November is the cruelest month. (Sorry, T.S. Eliot…November, not April.) That was when Nelson died. This is the month of the six-month sadiversary…this year, it’s a year and six months. Everything is counted by that. Everything.
May is a heavy month. My aunt died in May, 20 years ago, a week before my 16 birthday. It’s another sadiversary, many more years removed than Nelson’s, but it still reberverates across the decades. It leaves echoes.
It’s now been two years since I graduated from seminary. Two years ago, I graduated, and was radiantly happy. Then I moved back to my home state, away from my beloved, because there were more jobs there. I never would have done that if I knew he were going to die…or were in any danger of dying whatsoever. And yet he was. His heart was about to give out, and I left NY, and him, thinking it would only be a temporary separation, not knowing that our temporary separation was going to turn into a permanent one.
And now I’m afraid of long-distance relationships, because in my mind, the two things are somehow connected…A friend of mine had a long-distance relationship with someone in another country and it honestly petrified me on some level. Long-distance means they’ll die! Of course, rationally, I know it doesn’t. Tell that to my simmering subconscious.
Two years ago, I graduated. A year and a half ago, the world ended. My internship is coming up, but so is the second anniversary of that awful summer, the last summer we had together, in which we had hardly any time in each other’s presence, in which I had migraines lasting weeks at a time, and he had a kidney stone. And I couldn’t drive up there to help him because I was immobilized with a migraine. I look back, and I wonder why it took me so long to finally seek medical attention for the migraines. It wasn’t until I got a prescription drug that they finally went away. Recently I read that migraines lasting over 72 hours put you at risk of a stroke. No wonder the attending physician recommended a CT scan. I never got one…
I still have to remind myself that it’s not my fault that he died, but I still wish–with all my heart I still wish–that I had spent that summer with him, not with my parents and the shitty job and the migraines in Virginia.
And today…Today is my birthday. Never mind which one. I feel like I’ve aged a thousand years since Nelson died, and yet the world around me’s hardly changed at all. Happy birthday to me?
Sometimes it’s hard to write to this blog because I spend so much time trying to keep afloat, keep going, not think about it too much lest it overwhelm me…and sometimes there are just no words for it, just a feeling of sadness, emptiness, and loneliness, and everything else.
Or there’ll be a crisis, like I had last week–well, not a crisis-crisis, just something I needed to vent about really a whole lot to someone I trusted implicitly. That list has gotten pretty damn short since Nelson died. He would have been my automatic go-to person. I would have told him, we would have agreed on what a travesty the thing I got upset about was, and I would have gotten it out of my system. I eventually found someone to confide in, but it wasn’t the same. It just isn’t the same. It’s never the same anymore.
“Here and now/ Will we ever be again?/ For I have found/ All that shimmers in this world is sure to fade/ Away/ Again”