It’s not his birthday. It’s not the anniversary of his death. Today is just a regular day that I’m missing Kerry again.
When it first happened, I was in denial. It didn’t feel real. It seemed like an awful thing that happened that was going to go away.
Afterwards, I didn’t want anyone to see me sad. When people offered to talk to me about it, I declined. I needed to be bright and cheery, and I couldn’t be that happy, strong person that I needed to be if I talked about what it felt like to lose him.
Then, I didn’t feel like anyone around me was sad enough. I couldn’t understand why the world didn’t crumble when mine did. I couldn’t understand how everyone could just go about their lives as though this hugely important piece of the universe wasn’t missing. How could everyone just keep living if he was gone?
For months, I think I stopped feeling almost entirely. His birthday came on October 30th, and I thought about writing something, and then I felt silly. The anniversary of his death came on February 14th. I saw a friend post something about it. I’d seen people do this kind of thing before: post something online to remember someone who passed on. Passed on, even that phrase is weird. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. If I said something, I thought, no one will really get it. I thought no one fell apart like I did.
I’m sure I was wrong.
Kerry was hilarious. He was passionate. He was loyal. He was crazy, in a loving kind of way. He taught me so much.
He taught me compassion and understanding.
He taught me about friendship, about family.
He taught me about pregnant burritos.
He taught me “za is not a word.”
He taught me “DENY, DENY, DENY.”
He was just there. He was always there. That’s what killed me. No one could live up to that.
I’ve said this one million times before, but it’s the only way I can think to express how important he was to me: I didn’t have my mother. I didn’t have my father. I didn’t have a support network. I didn’t have a safety net. I only had Kerry, and then he was gone.
And then I think: how selfish of me. He lost his life, and yet I feel like I’m dying because I lost… his life.
I didn’t know how to deal.
There was a point after he died that I tried to think of the things I didn’t like about him, as though it would make it easier to lose him. Some way to honor someone, huh?
I didn’t know how to feel.
I never wanted to crumble. Sometimes I still feel that way. The crazy thing about grief, I’ve learned, or at least in my experience, is that – unlike any other kind of pain – it doesn’t get easier with time; it gets harder. More time passes, and he’s still gone. That doesn’t go away or stop.
I don’t really know how to transition here, so I’m just going to post a couple of adorable pictures of my baby in a bowtie.
For a little while, I thought Max might come on February 14th – the anniversary of Kerry’s death. He ended up coming into the world on 01.30 — and Kerry’s birthday was 10.30 — very Scrabbly of him to jumble the numbers like that, huh? So there’s the connection I was looking for.