In a week, it will be the one year anniversary of when Colin checked into the hospital.
In a week and a month, it will be the one year anniversary of his death.
On one hand, a year sounds like a long time. On the other hand, it hardly seems like any time at all. The sadness that I now carry with me is as cold and suffocating as it has been since the day he died, but it feels like it’s been there for ages. There are times when it’s not at the forefront of my mind, but it’s never far.
I still feel like I’m waiting for something. For some resolution or happy ending. Maybe it’s a sign of disbelief or a lack of acceptance. Intellectually, I know that he’s gone… and yet there is still the sensation that this is some bad joke that’s gone on for too long.
I went back to Virginia last weekend, to spend some time with our family. Mine and Colin’s family. Last time I went, I was sad when I got home. This time, I felt nothing other than a weary resignation. It feels a little like giving up or giving in.
In spite of this apparent acceptance of unhappiness, my patience for the petty and insignificant has waned since last year. I tolerate what I’m obligated to tolerate, but it has become a lot harder to engage in the rituals of polite civility and vapid courtesies designed to make others feel comfortable… especially when, half the time, I just want to tell people to either shut up or go bore someone else with their banal conversation. I don’t think I’m a complete sociopath, but it does appear that losing the person with whom you’d built your life gives you a slightly different sense of perspective. Things that once seemed important begin to seem downright stupid.
And still… the sense of waiting. Maybe it’s what keeps me going, though. I suppose an imaginary carrot is better than the idea that there’s nothing dangling from the stick.
I rarely remember that I have this blog. It was supposed to be therapeutic, typing out my thoughts and feelings. Either I don’t need the therapy, or I’m just ignoring it. Probably the latter.
The nine month anniversary of Colin’s death just passed a few days ago. I still think about him all the time. Lately even more than usual.
I’ve grown to actively dislike being here in Denver. My family’s in Phoenix, and I have no interest in going back there — besides my mom’s the only one I really care about. Colin’s family is back in Virginia, which is where I’d rather be. At a time in my life when I least need to be alone, I’m more alone than I’ve ever been. What an unfortunate coincidence.
I got a card in the mail today from my mom. It was a Father’s Day card, made out to me, but she signed it from Buckley and Cooper. It was very nice, but it made me feel very sad. Colin and I adopted both Buckley and Cooper. Together, we were a family… and it should be father’s day for both of us, instead of just me.
Nine months, and it still doesn’t feel real. I just want him back.
This morning, while I was performing the mundane task of clipping my fingernails, I started sobbing. I sank to the floor in the bathroom, leaned against the cabinets and just cried for about five minutes. It had been a while, so I guess I was due. I have moments of sadness all the time, but they come and go. This was the first meltdown in probably three or four weeks.
It’s strange, because it seems like there’s no trigger. Like I said, I was just cutting my fingernails, not really thinking about anything. Suddenly, I was back in July of last year, in a hospital room with Colin and Clay. Just the three of us… plus a doctor telling us there was nothing they could do and asking Colin if he’d just like to go home. One of the worst moments in the absolute worst period of my life was when Colin said he wanted to just go home, and then looked at me and Clay, with tears and a question in his eyes: “Is this what I should do?” I don’t think I’d ever been so heartbroken. I would have given anything if I could have saved him from that moment.
We brought him home the next day, and that evening when we went to bed, Colin curled up in my arms and fell asleep. I stayed awake for a long time, basking in the moment, because I knew it would be one that stayed with me forever. It was profoundly sad and utterly filled with love.
I’m glad for all of the memories I carry from the five, too-short years I had with Colin. I visit them often. In a strange way, even the awful memories from the last couple of months are precious, because he’s in them.
I really miss him.
Why is there a chair in front of the vending machine? (Taken with picplz in Denver, CO.)