Depressing post, as promised:
I can’t believe it has been almost nine years since you died.
I was just a kid then, barely even twenty. Sure, I had a kid of my own, but I was still a baby in many ways.
The only experience I’d ever had with death previously had been my Great-Grandparents, and my Grandmother. And it’s not the same. Sad sure, but they were old, and sick. They were supposed to die.
You weren’t. You were only seventeen.
And it changed me, it impacted my life, in ways that are still becoming apparent.
When it happened, I was so caught up in everything that was going on with your brother and I. He had just cheated on me. And that last week, I saw you, I was too busy fighting with him to really spend any time with you. Sure there was that time you guys came over so he could beg me for money, and you entertained yourself while we argued by making all of the electronic baby toy sounds into one song. It was particularly obnoxious, but also, kind of funny to hear Elmo and Big Bird’s hot rap mix.
So when your mother called me a week later and said that you were dead, for no reason that they could find, when she said that you had gone home and died, (in my shirt, that you had somehow taken home with you, no less) I was completely blindsided. Destroyed.
That night, when all the toys started playing themselves, making their own toy rap, singing their homage to you, I was freaked out, yes, but also strangely comforted.
I got back together with your brother then. Because he needed me, because your mother begged me to, and because he felt like you would have wanted it that way. You were so mad at him for cheating on me. So angry at him for not thinking of his child.
I tried to help them, in their incredible, unbearable pain, but I didn’t really know how. And I had to hide my own sorrow, because no matter what I was feeling, he had it worse. Your mother had it worse. Your girlfriend had it worse. My grief wasn’t as valid as theirs.
So, I pushed it down, and down, (until it started coming out on its own, in the form of panic attacks.) I ignored it, and focused on helping your brother as best I could.
Who, I’m sorry to say, was changed, destroyed. Beyond repair. Whatever semblance of good he had left in him, was taken by this. And even though he stopped talking about it, this never left him. He simply stopped caring. He went back to smoking pot, full-time. He stopped giving a shit about himself, about me, and the kids and everything else. He did exactly what you wouldn’t have wanted him to do. He stayed with me, because he thought that was what you’d have wanted, but he stopped caring.
This was the beginning of the end. Really, we never should have gotten back together, but strange things happen to people during crisis. We faked our way through another child’s birth, (a child we named after you, incidentally) And we faked our way through a wedding. But the man I loved, well, he was already flawed to begin with, and you took what was left of him with you when you died.
Now, I’m not sure if that’s why he clings so unreasonably to the children he has told me numerous times he did not want. Because you cared about her, would have cared about them both, had you been able to meet the other. He wanted his life back, he wanted to be single and free of children, and it might have, might have helped him to find himself and become a good person again. Instead, he clings to a life he does not want, while doing something you would absolutely hate him for. He clings and is so bitter and angry and hateful for it.
I don’t pray, and I’m not religious in a traditional way, but I know, know that you are out there somewhere, with your toys and pinwheels. I just wish you were here, so you could talk to him. To them.
Hell, even if you took their side, I still wish you were here, sweet boy. I miss you. No matter how I feel about your family, I will always love you.
And, though it took awhile, your passing managed to change my life in a good way too. Because now, I realize just how precious every second is. How important it is to be with the ones you love, to be happy, and in the moment. To live as you did.
There is no tomorrow, there is only today. Live it, Love it. Be in it.