It’s been a long time but I try not to count the days.
I am trying to let time slide through my hands and be itself again, to not see it as my adversary. There is so much that I am trying to let go of.
When I drive your/my car I think of you (it will really always be your car to me). I actually catch myself apologising out loud to you when I crunch the gears or get a little too close to a scrape!
I have your aftershave in the glove box and when I smell it, just for a split second you are real again, here again and I can imagine a hello hug.
The way the smell fills you out makes me want to cry, since I see how my thoughts, my memories of you are so poor in comparison to all that you were, my hold on you is so fragile. I can only keep you with me as a kind of paper cut-out and I will always miss the rest.
I worry a little that you will grow dimmer still, that I’ll forget to remember that you were so much more than a eulogy or a photograph. I worry that the aftershave will become just aftershave so I ration my sniffs for the days when I really need them.
There are few days that are not changed by your absence but often I can welcome that recognition with a smile rather than tears. You come to me now, whereas before it felt that every moment was another one when you were going away. There is so much that you would love and I try to think of you loving it with me, sharing it rather than missing it as I miss you.
I went to the museum with you in my thoughts, and read the bits that would have interested you. I touched a meteorite on your behalf and felt the expansiveness of all that I don’t know hard and smooth beneath my fingers.
The idea of the universe’s incomprehensible vastness used to give me the heebie-jeebies, but it is almost a kindness now I don’t know where you are. I tell myself there must be space for you somewhere in this immense spinning work of wonder, a little wriggle room in the realm of science and magic dust.
I met a guy you would like a lot. Actually I met him months ago but I hung out with him again recently and now I have the focus to see him a little better. Its daft but I like him a little better because once you heard his name, because at least a touch of him was in my world whilst you were.
In some ways he is very like you. It is strange to see shades of you in someone else and yet all at once strangely comforting. I was glad to see a little of you but I want him to have room to become himself, to be a someone or maybe a no one. I don’t quite know about that yet and at this point you would roll your eyes and snort!
It is really important to me to let things unfold, to not draw you into every blank space or unanswered question, so I didn’t mention his inch of you-ness; I didn’t let you loom larger in the room than you would have wanted to be. A dead dad seems to take up a lot of space and always seems to stops up the conversation.
Besides you are already always with me. There is no need for you to ride on anyone else’s shoulders. I know you would not have wanted that.
I feel like many of my days are lived out as conversations I wish I could have with you. I still say my part, still chat, but I wish I could hear your thoughts, your teasing. I often dream we’ve talked and I wake up feeling you with me. But I’m still bereft, robbed of your words, reaching for your voice as it sinks back into sleep. There are still so many goodbyes.
You are always coming and going but the thread doesn’t break. I don’t think love ever ends and I find comfort in that.