When April came and went, I thought I had only lost a friend. Sat at the bottom of the shower, let sometimes cold, sometimes hot water pour over my body. I watched all of Friends, twice. I didn’t read, didn’t write and early one morning – at about 4 a. m. – I called my mother crying, told her I wasn’t sure who I was anymore.
Loss (n.) – the feeling of grief after losing someone or something of value
Someone or something of value.
They say the worst thing is to be known, and not loved. When you let someone in, let them see parts of you that you have not even begun to understand yourself, and they do not like what they see, this – this can be paralyzing. To you, I was too rough, too demanding, too…knew you too well.
But you left me, and for once I felt that I was in the right. Right?
In late May, I began to unpack the box sitting at the bottom of my closet that held in it our friendship. What I found inside was a few photos, some old concert tickets, empty wine bottles and – not much else. I began to see that box for what it really was: a necessary, fortuitous placeholder put there by God or the Universe, who understood that we weren’t quite ready to face our demons.
In the beginning, I thought I had lost you. But what I came to realize was that through you, I had lost myself. It took me weeks to remember our name. But once I had, had thrown away that box, a greyish light began to seep through the negative space in my closet’s doorframe.
Truth, said the Universe. Sometimes screamed. The more I resisted, the more it pushed back against me.
Like when I tried to have sex for the first time in over a year and I threw up as soon as he was inside me.
And when I went home for the summer and I got a black eye the second day back.
And when I skipped therapy and the New York Times published their article on Harvey Weinstein.
Two weeks ago, I looked inside my closet, and it was empty. That greyish light still lingers in my bedroom, constantly around me, no longer trapped inside. Now, I’m learning how to cope with the emptiness, learning how to fill it with good things.
I used to place so much value on you, on us. I had little left for myself. I know now that the loss I felt then – that I still feel sometimes now – was never about you, or us.
I had forgotten to grieve for myself.