hug your loved ones tighter for me
Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.
~ "Separation", W.S. Merwin
I don't normally have trouble sleeping, but recently I've started spending more than an hour awake in bed before falling asleep. When sleep finally does come, it brings awful nightmares. I keep waking up in tears after this recurring dream that my ex is dying, which hurts not just because I worry about her (which I do, deeply), but also because I can't do anything about it. I wouldn't call myself a superstitious person, but when I have dreams like that about people I know I try to check on them, because you never know. Stranger things have happened, I suppose.
Last week my friend Nick, who committed suicide two years ago, came to visit me in my dreams. He told me his suicide was just a prank, that he'd feigned it all as a joke. I was incensed as he explained it to me, how his best friend who broke the news to me had been in on it. I woke up confused, angry, and ultimately distraught when I realized he wasn't actually back.
I think of Nick pretty much everyday. His phone number's out of service now (that's how I found out he'd passed away), but his accounts on Steam and Discord still exist, and probably won't ever go away. I can't bring myself to unfriend him, so I see them every time I log in, like ghosts in the corner. Sometimes I think about messaging him and telling him I miss him even though I know he won't reply. It sounds crazy but I know I'm not the only one who's thought about doing that.
These are the last texts he sent me. I'd mailed him a long letter for Thanksgiving telling him how much he meant to me. I'm glad I told him those words before he had to go, but I always wonder if I could have done more, even though none of us had any clue he was suffering. What if I called him more, or had gone to visit him? Would things be different now?
I know torturing myself with hypotheticals doesn't do me any good. So I try to use his memory to remind myself to appreciate the loved ones that still are with me, before fate snatches them away from me too.