He Should Be Here

I've been trying to write this every year for the past ten years. There are some things you just can't put into words, which for someone who writes so damn much is kind of maddening. I'm not a big 'writing is therapy' kind of a guy- some people are all about that, but it's true: writing is therapy. Getting the words down on the page helps. For this, I've just never been able to do it.

So, two quotes:

"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

Hemingway is not my jam. There was always that period of time in college where you knew somebody that was obsessed with either Hemingway, Kerouac or Charles Bukowski. I was never one of those people. But this quote. Man, for this one- he gets it right.

"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

Christ, I hate this quote. The language is so cold, clinical and detached. It's not wrong, of course- it's absolutely correct, but it doesn't encompass the enormity of what the words 'permanent solution' really mean to the people you leave behind.

I'm probably not going to push this out too far. I'm just going to let it sit and if you find this and you're thinking about suicide, don't you dare rationalize the people you leave behind. Don't you dare think, "oh they'll be fine." They won't be fine. Nothing will be quite right ever again.

Time helps. At first it's like a bomb exploded in your house and you're left standing there in the rubble, shocked and stunned, unsure of what to do, running on automatic. Gradually, you shake it off. You clean things up. You piece it all back together as best you can. The first holidays, the first birthday, the first anniversaries are the hardest. Soon it fades into background little by little. The grief jumps up and surprises you now and again, but you can bear it now, you can get through it.

Now, it's been ten years. This year, it's a Thursday. The anticipation is always the worst part for me... it's like an anchor around my soul in the days leading up to it. Then you get to the day itself and it's just another day. You go about your life, do your thing- maybe you pause to remember for a second, maybe you're too busy and you forget. And then, it's Friday. And you put it aside for another year and move forward, because it's all you can do.

Ten years. It's like a picture you hang up on the wall now. Everyone else that glances at it doesn't think anything of it. It looks fine and straight to them, but when you look at it- it's just ever so slightly crooked. Try as you might, you can't get it be perfectly straight. That's what it's like now. There's a microscopic misalignment in your personal universe. You feel it some days more than others.

He should be here.

Those are the words that have been rolling around my head a lot this year. He would have loved Lizzo. He would have secretly loved being an Uncle, but proclaimed the opposite to everyone in the family. He would have had so much fun with his nephews.

If you're in a dark place and reading this, just now that you're not a burden. It may not feel like it at the moment, but you're loved. If you leave, you're gone forever and your loved ones will be left behind trying to cope with the hole in their lives where you used to be. It'll get better over time, but it will never, ever go away completely.

He should be here.


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