It is the oddest kind of grief, this loving of someone who is dead.
The way the love we shared is still so very much alive, but half of it in silence, and the remainder with nowhere to go.
It is like an echo, a lingering smell, a shadow, a footprint, traces of a living thing that was just here but is now gone.
You know that sense of not quite remembering, the tension of something being just on the edge of your tongue yet you cannot bring the thought fully together, it is there but not there.
The impression of the side of a face left on a pillow.
The sweaters he used to love that touched his body and wrapped around it.
The swirls and lines of his handwriting on boxes in the garage, and on cards here and there.
The way he still gets letters and emails, as though he is still here to use that coupon or rack up those airline points.
The way they say his name and my throat clenches tight at the rare sound of it on their lips.
Ghosts all around of a life that was lived, and a life that is no more.
All the unmade memories, and the stories that now only live in me, in us, in them.
Time has not taken the grief away, grief has become a member of our family, forever intertwined with all of us.
It is the oddest kind of grief, this loving of the dead, the way the love lives on and how that seems disingenuous yet is strikingly present.
What an odd existence now, here without you, missing you constantly, longing to hear your voice, your laugh, to look in those eyes, to tell you the things that I only ever told you, and for you to look at me in that way that you did.
It is such a strange world now, and I think it will never be less strange.
I am left to learn to adapt around your absence, to adjust to the jagged edges that are the life left behind after one takes their own life away in the throes of silent anguish.
We will never stop loving you, never stop wishing things were different.
You can never be replaced, and we will never really know exactly why you left.
Life will never be as good and as beautiful as it once was with you here, but it can still be a kind of good and a kind of beautiful.
But it will always be less, and it will always be misshapen.
It will always be the oddest kind of a thing.