The Pretender

Dear Phil,

I really don’t like this.

I’ve cried every day since we said goodbye. Most days have been those horrible gut-wracking sobs, the kind where snot runs from your nose to your mouth. I’m not sure when those will stop.  I’ve cried everywhere. Every room in this house, in the car every day, other people’s homes, at the library, in bathrooms, at a bar, outside during my walks, even at the Maine Discovery Museum. But you’re probably not surprised by any of that. I cry at everything, right?

Yesterday, I wanted to call you. Not only did I find something totally cool in a library book, but I heard on the radio about a restaurant in Japan that has monkeys as waiters. Monkeys, Phil!!

waiters-1

I wanted to talk to you and laugh with you so badly…that’s happened every day, too. I hope that doesn’t ever stop.

We went to your house today. I’m not sure how Larry does it. He’s strong, I know, but this is hard. I sat on your bed and cried. I just kept looking at that green and white striped shirt you wore so much. It’s hanging in your closet, waiting.

The boy couldn’t go inside your home yet. I thought he was ready, but not quite. Maybe next month….or next year.

So…I did something kind of weird. A few days after we spread some of your ashes around my house…I panicked because it had rained and I thought all of your ashes would have dissolved into the ground and I wouldn’t be able to see…well…YOU anymore. But there was a bit under that little bush by my front steps….and I scooped you up into one of Mom’s empty memory medicine containers.

I know, I know! It’s fucking bizarre and I’m sure you don’t want to be there but you’re not there anyway. Just a little bit of your body is.

I just….I just can’t let you go. I didn’t think I wanted any of your ashes because that’s a bit freaky for me but when it came right down to it? I couldn’t bear the thought of not having you somewhere near me for the rest of my life.

It may have been a fantasy, but I thought we would get to be old together. I thought that you and Bonnie and I would get to sit on my porch with our creaky bones and sit in creaky rocking chairs and reminisce about the old days. I just…I really didn’t think you’d go this early, Phil. As sick as you were? I really thought we all had more time with you.

I really did.

I miss you. Every single one of us who loves you misses you. The world was pretty fucked up before you had to go, but it’s even worse now because you’re not here to make fun of it and make us all laugh at the absurdity of it all.

I can clearly hear your voice telling me that I’ll be fine, that I’ll be ok, that I’m stronger than I think I am. (I know, I know, because Bonnie said that, too.) But right now I’m really not ok. Instead I’ve become very good at pretending to be ok. I keep on working and tending to my family and I thank all that need to be thanked, but I feel so fucking sad and empty that sometimes I cannot take a breath.

So….yeah. This sucks monkey balls. It really does.

Love,

Holly

 

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One thought on “The Pretender

  1. This had me in tears, and like you, not for the first or last time since Phil’s been gone. My mom will call to see how I’m doing and I will be feeling blah, listless, lost, and just burst into tears, and am so lucky she’s still there to comfort me. Some days I feel extremely sad, but other days , I’m just angry at the world. My whole mood has changed, I’m more irritable with people and with myself. I guess I thought , that as long as Phil could deal with what problems he had, I could deal with mine, and know they’d get better. He inspired me to keep on keeping on, and I miss that push of unspoken encouragement. When I have a bad week with my health , like this past week, I would push through it, knowing there might be something better to come. Now it’s a struggle to push and I don’t see that goal to aim for , as clearly as before. It sounds crazy , but I feel more mortal than I ever have….more vulnerable….less safe. Like you said, Phil would make fun of the world, my life and make it all bearable, with his unique wit and that contagious laugh. I wish I’d taped his laughter, as it would be as refreshing to the soul, as a woodland spring. Things will get better, not sure when, there is no expiration date on grieving, but it will gradually get better for each of us in our own ways. I Love You.

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