The worst thing I can imagine transpired this year. Everyone can’t wait for this year to end. This year had Louie in it and next year doesn’t. So I don’t want this year to end. Ever.
It’s been over 4 months. It feels like 40 years. Each day more limitless than the next or the last. Staying busy staves off the sadness but cover up is rarely constructive. My mind isn’t wholly here – the smallest tasks take ardor. Unrelenting excuses for my inaction in an effort to absolve myself from the requirements of life. My memory for the recent is short, my recall of Louie’s last days and moments is so achingly clear. My life has been eviscerated. He was the air I breathe. Sometimes I imagine him in the room with me. The reality that he is held only in my mind and in photos guts me. I imagine his adorable chin, how it felt to give him a hug, what he smelled like.
But choosing joy? I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready. Moving on because that’s what he would want? Not sure I know what this even means.
It’s so difficult to see anyone. Tortuous. To see exultant behavior touting the counterfeit brightness of lives feels fraudulent but maybe it just feels unfair. To everyone.
We visit Louie twice a week. We stand there and fill him in on what’s happened and what’s new; which Simpsons we last saw or interesting events. We cry. I’m afraid he is cold down there. I wish I’d have given him blankets and more hugs for his rest.
Pointlessly searching his name led me to a video of him on You Tube presenting a game idea in a tech camp. He was articulate and funny, nervous but confident. I paused the video at the 11 second mark. He’s making the face one does when holding back an uncontrolled smile. I don’t recall seeing it the first time – I always loved watching Louie when he didn’t know it. Seeing him interact with friends or teachers, chatter quietly in the bath, anything. It was like knowing another facet and this video feels like that. Like there are things about him I can keep learning.
I dream about Louie sometimes. I awake so happy, like we got to hang out. But the reality of daylight is a monstrous cycle I want out of. All I want is Louie back. We bought him a Lego set he’d voted for online, a Cubs championship t-shirt and sometimes we turn the light on in his room. Just in case.
But 2016 is the last year with memories of Louie. The last year I’ll take a photo of him. The last year I saw him and loved him. So, no, I don’t want this year to end.