The first day after she is gone. The first day that I am officially an orphan, though that word seems wrong for this situation. It's strange, this place.
I knew it was coming. We all did.
There comes a point when a physical being can take no more, when it pauses at the end, when it is done.
Knowing that it was coming, though, didn't help in that moment.
A wave of sudden grief hit me yesterday. The tears that had refused to come before all wanted out at the same time.
She was not in a good place, she hadn't been for a very long time. She was lost in this world without him. She wasn't even sure she wanted to be here.
She is in a better place now. She is with him, of that I am certain. She is free from pain and disability and all the confines that kept her from happiness and joy while she was here.
I know all this. My mind knows it. My heart knows it. My soul knows it.
I was ready for this.
I wished, oh how I wished, that it would come sooner for her. That it could all be over and done and she could be free again.
It sounds disingenuous to feel relief when someone you love dies, but relief is there. The relief is there because watching someone you love suffer mentally, emotionally, physically is excruciating, especially when there is nothing you can do to help.
I was prepared to feel relief. I was prepared to feel grief.
I was not prepared for the magnitude of either.
I don't think that anything can prepare you for it.
The truth is that I said goodbye to her more than once. I've been preparing myself for this for a long time now. We almost lost her a few times in the past few years. I've kissed her more than once, not knowing if it would be for the last time. I've told her I love her, not even knowing if she could hear me, so often. I feel like I've been saying goodbye to her for over two years.
The last time, though, was really the last.
I've been almost conditioned by the past to believe that it isn't. That she'll pull through somehow. That this isn't really it. That there has been some kind of mistake or miscommunication.
This time it is real.
This time it is really over.
This time she is really gone.
This time she isn't coming back.
I hope that she finds peace, that she is whole again and happier than she ever could have been here.
I hope that she knows that we love her, that we all love her, that we always loved her.
I love you.