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I didn’t put her away. I thought I would have. I thought I’d turned a corner.

For six weeks, an envelope with pictures of my dead aunt have been on my coffee table, waiting for me to do something with them. I have gotten teary-eyed just seeing the envelope. The last week has been especially difficult because I noticed that the pictures are halfway out of the envelope and the part I see is her exposed neck, her neck, the part that killed her. Or the cancer underneath. Whatever.

The pictures of her are when she was younger and healthier. Before she knew how she’d die or that the son (who was also in those pictures) would go before her.

I wrote her a letter before she died but didn’t get around to sending it. So I found it in my car, addressed and stamped, ready for her to read it. She’s not around to read it. She said she started a letter to me but couldn’t finish it because her hands were shaking so bad. I am sure the paper has been thrown away by now, but I’m haunted by what she may have said.

She told everyone I was her rock, but rocks don’t sob; they sit indifferent. And that I could never be.

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Inaudible

I know

In their voices

I know

A sad, fierce look in their eyes

I know

 

The problem with my hobby of suffering through heartache is that I remind others of their own past relationship traumas (a saving grace is most of them are in good, healthy relationships now). I’ve finally realized when they tell me not to beat myself up, they speak from experience, not from indifference.

 

I see a light in their eyes, aware and remembering and I feel kinship and guilt. They know and I think they’d just as well forget.

 

It’s never as easy as I’m sorry.

SOB with me

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