Why I’ve Decided to Stop Grieving You
I see your ghost everywhere, and it’s not fair to either of us. I think since you passed, I’ve grieved you more than my breakups, the death of a family pet, and the loss of my grandma put together — she was like 92, I expected it. I used to take loss in stride, but since you passed, it’s like every time I even think the word “death”, the world is tilting on its axis and I am at risk of losing control. I want to be in control again.
Two days ago, waiting in the hospital with my brother, there was a nurse in scrubs mopping up a pool of blood, and he looked like you. It was the spitting image of you the summer we met, handsome in your scrubs, coming home to smoke cigarettes after work and smelling of whatever that delicious cologne you used to use was. I wish I could remember it, and I know there’s a picture of it on your Instagram but this time, I’m not going to look. You see, about an hour before I saw the man in scrubs who resembled you, I had decided, while waiting in the ER and trying to write yet another story about addiction, that I don’t want to write about you anymore. Bear with me, because I know this sounds harsh, but I think you of all people would get it. I am far from having told all of the stories about us, but some things don’t belong to the public, and we are one of those things. I want to save some of our relationship for myself.
When I saw that nurse, looking like you, right after having made that decision, there was something about the scene that really got to me. The lighting in the ER was like a horror movie, dull and washed out, the blood splatters on the linoleum were the only thing with even a hint of vibrancy. The nurse looked so put out with his job, his scrubs were covered in blood smears and he didn’t say a single word to me or my brother as he ducked into our hospital room to throw the bloodied rags into the biohazard bin. And I saw, in that moment, what I am confining you to by continuing to write about my tragedy in your loss. Writing about this huge crisis in my life has been therapeutic, but if I keep doing it, I am trapping you in a bloodied hospital hallway, forever mopping up your own bloodstains. There are only so many times that I can force myself (and you, in your absence) to re-live this, and I think I’ve done it for…