I’m sorry that I couldn’t be there with you through all of this; that I left before things got bad, although I had no idea they would go this far. I hope that wherever you are right now, whether you’re looking down or sitting silently next to me, that you forgive others and me. Perhaps we all loved too violently and felt too much; perhaps this was only within you. If that’s the case, then I hope that you forgive yourself. The rest of us down here will do our best.
I don’t know how this all works, if your soul or energy has left your body, or if you and everything you ever were is just simply gone. The finality of it breaks my heart, T. I know that it didn’t seem like I cared anymore, or that you were ever on my mind but the truth is that I thought about you—us—constantly. I don’t know now if I silenced myself because I thought it would be better for me or for you, but maybe it was just better in theory. I know that I should have reached out; that I should have offered a connection and helping hand to you, even if you didn’t want it. I should have at least tried. That’s my biggest regret now, forgetting you. I forced you to become a distant memory that refused to be distant—I deleted your pictures and your words and your number, I boxed up your gifts and your letters and us, but you still remained a presence forever living in my mind.
I wish that I could tell you that I changed in a way that you would have liked, but I don’t think I have. I’ve become more spontaneous and more adventurous, sure. But there’s still something guarded in me, something that makes me unable to say what I’m feeling and thinking, even when I need to most. I know that maybe this doesn’t count, but I’ll do it here anyway:
I love you, and I always have even when it got bad and difficult and even when I left and didn’t act like it. I loved you when I ignored you and I loved you when I told you to stop and I loved you when I said goodbye to you the very last time. I’ve buried it and lied about it, but I had to so I could move on. I couldn’t keep loving you because in doing so I started to not love myself. That’s something that I’m still working on, and that’s okay.
I realize now that I miss you—isn’t that always the way it goes? You’re gone forever, and I finally miss you. I miss the good times and the laughing and the smiles and how brilliant you were. But the truth is, I hate all the other parts: the fighting, the rude comments, and the inferiority that I often felt. The problem was that I loved you so goddamn much that none of that other stuff mattered, and as soon as I got some breathing room and didn’t have the good things, all I could think about were the bad times. I wish I could say that our relationship was roses, and serenity, and blown kisses, but it wasn’t. It was loud, and intense, and thorny. I’m glad, though, that we had that; you taught me so much, and I’m so grateful.
I could keep going with a million things: the stupid fights that I remember, the times you brought me flowers, the mornings we woke up tangled around each other. It won’t do me any good though. You’re not here to read this, and I’m not with you to recite it. When I think about you now my heart hurts. I don’t think about you with indifference or loathing or annoyance, but with deep sadness, confusion, and anger. Why would you do this to us? I want to ask. How could you hurt us in this way? Perhaps I will never know the answer; perhaps I wouldn’t want to. All I hope is that one day I learn to forgive you for this and to think of you with peace in my heart. I hope that others find this as well, and that they can absolve you of the pain that you have caused so many. I know that whatever you were feeling was intensely worse than this, and I so wish that you had found another remedy. But for now, I will leave myself questioning and aching, looking for brighter mornings and deeper nights.