Monday, July 16, 2012

Five Years

I was living with a boyfriend when he quickly died in hospital from a shockingly aggressive cancer we did not know he had until a couple weeks prior. It was July 16, 2007. Each 16th day of the month after that I thought "it's been one month since he died", "it's been two months since he died", and so on. And one month I just stopped doing that. On the 17th I was like "oh hey, whoops". My life moved on. Now it's been five years and again I'm like "oh hey, whoops". It seems like a lifetime ago. And maybe it sort of was. 

He liked to write, and I liked to read the ridiculous nonsense he wrote. One email he sent to me was my favourite:

Usted es una bruja.
I don't know what you have going on, but I believe in it. In you. I can hardly wait until I see you again, the big brown eyes, and the happy smile, that somehow looks sad on you as well. You got something, I don't know what it is yet, but when I find out, I'm gonna keep it to myself. You are a romantic.

I have an old suitcase full of his writing that I keep meaning to do something with. There is not much else left of him besides that - some chunky ashes kept in a flask, a pair of his glasses, a ring given to me on Christmas - "a token of his appreciation" he had said, his vinyl records, his record player. He was a hilarious mess, waking me up on Saturday morning to listen to records and drink red wine before breakfast. 

So today I am thinking of him, and thinking of me from what seems like another life. I still feel sick when I think about how quickly my life changed, how so much of me died along with him, how my world we had built together just vanished one day. He was gone, we were gone. Just like that.

The painful truth is that I'm over it now, over the intense heart ache and dull sorrow that death brings, and the only thing left is the uncomfortable thought that I can get over something like that. And the terrible fear that it can happen again at any time, and this happy life I have can once again be in ruins and I'll find myself once more crying in the shower. But I think I've learned to be comfortable in my own head now. I am stronger, older, wiser, calmer. Time has been my best friend in sorrow.  

So it's a strange day. Sad for a loss from the past, but guilty over my happiness in the present. But I am happy. And I think that's good of me. 

And here's a pretty song: