat down and I talked about how ever many millions of things I need to say in the 50 minutes I got, and so many of them were about you. And it was cool, because I got to talk to mom after and she also seemed as impressed as my therapist about how self-aware I am of my feelings. How I know that there isn’t much more healing to do, per se, but that I need to continue to be aware that my memories hurt. I feel. Everything. And sometimes people who feel everything get angry, or more easily hurt because… we are carrying everything on ourselves. And this shit is hard.
Losing you… that was hard. And I won’t get over you. I won’t move on, but I won’t live in grief.
Except for today.
Today, I am going to live in grief. And cry under a hot shower, sitting on a cold floor, expecting nothing but for everything to eventually dry out. To have nothing left to cry anymore.
I no longer grow jealous and bitter when I meet someone with their parents. I celebrate them… what a blessing. Kindness has been the only emotion I choose more strongly than my anger wills.
I am kind, Dad. Because you were. Because you taught me that kindness mattered more than anything else. That money could always be made and winning was only a temporary feeling. Kindness? That feeling of being good- that was forever. So I try so very hard.
Except today. Today I live in the grief- with my own permission- I live in how bad it hurts. I live in the ache and the anger and the pure stillness of remembering what it felt like to feel your lifeless body next to mine. To hear the nurse say it was over. To still not understand the word hospice only sounds nice. It’s actually the ugliest word. Just like the nesting room, at Abington Hospital, where I met and said goodbye to Jonathan. I live in that, today. Where all that once sounded so beautiful turned ugly. And there is nothing kind in that. There is no peace. Just today.