*This post isn’t about the journey to print, but it is a post that came out of a desire to write through the grief I’ve experienced recently.
Today, I want to spend my time with those I cherish most. I want to sit for hours and listen to their stories, the ones I’ve heard a thousand times, but would gladly hear again and again. I want to spend the day remembering things I’d long forgotten, and learning things I never knew before. I want to be with the ones I call family, those not joined to my life by blood or biology, but those whose lives have been such an integral part of my world.
When someone you dearly love takes the journey Home, it is never easy. The world says you are grieving, and tells you that there are stages you’ll experience, then it will get easier. The world is wrong. It doesn’t always get easier. Sometimes time is the enemy. Milestones in your life pass and you realize that some of the people you wanted to share those moments with are missing from the crowd. Reminders follow you around and creep up when you least expect it. Memories are never where you expect them to be, but they are in the places you’d never think to look.
I’ve been trying for days to dig up all of the memories I cherish about my Freddie, but there is only one I can clearly grab hold of, and I’ve been holding on to it like a lifeline. I’ve grasped it with both hands and played it over and over again in my mind to make sure that I never forget it. For days, I whispered it in my head as I stood beside his hospital bed, willing him to hear my mind and know how much I love him.
When I kissed him goodbye on Tuesday night, I didn’t think it would be the last time, so I didn’t say all of the words I wanted to say. I kept waiting to say those things, thinking there would be another moment, but my moments were used up. My final words to him were, “I love you.” They were not all of the words I wanted to say, but they were enough. They were the only words I needed.
I don’t think I’ve hit my hardest days yet. These days are hard, but I think that the hardest days without him are yet to come. I’ll survive. We all will. But just because we survive doesn’t mean we don’t still grieve. I think we’ll always grieve, until that day we meet again.