Blake’s been gone two years. Two years ago on Sunday.
Sometimes the thoughts of him pass with no thought following at all, sometimes they even pass with a smile. Sometimes they make me wish I could reach in & take my heart physically out of my body because it beats so hard the tears feel like fire behind my eyes and there’s an ocean in my ears.
The grass has all but grown over his gravesite now. I hate it. Not that I preferred the dirt, looking like freshly laid pain on the ground in front of me. My girls never fail to note that Blake’s is the most decorated of all the headstones across the flat land of the cemetery. Good. Terrible. Inspiring. Gutting.
He was a force while he was here and he is a force all the same now that he’s gone. He blows wind and sends storms and I literally sometimes feel the weight of his presence though I’m 99.9% sure it’s all in my head. But the night I drove home alone in a storm so wicked that I questioned my sanity…he sat above my moon roof and rode the waves of high puddles and crashing rain drops and made sure I didn’t turn the music down even once. He’s silent when you ask for him sometimes. Like you don’t get to do that.
These days surrounding two years ago felt like a blur at the time and I was sad later that I was too numb to take them in. It’s only two years out that I realize some quieter part of my memory was logging the moments I wasn’t brave enough then to face. And that’s all at once a comfort and a paralyzing rush of new old heartbreak. I listen to my Uncle choke through another toast and I wonder how they all keep just…going. Because in that moment I want the floor to open up and take me down. I want to feel nothing but the rush of the plummet, because my head spins and I choke on tears that end up in my throat because I try to pretend like I’m strong enough to hold them back and everyone else up.
We laugh. We play. We make new memories and I oddly don’t feel like he’s not in them. It’s harder now, though, that I feel like I’ll never see a new picture of him ever again.
I have never felt him at the gravesite. Not once. I read to him once and it felt like empty space and it creeped me out so I never did it again. I don’t talk. I just stare. And then it gets uncomfortable and the air feels heavy and I feel awkward just staring at my maiden name carved in stone so I kiss my thumb, and I put it over his face and I tell him “see ya buddy” and I turn and don’t look back.
It’s two years later and he surrounds us still. I guess that’s by choice, we each have a different story to tell. His was too short. But I find it has kept going all the same, just like a second book in a series.