I have lived 5116 days without you. 5116 days thinking about you. That you’d like this. That you’d hate that. That I wish I could tell you about this. That I wish I could show you that. How much you’d like my friends. How much you would love my dog. How much fun we could have still had. How much time we should have had. How unfair it is that you died. How angry I am that you died. How guilty I feel that you died. How much I should have done something - anything - to stop you dying.
It turns out that being haunted is nothing to do with ghosts. Or the dead rising from their graves. Being haunted is grief endured.
I didn’t ever know I could be that strong.
Before you died, if someone had told me I would have to live 5116 days without you, I wouldn’t have believed them.
I thought I would curl up and die too.
5116 days on I can feel that moment again. The very split second that the world shattered into shards.
Obviously, I choose not to.
It took strength I didn’t know I had and denial of reality I didn’t know I was capable of to begin to stick those shards back together. Even now, 5116 days on, I’m aware they’re precarious. As if bodged together with that crappy masking tape that is good for nothing but that you end up trying to stick boxes together when you move house. I say you, I mean me.
You would never have done something as lazy and crap as that.
It has crossed my mind over the last 5116 days that grief is not something that ever goes away. Grief is for life. It becomes absorbed into you. And every day you work out another way to breathe in and out and do what you have to do.
It eventually grows and adapts to the fact that, despite the very unnaturalness of it all, I am living while you are dead.