A Conversation with My Past

conversation_with_pastGrief: “Just wanted to notify you I’ll be coming to the house for an extended stay this month! It’s that time of the year again.”

Me: “I know, I’ve been getting the feeling you were coming. Weren’t you just here recently?”

Grief: “Remember, back in March. It was her birthday.”

Me: “Yes, I remember now. Actually, I almost forgot her birthday this year and then you came along and reminded me. Thanks, I guess.”

Grief: “You’re welcome, just doing my job, Buddy. And May is a big month for me. You know, her death, the funeral, Mother’s Day, your anniversary, Memorial Day. I’ll definitely be staying for a few weeks.”

Me: “You don’t miss a holiday or special event at all, do you? You’ve got it all planned out, don’t you?”

Grief: “Well, I don’t like to brag, but I am conscientious. I’m always on the job. I never miss a day of work, I never take a vacation and I’m never late for an appointment. In fact, I like to arrive a little early if possible.”

Me: “But it’s been three years. Isn’t your job here about done?”

Grief: “No, I will always be here for you, Buddy!”

Me: “Thanks, and please don’t take this wrong, it’s not that I want to forget, but I’d rather not be your friend. And I’d really prefer you not call me Buddy.”

Grief: “I understand. I really do understand. And, it’s not like I’m trying to ruin your life, it’s just that I don’t want you to forget your past, even if I have to make you wonder what could have been every time a holiday or special event comes along.”

Me: “So, I suppose you already know there’s a big day coming up later this month to add to your schedule–the adoption.”

Grief: “Yes, I’ve already got it penciled in. I’m sure you’ve been feeling it. It’s another special time, another celebration that I just want you to think about what it might have been like if she was still here. I want you to think about how happy and proud she would have been.”

Me: “Yes, I have, I am. And I think you call that feeling, bittersweet.”

Grief: “You’re getting to know me pretty well, aren’t you, Buddy? Oh, sorry.”

Me: “Better than I would like. You know I’m selling the house, don’t you?”

Grief: “Yes, a misguided effort to get away from me. You know it won’t work. You know I will find you.”

Me: “I suppose. But I’m going to try anyway. The other day Kaleb referred to my bedroom as the room where she died. ‘On that hard bed’ were the exact words he used.”

Grief: “Out of the mouths of babes…”

Me: “That’s why I want to move on. I don’t want to reinforce those memories to the children any more. I may not be able to get rid of you by leaving this house, by starting new somewhere else, but maybe the children will forget.”

Grief: “Maybe.”

Me: “You see, they have their whole life ahead of them. And, I don’t want living in my past to be the way they live out their future. They’ve got their own lives to live. Maybe I can’t leave you behind, but they can, they should, they will, if I can help it.”

Grief: “We’ll see, Buddy. We’ll see.”

1 thought on “A Conversation with My Past

  1. Omg! This made me cry so hard! It’s been 32 years this August since my Herbie died but it’s still a really crumby month for me. His death was 2 days before his birthday. Still miss him terribly.


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