It comes in waves; these longer nights when I tip toe out of the bedroom to sit beside the gas-lit fire or outside beneath a canopy of stars and try to reconcile my history.  Even in my last encounter with him, I didn’t get to say goodbye.  And I foolishly thought it would all work out in the end and maybe it will, just different from how I imagined it. 

When Bill died, he severed ties in a way that they could only be artificially reconstructed.  And so we are left obsessing over how we could have done things differently to save not only him, but us as well.  And for a time, I thought I didn’t deserve to feel this way; I’ve let too much time escape and yet when I learned he had died, I was devastated.  While the last time I saw him was made fresh, the earlier memories carried more potency.  His gentle nature, the way he loved with an unflinching, fierce love; security as I had never known it.   

This is what it means to lose someone entirely.  I’ve watched people I love cling to every last hope of another breath, only to be torn from this life by disease or accident.  It’s a tragic loss, but with Billy, it wasn’t the death itself that hurt, but the knowing how fragile he was in those final moments.  That he could not think of a better alternative than death to ease his suffering.  And to imagine how the grief has spread and worked to undo the fragile hearts in each of us.  

I keep asking, “What next?”  What does it really mean to move on from this?  It isn’t like dealing with the cancer or with his death; it’s dealing with my own insecurities and hurting in retrospect.  And it’s something I’ve never before experienced, so I’m having a hard time figuring out the next step.  

I suppose part of it is a need to be forgiven.