Today I drove to you.
I also brought a gift, but I didn’t leave it because there wasn’t a good place to, yet. I couldn’t find you at first, your plaque isn’t up but I didn’t know your name wouldn’t be anywhere. I searched the entire northeast corner of the cemetery, picking up all the fallen vases and thrown-about flowers, placing them back to their rightful owners, as I anxiously scanned each grave for you hoping the next flower would be for you. In-ground, above-ground, cremations…you were nowhere I could see and I began to panic that my anxiety was causing me to not be able to read the names on each plaque and headstone anymore. I was about to give up and leave in tears and frustration. I prayed for a sign for where you were as a last ditch effort and felt defeated when I felt there wasn’t going to be a sign. I felt so lost and alone.
But your husband texted just as I was about to give up, with instructions and picture evidence for where you are. Thanks for nudging him to check his phone, that must have been you, right?
I brought the Starbucks egg white bites to eat with you. The food we decided was a “good enough” thing to eat when I’m traveling or frozen and need something safe that I can go get easily. I felt that way today, between the doctor, the homework meeting, and an errand, I didn’t plan for lunch and this was actually an extension of breakfast but I couldn’t eat it in time and so it became a snack, or lunch, but I know you would ask me try to get something else in addition, so I’m working on that right now.
I sat down on the bench right in front of you and immediately tears poured down my cheeks. I heard you say, “it’s ok to cry and eat. Let’s do this together.” So I ate it as tears continued to spill.
I wanted to find you next to me, alive. It hurts, indescribably, that you weren’t physically there, physically telling me it’s ok and physically sitting next to me, wrapping your arms around me for a hug as I cried.
On the way home, anger crept in to the grief. I found myself angry with you, for not getting the vaccine. I know you must have had your solid reasons but I just want you back so badly that nothing I can come up with makes sense. It also doesn’t make sense how so many other unvaccinated people have gotten it and didn’t die from it. You should have survived it. Your body should have handled it, like most healthy bodies do.
How can I trust my own body when you trusted yours and it failed you?
Nothing makes sense anymore.
Now that I know where you are, I’m going to keep coming back. We have a lot to work through still. I’ll try to bring a more adequate meal, next time.
K**, I need your help still. I need your compassion and safety and trust still. I need your love still. Please, please, please, help me. I can’t cry and eat alone.