This is not going to be a funny or lighthearted post. It’s probably actually going to take me a week to get through writing it.
Six months ago, my best friend died. His name was Jimi. I’m not going to talk about the circumstances of his death, how it happened or who he was with. I don’t talk about him much, I really can’t. (For the record, this is how far into the post I made it without tears starting to blur my vision. Six fucking sentences in six months. That’s how much I miss him.)
Grief is a nasty bitch, let me tell you. When you lose someone that is that close to you, the best comparison I’ve ever heard is that it’s like an amputation of a major appendage. Sure, the pain dulls, and you learn how to operate around it. But you always, always know that it’s not there.
That he’s not there.
(Five more sentences. More tears.)
If you know me in real life, and I’m pretty sure most of you reading this do, you know I’m not walking around, wearing black and acting mopey. My life does not allow for that. I HAVE to put one foot in front of the other. Dogs need fed and diapers gotta get changed. You wouldn’t know that I still cannot listen to music, pretty much at all. The wrong song, even a lame ass Muzak version..has landed me in a bathroom stall at Target, weeping inconsolably. I cried my way through a play a few weeks ago, because between set changes they were playing a Phish song..one of his favorites. I know this particular side effect of grief would break his heart if he knew, music was SO important to him, I know this is not what he would have wanted. But it is what it is, and maybe someday I’ll be better and won’t have to listen to talk radio on my 45 minute commute every day.
Now I’m not writing this so that you’ll feel sorry for me, if I wanted that I would walk around wearing black and being all mopey and shit. I’m writing this because I want you to know that about grief, that it isn’t always wearing black and acting mopey. Because I didn’t know that until this year.
Sometimes, it’s anger.
I’m SO goddamned angry about it, I’m ashamed. Definitely not at him..but just at the situation. I’m pissed that I have to listen to talk radio. I feel like I was ripped off, robbed. I feel like the world was robbed, actually. And I’ve had more than my friend taken, it changed me, and not in a good way. I used to think that things happened for a reason and you could just trust fate and the universe would dole out exactly what needed to be. I can no longer genuinely feel that way, because sometimes, bad shit happens to good people and there is no reason. So while I am mourning the loss of my friend, I am mourning the loss of the person I used to be, because now I am broken, an amputee.
I’m absolutely ripshit that my son will never know the man he’s named after. He should have.
I promise, I’m wearing pink right now. And most of the time, I’m pretty much okay. Sure, sometimes, I’m washing a dog, or changing a diaper, and my throat closes and my eyes well up. But I still think of him 2000 times a day. It’s funny, how when you’re close to someone..you hear them inside your head, you internalize them. I know what he’d say in just about any situation, I hear his laugh so clearly in my head sometimes I have to look behind me.
I’m starting to really break down now, so I’m going to wrap it up for today. But I’ll try to write more tomorrow. I’ll end this with a photo I took of him the last time I saw him. It got used for his obituary, and the little pamphlets at the funeral. I still have mixed feelings about that. What you should know about this photo is that he was not posing for it. This is the smile he’d give me when I had said something inappropriate, and he didn’t want to really laugh, but couldn’t help himself. Or when we were sharing an inside joke, silently. I was snapping pictures of the kids and dogs that were around, and chatting with him. This was a real smile, for me. So in spite of all it’s been used for, it’s still one of my favorites.