Nothing else can be taken from him
He’s beyond all that. Beyond tomorrows, beyond forgiveness, beyond love.
We lose who knew him or who hadn’t met him yet.
We lose “I will tell him”
We lose “I should have”
We lose every promise we made to ourselves about him.
Last night I dreamed that I was trying to get people out of my loft. Over and over. The first dream I don't’ remember so much. There were little children involved. I woke up and had a hard time falling back asleep. The second one, people kept coming in until there were dozens trying to look at the loft to rent it. The window kept bumping open like shutters and leaves blowing over the top. Dead leaves. I was angry because I thought the landlord was trying to get rid of us and had lied to all these people that the loft was available so they’d make me leave. At one point I had them all sit down and told them that they’d been sitting there for six hours (from six am to 2 pm by my watch), and the landlord had never showed up so that proved I was right and they needed to leave so I could go to work. Then I woke up.
The third dream, there was a repairman, and someone else who barely knew him. I was trying to get rid of them but the repairman lay on the bed like he wanted to have sex with the other guy. I threatened to call the cops and they acted like they were joking and were going to leave. Then the other guy was sitting with me at a couch, eating gummi candy out of a gummi candy dish. The repairman made a joke, oh now you don’t want us to leave. No I need you to leave, I have to get to work. As they went out the door, Jesse was walking out, dressed to leave, behind the gummi candy guy. He stopped me in the doorway and said, Mom, can I come home now? I want to come home. I could see his face so plainly, the hurt and need in his eyes. Yes, honey, come home. I want you to stay. I want you to come home. The other two left as Jesse and I sat on the floor, hugging. His shoe was off and I was rubbing his bare foot, saying over and over again, yes, yes, yes. You can stay. I want you to come home. I woke up and spent the whole morning sobbing that he could come home, yes, yes, yes, any way he wanted to come home, he could always come back. That was the first good dream of him as an adult since he died. The other two dreams had been earlier, one of him as a tiny child, a good dream. Another of him as an adult, arguing with his brother and me, hostile as he had been recently in life.
Do you know how much I miss you? How many times I think of you and the shock of it hits me again, wracks me physically like a hand tearing out my chest? I’ll fight thinking of your face, in laughter, in anger, in death, because it makes me want to die, too, to stop this pain. This weekend I started saying good night to you at night, and good morning when I wake up. I think it might help to pretend a little that you are still here somehow. There were plenty of times since you moved back home that you weren’t so glad to see me, that there was nothing to look at but the closed door, but still I was glad. Happy, joyful that you were there, home with me, safe. I didn’t care. I didn’t know how soon it would end, but I am glad, glad, glad that I had those months. I’ve put up pictures of you everywhere I look, so I’ll get used to it. So that the thought of your face doesn’t waylay me and destroy me every morning. So that the idea of your death no longer rips at my gut.
Last night I received a book in the mail. It was a nice new hardcover copy of Ender’s Game, the book I took your memorial quote from. Inside was a note from Card’s wife Kristine, explaining that they had heard about you and your card quote from somebody at my old job. Card had inscribed the book to me, a sweet paragraph about loss of a child and his being glad we found some comfort in that quote. You would have loved it.
I realized this morning that one thing that makes it so hard to “put you away” so to speak is how incredibly angry you would be to see me/us doing these things if you were alive. I feel like I’m violating your privacy when I open your mail, go through your computer and check your accounts and debts. It makes me sick thinking about what it means: the finality of it. That you will never come back for these things, or to hold me accountable for what I’m doing with them. Oh GOD how I wish you would. I wish there were some way you could just let me know you’re ok, you forgive me, you accept my forgiveness, that we are ok, that we are at peace with each other at last, not simply because you are gone forever.
I realize that part of what makes this so hard is that I can’t just ball up everything I know about you and toss it. I can’t find anything okay about losing you. Tomorrow I’m going on Prozac. I hope it helps me through the worst of it. You know, at some point every day I find myself looking for something about you online. I google you. I reread your blog. I reread emails people have sent me.
As much as I know that it won’t hurt me so much as time passes, I don’t want time to pass, because every day is one day further away from the last time we ever talked. The last chance I had to be there with you. I try to tell myself that you are just as much in the past today as you will be a hundred years from now, but somehow that doesn’t work. I want to go back in time, and the time when you were here is so close, so close I can remember everything about it, and yet it’s over, it’s gone, and I can never ever go there again and relive those moments with you, good or bad.