Random stuff I need to tell you.
It's been almost four years since I posted here.
Six years since you left me.
I suppose I thought I didn't need to come here any more. After all, I talk to you every day. But, somehow, it's harder to tell you how I really feel when my words are floating out into the ether of the universe.
So, how do I feel? Like a mother without her child. I feel old. I feel tired. I hurt. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Fearful. Your death has made me fearful. Of loss. Of losing someone else I love. It's been six years and I'm still fearful all. the. time.
I cry, inside and out. Now, yesterday, tomorrow. There is no end to the tears in my soul.
I go through life with the eerie knowledge that the happiest day of my life has already passed. There will never be another day better than the last one you were alive. And frankly, the last day you were alive was gut-wrenchingly awful. Your last day was when we didn't know where you were, filed a missing persons report and feared the worst. But on that last day, there was still hope.
Now, there are good days. There are great days. There are beautiful days. And every single one of them is tinged with grief. Every single one of them is spent without you.
Life has moved on without you. Spinning, turning, evolving. I tried to slow it down. Hell, I tried to fucking STOP it. To no avail. Time moved on without my permission or blessing. Life truly does go on. All while staying the same. Your Father and I are still married, money is still tight, we still want to move to Hawaii, we put a new roof on the house, we have too many animals, and we miss you. Oh, how we miss you. Now, some days, instead of wanting time to stop, I wish it would move faster. I no longer rail against the sun coming up, but, instead, on a small level, welcome the knowledge that I am one day closer to the end of missing you.
Your brother is married. Can you believe it? We missed you at his wedding and there was some part of me that kept looking at his best man and wanting to hate him. Or hate you? I'm not sure. That day was a day that couldn't be about you long enough for me to figure it out. All I can say is, "You should have been there."
Tanner also just graduated from college. He's officially an electrical engineer and he and his wife, Jen, are moving to Austin in just a couple of weeks. I am so happy for him....He is so amazing and we are so proud of him and I know you would be also. Would be proud? Are? What a difference it would make if I knew the answer.
Your sister has really struggled with your death and her depression. It makes me sad and I don't know how to help. She was only 17 when you left her and she longs for the chance to get to know you. She has two children who only know you by your pictures. You have a niece and nephew who are the most amazing children and I can only imagine how much you would all love each other. Sometimes, I look at them and try to picture you playing with them. Then it makes me too sad to think about it so I block you out in order to focus on their lives rather than your death.
I do random acts of kindness in your name. You motivate me to be a better person. I live with the regret of not doing them sooner.
It's almost Christmas. Every year we do a donation to someone in your name. A single mom received your Christmas gift this year. We don't know her but, I wrote her a letter so she will know of you. I so want you to live on.
I still hang your stocking then struggle with not filling it on Christmas Eve.
I miss the pickle hunt. That fucking pickle you brought home from Germany. That fucking hunt you always won. You were selfish and ruthless when it came to finding that pickle and getting whatever silly little gift came with it's discovery. The pickle broke the first Christmas without you and none of us can bring ourselves to buy a new one. Even knowing someone else would finally get to find it... I think we all know that the pickle would really belong to you. I wish you were here to teach Little Josh and Cadee how to lose the pickle hunt....or better yet, I wish you were here so I could see you let them win.
Some things are easier after six years. Breathing doesn't hurt every single moment. Compartmentalizing my emotions comes more naturally. It's easier to part with your belongings these days because I've accepted that they aren't pieces of you. I've come to understand, at the core of my being, no matter how much time passes I won't remember you less simply because the guitar you couldn't play isn't sitting in the corner.
Some things are forever different. Like how few things I really care about. How often I feel like I'm "faking" life. Or the fact that we don't even talk to most of the people I considered friends before you died. A lot of "friends" disappeared just as permanently as you did. Some because they wanted to, some because they simply couldn't push back anymore after a while of me pushing them away.
Oh, the stories we tell of you. I particularly hate how there are no new memories. I hate how we can't talk about how much you've changed. Or hear you tell us all how sorry you are for being such an ass sometimes. I want new memories that don't involve missing you.
I will never be able to fill the human, Josh shaped, hole you have left behind in my life. I know every inch of it intimately and run my mental fingers through your space every chance I get. I touch your smile, I graze your hair, I admire the ruggedness of your hands. I relive the moment of your birth when my pain was literally the beginning of your life. Now my pain is in the ending.
I love you, Josh.
I love you, I love you, I love you.
To the moon and back.
Through thick and thin.
Through my life and your death.
Until we meet again and then forever after.
I love you with every trite cliche' we poor humans use to try and express the inexpressible.
I love you.