“I am Lilly. This is real. You are no longer here. I am fine. I will be fine”.
This line has been the first thing to come to my mind on waking up since
your death, well, of course after remembering that it isn’t a nightmare and
that you really are gone and that I am too weak to face another day
One year ago, we said our last goodbye, only we did not know it, then.
You know, I still remember our very last goodbye, if only we knew! I
remember hugging you so lightly, so briefly. If I knew this is the last time
I am ever going to get hold of you, I would have let my hug say it all. I
would have mended all your broken pieces while you are right between
my arms. I would have told you “I love you” for the first time.
You would think I am fine by now, but do you really ever allow me to
be? Every time I make a little progress at healing my heart, you invade
my subconscious. You are all over my dreams. At some point, whenever I
needed your advice, I would run to sleep and pray you would come visit.
And you never failed me. You would always come and hug me. And
God, it feels too real and too good. I wake up and I am in hell and your
arms are nowhere around me. I wake up and we are not breathing the
same air again. I wake up and my body still feels your temperature and
presence. I never knew how to handle the aftertaste. I had to spend hours
every day before I could put my legs on a floor you are never to set foot
on again. My pillow felt like our secret meeting place. I never told
anyone about it, why did you stop coming?
Is it true the dead can transform and come back in any shape they like?
Because I find you in every letter in every book. I find you in the
sweetness of my fresh mango juice and the bitterness of my cup of coffee.
I find you in every note of music; you are literally everywhere. How do
you do that? I know it has been a while since you have invaded my
dreams, but I would really appreciate it if you could come for one more
time and answer my questions. I promise I’ll know how to handle waking
up from that.
Six months after your death, I started to get a bit better. It is not like you
were no longer there; it is that you were gently there. I could hear your
laugh, still see your face in the sky, and see you nodding along to our
favorite song, but it didn’t break my heart anymore. It was soothing like
an episode of your favorite show at the end of a tiring day. Speaking of
favorite shows, I still watch Ice Age every weekend. I remember me
teasing you, saying “A cartoon! Won’t you ever grow up?” It twists my
heart a little bit that I didn’t tell you it is my ultimate favorite, too.
Today I woke up feeling strong, strong enough to pick up my pen and notebook and start a new entry; an entry about you. I call it “Unrequited closure”.
You know me enough to know that writing about whatever hurts me
increases my pain. Writing rips me open, but I can’t help but talk to you
in our native language, the language of ink.
In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t mentioned your name so far. I have
read this quote once: “Your name is the strongest positive and negative
connotation in any language, it either lights me up or leaves me aching
for days”. I have decided to return to the way your name made me feel
while you were here. I will pronounce it and taste its sweet flavor. I will
no longer give grief the chance to rob me of the power your name gives
me. Yes, fate took you, but I will never let it take your name. So here, for
the first time since a year, I am tasting it again, Oliver. One more thing I
regret never telling you, your name is my favorite color, Olive.
We never knew it was goodbye. Maybe you said your goodbyes when the
moment came, but I never said mine. I was drowning in denial. Only
today, with my pen between my fingers again, did I surface and catch my
breath. So, this is my goodbye.
Thank you for being everything I ever asked for.
Thank you for understanding my unuttered words.
Thank you for all the indirect “I love you”
Thank you for the dreams you invaded.
Thank you for being you.