It Hurts To Think Of December

Coming up this December, it’ll be three years since I last saw you. Three years since I heard your voice, felt your warmth, existed with you. That doesn’t feel real. I wish it wasn’t. Hell, I’d do anything to have you back, healthy.

That night, you were carried out the door in a black body bag, as if you were something less than human. Something less than my everything. That night, when you died, so did the best parts of me.

I remember laying and sleeping in your bed with you for those last three days and two nights. I remember holding you and making one sided conversations. I remember reading our favorite books to you and playing your favorite music. I remember trying, just hoping some miracle would happen, that you would pull through. You didn’t. Part of me knew that would happen but I refused to admit it, even once you were gone.

Your last moments were spent in your bed under covers. I was on your left, holding you and whispering promises. Elise was on your right, holding you and holding back tears that were already spilling. Your father, sister, husband, and three best friends surrounded your bed. We played our song, “She” by Elvis Costello, and then we played the sounds of the ocean (hopefully where you are right now). I remember promising you over and over and over and over and over that I would change the world for you, just like we always planned. That I would make a difference. That I would live for you. I told you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you until I couldn’t muster up another breath. They dragged me out of the room, Mom. They had to pull me out by my torso and take me out of there. I remember trying to scream and protest but no sound came out. It was as if my vocal chords had been imaginary, so all the screaming was just in my head.

It didn’t really, truly, completely hit me until I walked back in there one more time. I reached for your hand, only to feel it cold. I felt my lungs fill with something other than air and my knees gave out, yet I still kept standing. I wanted to shout, to scream, but I couldn’t make sounds between my desperate sobs. You were gone. In that moment, I realized you were truly, genuinely gone.

I don’t know who let me back in that room to see you. That was the last time I saw your body before it was carried out into the emergency vehicle.

You never saw me go to 8th grade formal. You never met my first boyfriend. You never saw me go to prom or saw me win an award for my poetry. You never saw my blog or read my writing. You never met my best friend and you never knew I joined theater. You will never see me graduate or go to college. You’ll never get to travel the world with me, just like we wanted. You’ll never see me get married and have kids. You’ll never be here again.

People say that when someone dies, you see bits of them and their soul everywhere you go, or at least once in awhile. I haven’t felt a trace of you since that night. I’ve just felt broken.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Allison White says:

    Arden,
    My heart hurts reading this. I can’t even begin to fathom what losing your mother must feel like. Your mom was extraordinary and I miss her too. She would be so proud of you and your talent. Thinking of you and your family always,
    Allison

  2. rebecca says:

    Arden…your mother would be so proud of this beautiful writing, and of this space where you show so much eloquence and grace.

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