Yesterday, I spent most of my day away from home.
Dylan and I finally got our Covid boosters, which had been scheduled and rescheduled for seemingly a million times. I found out that you should get a mammogram before you get a booster, which messed up my scheduling a lot. (You can get a false positive for breast cancer unless you wait 4-6 weeks until after your booster.)
Then, we picked up his girlfriend and got dinner, came home to eat it, then we all went to get piercings. Dylan got his nose pierced, his girlfriend got her third lobe piercings, and I got a double helix. I hadn’t gotten any piercings in 10-12 years at least, when I got my traguses done.
My piercings hurt quite a bit, which is kind of a welcome thing in a weird way. I guess it reminds me that I’m still alive, which isn’t something that I always feel lately. Most of the time, I just feel like a half-alive zombie, floating untethered between life and death.
And then I took them for Slurpees and snacks (which is kind of a post-piercing tradition by now) and took his girlfriend home. On my way back from that, I picked up dinner for Chloe, which took seemingly forever.
In truth, I was probably only gone for a total of about 8 hours but it was the longest I’ve been out in a single day since J died.
And suddenly I just felt his loss even more than usual. It’s like time itself has shifted and no longer functions the same way that it did before.
I think about the few times that I left during J’s final weeks and I wonder now if any of them were even necessary. I honestly had no idea at all how little time he really had left because if I had known, I wouldn’t have left his side.
I regret taking his advice not to stay in the hospital with him. I really, really wish that I had been there. Even though he insisted that I not stay with him, I wonder if he felt lonely or abandoned.
I just really, really believed that he’d have more time. But I can’t keep letting myself off the hook with that excuse. It eats at me a lot.
I know that he knew that I loved him and I knew that he loved me, too. I helped him through the hours leading up to his death, as difficult as that was.
I just can’t seem to stop beating myself up for every moment I could have had with him and wasted. I can never get any of them back now and I would give literally anything to have even one more moment with him.