I was staring in the mirror before, searching for any piece of you that I could find. Whether I had your nose, your eyes, your smile. I stared for so long that my vision went blurry (though that may have been because I haven’t been wearing my glasses enough lately… at least I know I got the shit eyesight from you, thanks ma). I watched a tear trickle down my face and for a moment I hated that it was only my own, sad face staring back at me.
In the years since you left, I’ve become more emotional, wittier, weirder (if that’s possible), stronger and more aware of who I am and what I’m here to be. In a way, I’ve become more like you. I think each of us, in turn, have stolen a piece of your personality and wrapped it in our hearts to guard for the rest of our lives. The moment we are all together is the moment you are truly with us, as if you never left; Kaarin’s zest for life, Monique’s quick wit, Caden’s deepseated love for his family, and Yvette, your little baby, her attitude most definitely comes from you.
Parts of you have begun to fade from my memory. I no longer wake up confused from a dream with you, thinking you are still here. I am used to it now. Sometimes that hurts the most. Painful memories plague my mind, like the moments I couldn’t be what you needed. Words we should never have said to each other. Moments we took for granted.
There’s so many things I wish I had have talked to you about, asked you about; guidance no one else can give but you.
I’ve never wanted to be defined by the loss of you. But it’s hard not to be when you are the reason I’ve come to be who I am. My proudest moments are when I’m told that I remind others of you.
The last words you spoke to me were in no way profound, inspirational, or in anyone else’s eyes, the right words. All those nights sat up with just you and me and nothing else, with our hot chocolates and six marshmallows (each), are what I’ll forever cherish most.
“Kel, can you make me a hot chocolate?” will always be the most important words.
Telling people you were my best friend doesn’t do it enough justice. Trying to get people to understand the reason I am so all-encompassing when it comes to love and life, because of you, is near impossible. The reason I give it all or nothing is because I know what the right kind of love entails. You taught it to us and I search for it everywhere — sometimes in the wrong places, sometimes in the unexpected.
The most important thing the loss of you has taught me is the appreciation for life. I have no shame in exclaiming that I fucking love life; despite it all, despite the pain and the anguish and the shitty, shitty days — every day is a day I am glad to be alive. That laughing as loud and as awkward as I want, dancing like a giraffe on steroids, making people laugh and making people feel, will only enhance life.
It’s hard to comprehend that it’s been four years since I spoke to you. Since I heard you laugh, since you held me in your arms. It’s been four years of not being able to ask your advice, call you, just see you right there in front of me. You are but a memory, but my strongest, most prominent, most important, most loved.