Indistinct Mumblings of an Unsound Mind

There are times you wish you could go back to how things used to be, but you can’t.

Saturday, October 13th marks the date my best friend died. She was the world to me, lifting me up when I was down, hitting me on the shoulder for being obnoxiously stupid, loving me regardless of of the black ichor in my past, and pulling me back to reality, even when I was determined to put as much distance between myself and the rest of our species.

Every year, around this time, my feet falter in their steps. It’s hard, keeping my eyes on the future when everything in me wants to turn and run back into the past. Even with my head up, everything is just so damn blurry: it’s difficult to know what’s right. I’d like to say this year is different: That I could write about her without weeping over the loss of such a truly beautiful person, but this year is not that year.

The thing about unexpected loss is, it’s not normal death. I’ve been around normal death. People die all the time, and watching it happen is sad, but it grants closure. My dad was a slow death, painful – like one of the great comedies. Year after year you expect it to come to a close, but it just keeps going until you’re finally grateful for it to finish. I’ve been around death of action, where one day you’re with them and the next day they’re in the hospital. Like bearing witness to a great storm that rolls over everything in it’s path, ripping up your home and destroying everything you’ve held stable. Even in the aftermath of all that destruction, there’s still closure. You can still look at the remains of the disaster and know that rebuilding is a possibility.

Tara’s death was different. It was a phone call. Something was there, in my life – and a simple phone call removed it. No final act, no story, no holding out for a hospital recovery, praying that the beeping monitor isn’t going to crash. Nothing. She was just gone: Disappeared. There was nothing to come home to and rebuild on. One day we were talking, laughing and joking about her coming over to see my kids, and the next she was gone. Not in the hospital, waiting on a doctor to tell me she’s not going to make it: Just gone. Vanished.

She was the foundation I had built my life on, and her disappearance just shook me and shook me and shook me until there wasn’t anything left. The thing about a foundation is that you don’t see it every day: You cover it with tile, and carpet, and build everything else on top of it, knowing that it will always be there. And you can’t just remove a foundation, either. It tears the entire house down. You have to re-start from scratch. Starting with nothing. Again.

That’s been the most painful part of this: Learning to live alone. Yes – there are people that care for me, and I for them. But they are just bricks and mortar. They are the wood and nails of my life. I’m tying to be my own foundation, but I fail alot. And every time I do, I just look back and want for a better time.

And in my mind, she’s always right behind me, pushing me forward and metaphorically kicking me in the backside. It’s funny, because even in death she’s still the reason I’m moving forward. Standing, telling me not to waste time on the things that could have been. Her absence in my life reminds me that I can’t change the past; but that what’s happened is supposed to change me for the better.

You’re a jackass for checking out so early, Tara. You made the world a better place. You made me a better person. You’re still making me a better person. Thanks for living a life that inspired me to be everything you wanted in a man. It’s your standards that I try to live up to, because your ideals are the ones that would have made our race great.

I love you, and I miss you, Bratgirl.

Categories: Everyday

Leave a Reply