The human brain is an amazing thing. It completely baffles me that I can sit here tonight, watch TV, pet a cat, and not feel like I’m being ripped apart inside. I KNOW that Brandon has died. I KNOW that my life is in pieces. I KNOW that there’s a part of me that has lost the will to live. I KNOW that I am beyond broken. I know all these things, these realities that I have recently accepted as truths, yet here I sit, reasonably okay. Thank you, brain. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the subject lately, and apparently, the human brain will literally block out terribly painful truths, and let them in little by little, because if we truly comprehended EVERYTHING all at once, we would simply go mad. I’m convinced that my stupid brain is shielding me quite a lot, because really? I can sit here, watch TV, pet a cat, and feel okay, when earlier I was in so much pain I could barely breathe? Seriously?
The day before yesterday, I went down to the house. I don’t know why I felt compelled to do that, but I had been thinking about it for a few days before that. It just wouldn’t leave my mind. It was almost like I HAD to go down there, see the empty shell of a house, relive that night, just so I can truly believe the horror that has crash-landed in my life. It was terrible going in there. So many familiar smells…everywhere I looked there was a memory. And so I made myself go into the house, walk by the washer and dryer we had just received mere weeks ago as a wedding present and relive the excitement from that day. I made myself go into the now empty kitchen, see all of our meals there. I made myself go into Brandon’s beloved “nap” room, see all of the memories held there. I made myself walk down the hall and into his office, the last place I ever saw him, dead, with that empty look in his half opened eyes. I looked at all of his things, his beautiful, stupid things, and I sat there, not too far from where the 911 operator had me put him that night on the floor, and I cried. Oh God, how I cried. It came out of me like a tidal wave. Brandon was gone. All around me were pieces of our life, sitting there, collecting dust, because he is never coming back to touch them again. He is never coming back to me. I think it was in that moment, sitting on the floor of the office where I used to sit and watch TV with my best friend, that I finally believed it. I believed the terrible, horrible, truth. It wasn’t the funeral service, no; it was that moment, back in that room, that I believed it. It had, after all, started there, had it not? So I guess when I step back from it, and look at it objectively, that makes sense.
After sitting there on the floor, I’m not entirely sure how long it was, I got up, and made myself go into what would have been our bedroom, with the purple walls and dark brown carpet, and into the bathroom we were so excited to share. I walked into Brandon’s closet, saw all of his clothes, and that broke me. I saw all of his different types of socks, and I remembered so clearly how a while ago he complained about never being able to find matching socks just by reaching into the drawer, because Mom and I insisted on getting him two different types to see which he liked better. It was in the closet that another truth hit me: these clothes are all I have left of him. I hugged and smelled his shirts, and oh God, what a terrible pain it was to smell him there, but only hold empty clothes. A week ago I had no idea what I would do with any of his things; that wasn’t something I wanted to think about. His brother had said that he’d take Brandon’s clothes, but, I don’t know if I want that anymore. I have a desperate need inside of me to hold on to everything that is Brandon, painful or not. So I don’t know if I’m okay with his brother taking the clothes…I think I want to put them in a box and keep them. In all the reading that I’ve done, people do different things with their beloved’s items; some sell them, some give some away to family, and others keep it all. I think I may be in the keep column.
I sat in his car for a while, too. I cried. So many memories there, so many of them so painful because that’s all they are; memories. All I seem to do lately is either cry or be numb. Stupid brain.
I think I’ve also decided that I want his guns back, too. Not THE one, but the others. Because they were his, and they were important to him, I want them around. I can see how this will turn out; I imagine Brandon’s dad is not going to want to hand over 3 or 4 guns over to a grieving widow. I can see his side, and I can’t blame him for it. Who in their right mind would give someone in so much despair a weapon, much less multiple? I see the validity of that doubt. But, the honest truth of it is, I have already thought about ending my life, about not living with this pain anymore. The honest truth is, if I was going to kill myself, I would have already done it. So his dad has nothing to worry about there. Besides, if I was going to do it, it wouldn’t be with a gun; there’s many other ways…knife, pills, scissors, glass…there’s been things around me this entire time that could possibly end my existence. I’m still here. So again, we’re back to that simple truth: if I was going to do it, I would have already done it. But, that train of thought is something for a therapist to figure out.
Speaking of therapist, I think I’m going to need one to get through this.
A song that I’ve been listening to non-stop recently is Dark Paradise by Lana Del Rey.