At first, I thought you were on vacation. It didn’t seem real, and for three months, I waited for a phone call or for you to spontaneously return from wherever you went. As time passed on, I realized that you weren’t coming back.
It’s weird because I saw you die.
I knew you were gone.
I made it just in time, and you squeezed my hand, which let me know that you knew that I was there.
I didn’t get to have that one last conversation with you.
The last time we talked, you said you wanted me to bring you cat stickers.
There were so many things I wanted to tell you before you left.
I hope that you are proud of me. You’re in my dreams most nights. I’d like to think that it’s you talking to me from wherever you are.
There was one night that we were on the phone in my dream, and you told me that I could always talk to you through the potatoes.
I took some potatoes and drew faces on them, and made my dad laugh the day before. Maybe you were watching.
Every time I try to cry about you being gone, I feel you next to me, telling me that you’re here. I keep waiting for the grief to drop, and my mind won’t let it. Maybe it’s survival, or perhaps it’s you helping me live.
I don’t feel like I have to be strong. I want to make you proud. I keep going because I know that’s what you would want me to do. I want you to see all the things I’ve made happen for the kids. I want you to know how hard I fought to get them mental health services.
I’m happy that you got to see me in a healthy relationship before you died. There are so many things you got to see. When I talked to Rabbi Ferris, she said that people focus so much on those last moments. But, in reality, it’s the rest of your life that you spent with that person that matters more.
For 41 years, you gave me life, you took care of me, you rubbed my back when I threw up from anxiety, and you told me that I could keep living. You showed me that no matter what my mental illness tried to tell me, it was wrong. Life was worth living. Things always changed. Everything is cyclical. And now, I am starting to feel it drop.
Because I can’t call you, I can’t see your face again. The anxiety is palpable. And this is why I was afraid to write this. If I wrote it down, it would become real. But, you always told me to write. You let me use your typewriter and the Macintosh Plus, and now I am writing this on my laptop.
I will write you again because I will never run out of words to share with you. I love you, and I miss you every day.