Dave, I haven’t jumped yet. But I finally did the dishes. I haven’t moved the clothes back around in the cupboards, but I doubt I ever will. I still haven’t gone through that duffle bag of yours fully. It’s mostly filled with trash, but it still makes me cry. I keep sleeping beside that T-shirt pillow – but I am so gay for you, so you said. I have your alarm clock, I’ve never set the alarm. I don’t want to hear it. I’ve dreamt of my dad twice this month, but for some reason I really don’t dream of you. I only ever used to dream about you. What’s up with that? I haven’t been running, but I lost a lot of weight. Um, I didn’t eat for awhile, but I am now. None of my clothes fit. I have to throw out even more of them now, but that’s ok. I’m wanting to lessen my load. I put the photo mural away from the table. It was time, I think. I gave your dad a bunch of photos of you from this year. He didn’t have any. I still haven’t opened your birthday present. I will at some point, maybe. I don’t know. It’s so weird that it showed up that day. Fuck I miss you. I think about you a lot. Almost all the time. You’re not here to love me back though. So something has to change.
I can feel a shadow forming over my head. It’s me trying to block you out. Or it’s reality. I haven’t decided. I live entirely in my head these days. I can’t step outside into reality. When I do, the pain crushes me. Tonight driving home from the store it hit me – horrible reality. I sobbed Dave. I haven’t sobbed like that in nearly two weeks. You were dead. You are dead. You were my boyfriend. You were my best friend. It all hit me. Just wham! I realized after that I have been in my head ignoring a lot of this. I guess that’s what they mean by denial. It’s still far too powerful. I think it always will be. I can use my logic and reason all I can to figure things out, but it won’t stop that guttural angst. That shit’s real. I can’t feel it all the time Dave. I guess that’s why this shadow keeps getting heavier.
I want to keep you with me always. But I can’t do that with your ashes, they are going into the air. So I have to keep our memories, the bits and pieces of you I still have. But you see, I’m having trouble balancing this – keeping you alive in my heart, but going on in life without you. It’s hard to understand how the two can exist simultaneously when they are such opposites. I wish you could help me with this. I wish you could tell me your ideas on how this can be done. You’re often just a thought or an idea and that confuses the hell out of me. Yesterday you were real, but today you’re not. In the car you were real and now you’re a thought. I don’t get it Dave. Why does reality keep bouncing around in my world? Is this part of coping? You’ve kind of been here before. Is this just coping?
I’m getting to know your son. I do it for you, I do it for him, I do it for me. You’re not here to give him that other aspect, but I can’t be his dad. We decided we are friends. We will hang out together and do things. You know it only takes me two hours to drive there, a little less if I speed. I don’t know how it took you four hours to drive to me from Orangeville that day, when it’s only an hour from Fergus. I was thinking this on the drive home from Fergus the other day. For a moment I wanted to call you. I had forgot. It was just a moment. And life was awesome in that moment. I didn’t have the shadow. I didn’t have the fog or the confusion or the pain. Life was awesome, just for a moment. And then it went back to … this.
Sometimes that shadow gets too heavy. I don’t know what to do with it. Do I let it cover me? Do I fight it off? What if I fight it off and it still sits there, looking at me? I want to take you with me. I want to take you everywhere. I’ll get you to Sweeden. I’ll get you to Norway. I’ll get you to many of the places I can recall you wanted to go to. I’ll take you with me, but I need to figure out this shadow first.
I didn’t know a lot about your past Dave. I didn’t know a lot about your favourite foods or favourite colour or what sports you loved. We never talked about this stuff too much really. We had started to. Mostly we just talked about life. About the present. About plans and our future. About what we wanted and who we wanted to be. We both knew we had bad stories in our past lives – and good ones too. But we had all the time in the world to talk. Didn’t we? We talked so much in San Diego. We talked every day on the phone that week you died, except for one day when I was too tired. I didn’t want to push you to buy that ticket. Would this all be the same had you come home when you initially said? It’s fucked Dave. I don’t really understand what death is. How can it be so final and yet I still feel so much love for you. Isn’t it just supposed to stop? Aren’t I supposed to understand this? Why didn’t you come home? Why Dave!!? Why didn’t you come home!? Sometimes I feel like I’m still waiting for that. But part of me knows you’re never coming home.