“I’ve seen dark before, but not like this
This is cold, this is empty, this is numb
The life I knew is over, the lights are out
Hello, darkness, I’m ready to succumb
I follow you around, I always have
But you’ve gone to a place I cannot find
This grief has a gravity, it pulls me down”
It was around this time the fog lifted. I opened my eyes to a dark room. Reaching over to your side as I did many nights, who am I kidding still do, to find comfort that I was not alone in that dark room. Hand swiping transversely about. Cold sheets. Pillows and laundry piled up as if I could lie to myself somehow. I remember keeping my eyes fixated on the ceiling.
“If I don’t look down then I won’t realize where I am.” Whispered my mind.
“If I don’t realize where I am I can live in my delusion a little longer. It’s safer than reality. If I wake up fully how will I continue?”
Then headlights crossed the ceiling and ran down the wall. Down the tan orange of the room in a home you never saw. Along the bed spread you would have hated. Streaking through my shag rug and boho curtains you would have ridiculed me for.
“You looked! I told you not to!” screamed the Jess desperate to escape.
All at once the tears flowed. This was nothing new. I had been crying multiple times a day for months at this point. Four months. Four months……. This pain way unlike anything I had ever known. After sexual abuse, physical abuse, having children, and kicking heroin for god sake this HURT.
“But a tiny voice whispers in my mind
You are lost, hope is gone
But you must go on
And do the next right thing
Can there be a day beyond this night?
I don’t know anymore what is true
I can’t find my direction, I’m all alone
The only star that guided me was you
How to rise from the floor?
But it’s not you I’m rising for”
I should have been proud of myself. I should have looked at all I accomplished in four short months but all I could think of is that this new life was always going to be missing you. Any victory, any loss without you by my side. Watching Izzy walk, Aj learn to use the potty, go to school, graduate, get married, have children of their own completely and utterly without you. Curling into myself in a heaping pile of snot and tears attempting to banish this demon inside. The demon of your death. I tried to kill it, almost joining you myself. Thank you for intervening.
“Just do the next right thing
Take a step, step again
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing
I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make
So I’ll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing”
Three years out and I have so much more than I thought possible. I still hurt. I still miss you but now it’s not that guttural loss. Grief is apart of me. A part that I hold in the darkest moments. Apart that dances in the kitchen with me. A part that sits next me while reading night night stories. A part that laughs at stupid shit. A part that reassures me when I am terrified. A part that reminds me how resilient I have truly become. Though I would never choose to lose you I can only say thank you for all you have given, even in death. I am so grateful you were mine and I am always yours. How good can it get?
“And, with it done, what comes then?
When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again
Then I’ll make the choice to hear that voice
And do the next right thing”