I’ve never been good at dealing with loss. Losing someone just doesn’t make sense to me; how does someone go from being there to just not existing anymore? I’ve never been able to reconcile myself with that feeling. I’m 26 and, fortunately, I’ve only lost three people that really affected me, that changed me.
When I was in high school my friend was hit by one of the trains that snaked behind our subdivision, it was Christmas time and I remember it because we were at my grandparents house and my mum had to wake me up and tell me in a room that wasn’t mine. I remember walking home with him from school two days before that and I couldn’t understand how someone could walk home with me one day and be gone the next.
When I was 20, six years ago this June, I got the news that my first love had passed away. I remember getting the message from Jamie, I remember thinking that she was playing some kind of joke and I remember the exact moment when I realized it was real because I stopped being able to stand. My chest felt hollow and all I could think was how badly I wanted to call him one last time. People you love aren’t supposed to stop existing, they just aren’t.
So this week when the news came that a close family member had passed away after a long battle with cancer that feeling came back. He’s not supposed to die because people you love are supposed to stay. I texted Boyfriend the news in a kind of numb haze his response was perfect, “OK, I’ll come over after work and we’ll cuddle doge.” I didn’t ask for anything but somehow he knew that I would need him and that I wouldn’t be able to ask.
Boyfriend let me cry it out, he let me watch the terrible TV that he hates, he helped me walk the dog and he insisted I consume something other than wine; not everyone agrees with my theory that since wine is made of grapes it’s basically a liquefied fruit salad that is totally good for you. I’m usually self sufficient, I usually know what needs to get done and I do it but there is something about the finality of death that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to handle. I wish I believed in heaven or a god, that would make things so much easier but unfortunately all I believe is that people come into your life for a reason and they leave because we don’t all get to stay as long as we like.
At the end of the night as I lay with my head in Boyfriend’s lap I tried to get him to promise that he would let me die first; I realize how morbid that is but I don’t ever want to have that empty feeling about him. Maybe that’s what love really feels like, realizing that you’d like them to outlive you so that you never have to live a day knowing that they aren’t there anymore.