Last night I had a dream Brandon was in. These don’t happen often. Like the others, this one left me sad and in tears. PTSD is funny that way. I don’t remember exactly the circumstances of this dream, but here’s what I remember: whatever I was doing, he was there, alive. I saw him smile and say something (I have no idea what he said). I remember thinking, “Wow, I’ve forgotten what his voice sounds like” in the dream. It made me so sad – I didn’t understand why. Then, bam, he was dead, lying on the floor, his eyes partially open, just like that night. I woke up.
After these dreams I’m always left in a funk. I laid in bed for a while, putting myself back together for a while and then came out to see Will. I wasn’t going to tell him about the dream. Then in the kitchen, while getting coffee ready, I just blurt out that I had this dream. He asks if I want to talk about it, hugs me, and that’s when I just started crying. I hate these tears that come sometimes, the ones I have no control over, the ones I can’t hold back.
Tomorrow is March 1. Two years since he’s died. Two whole years. 24 months. 730 days.
I honestly never thought, two years ago, that I would still be alive this far out in the future. I’m not saying it in the suicidal tone. Back then, I was just sure that the heartbreak would kill me. I waited for it, hoped for it. I was sure that sometime I would just lay down, my heart would stop beating because it couldn’t handle the pain soaring through it any longer, and I would just die. I wanted to. Oh, how I wanted to die. I thought about it every day. I didn’t see a life without Brandon. I couldn’t. I didn’t want to. Yet here I am, living this new life. Without him.
I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t feel guilty. Sometimes, I do. It usually comes in the quiet of the night, when it’s just me and my thoughts, no distractions. This little voice, the guilt voice, whispers to me. How can I be happy when he’s dead? How can I live a completely new life, without him? I should be sadder, I should cry more. I should never want to be happy. I should be unable to be happy.
I look at my life, and even with going through that nightmare, I have managed to find happiness. I don’t miss Brandon any less. I still feel that hole…that hole is always going to be there. I have, however, learned to live with it, to smile, to laugh. I remember, about six months after his death, I came to a sort of a crossroads. I knew that if I wanted the pain to go away, I could very easily make that happen. I could take my life, and that would be that (I even had the poetic idea to use his gun).
I also knew that my other option was to live. I chose to live. I chose to move through this shitty journey, to walk the twisting path and see where I ended up. I didn’t want his death to kill me. And sometimes, I feel guilty for that. One of the widowed I met online, Lou, killed himself shortly after his wife hanged herself. He couldn’t live in a world without her. Is that when my guilt started? You betcha. For a long time I struggled with it. Did I not love Brandon enough, if I didn’t want to die?
Lots of therapy later, and I have come to this conclusion: I don’t think he would have wanted me to die. I’m still not convinced he even wanted to die…I think it was a night he got drunk and made a snap decision he can’t take back. At least that’s the only conclusion I’ve come to. Nothing else makes sense. I don’t think it was planned. Why else would he spend the day doing yard work, and then talk to me about the colors for walls and carpet in the house, about plans, if he just planned to kill himself? I’m not going around this circle tonight…I don’t want to talk about the suicide aspect of all this. I don’t think I’m ready to sit down and look at it too closely yet.
I wonder what he’d be doing right now, who he’d be. He’d have finished school and graduated by now. Would he still have his same job or would we have moved somewhere? Would we have kids? The things I wonder about are endless. The things I wonder about wound me. It hurts so damn much to try and imagine the life we would have had; the life we never got to have.
Life is so damn short…so full of the unexpected. Live it to the fullest. Take chances. Find something to smile about every day. Tell your loved ones you love them, every day. Hug your husband or wife often. Today could be the very last day you have with them. Life is funny that way. Don’t take anything for granted.