I hope I gave you enough love, enough care, enough understanding and enough hugs. I hope I made you proud in the time we shared together. I wish I could have healed your heart. I wish I could have made everything about you inside better so that you wouldn’t have felt that you had no other choice but to die. You and I were meant for one another, we complimented each other so fittingly. Where I was quiet you were loud, where you were anxious, I was confident, where I was fearful, you were brave; you were the other half that I needed and I was the other half that you needed. From the start you and I eerily were able to finish one another’s sentences or anticipate one another to the point of performing an action before being asked. In those instances we would look at one another and you would jokingly say, “Get out of my head!” and we’d look into one another’s eyes smiling and connect on a level that defied language. Sometimes I would swear that our very hearts were communicating in a language neither of us could hear.
How desperately I tried throughout all of our years together to never once let things go unsaid, to never once go to bed angry or to never once forget to tell you how much I loved you. I love you was something I wanted you to know day in and day out with doses tossed in, in-between for good measure. Each hug, each kiss, always ended with an “I love you” – and there were many daily kisses, daily hugs and daily snuggles. You had a heart so full of love some days you overwhelmed me. In turn, the love that spilled from my heart for you amazed me in its sheer depth. I once told you, as I cuddled on your lap looking up at you, that I could stare into your eyes forever, they were the most fascinating, loving eyes I’d ever known…and they loved me. That was something I could never fully comprehend, your love for me was so enormous it baffled me.
I only hope mine did the same for you.
You could go from cold, distant and authoritative to compassionate, caring and loving in mere heartbeats. You held within your heart, courage, bravery, honour and enough love to swallow a universe. You were my partner, my protector, my companion, my friend and my only confidante in this whole entire world. We had a trust of one another that allowed our vulnerabilities to come forward unashamed. I saw you at your lowest. I saw you at your highest. I saw you everywhere in between and through it all I loved you. I loved you for your weaknesses, I loved you for your strengths, I loved you because knowing you the way I did there was no other choice. It was a pull much stronger than my own will.
But despite all that I knew of you, despite thinking I knew every nuance, every idiosyncrasy, there were things you chose not to share with me in those last hours. I saw you struggling just as I’d seen you struggling so many times over the years. Your thoughts were harried, silent, hidden behind a mask of pain. I did what I could to support you in it. I gave you your space. I went to you carefully. I loved you and caressed you and wrapped you in my arms. I tried not to get pulled into your pain. I did that because you weren’t able too. I witnessed a pain I’d never seen from you. A pain that was unlike the man I’d known my entire adult life. Within those eyes that radiated life was a dark cloud, impenetrable, shielding you in a fog. I could see the struggle behind those eyes. “I’m so very sad.” And in those words was a message disguised, a message I could not decode. The tears came again and I enveloped you in my love. I stayed with you. I told you I loved you. I told you that you were going to be okay, that we would get through this and that we would find the answers, together, like we were meant to be…together, like we had done on so many occasions over the past 20 years. “Just you and me, ‘Tin.”
You awoke early that morning suffering from your rib pain, unable to sleep, thoughts lost to me but tearing holes in your very being. Oh were I able to see it happening, I would have come to help you shore up those bleeding wounds in your soul. You left the house alone. The only alone we ever did was bathroom breaks, so for you to have left me so early that morning for reasons unspoken to me, my heart was filled with fear, with panic, with terror. This was not like the man I’d known for my entire adult life. I did not know this man who would not have spoken to me, who would not have assuaged my worry, who would have left without saying “I love you.” That door never closed before an “I love you.” But this morning it closed on silence and today that silence deafens me and reminds my heart how broken it is.
I will never know for sure why. I will never know precisely what pain you felt was inescapable. I will never know because you cannot tell me. The loudest crack of a gun created a gaping hole in my life and silence greater than any silence I’ve ever known. A piece of my very soul is missing; it evaporated from sight like an amputated limb, severed from me against my will. I know you would never mean to hurt me. I know in some odd way it made sense to you. I know what it’s like to want to run into that vast field of unknown. I will never blame you. You were human and we both knew how quickly overtaken the human mind can be. You ran; you ran toward oblivion, a place unimaginable, unfathomable to me. I hope you are safe there. I hope you are loved there…because you will always be loved by me here.
I am the strong person I am because of you, thank you for sharing your love with me.
Author’s Note: I am bereaved. I am a new widow, my husband, a career paramedic, having committed suicide just over three months ago. I am a writer; a former paramedic, 8 years post-trauma whose pain is written into words, formed into paragraphs and laid out for all to share in. I am a woman, struggling to find yet another new normal in this life after just glimpsing the promise of peace and having it ripped from my grasp yet again. Above all of that, I am a human, just as any human, trying to make it out the other side.