It would be easier if you’d died.
If you’d died, you wouldn’t have actively chosen to leave me. I’d have lost you, but not out of your own conscious decision. Though the pain would still be exquisitely sharp, at least I would know that you’d stay with me if you could. That you’d loved me until your last breath, and that I could cherish that connection as a remembered treasure for the rest of my time on earth.
You wouldn’t move on to someone new, carelessly unaware of my pain. I wouldn’t be left wondering why you decided to dedicate yourself to another person when you never did the same for me, the partner who loved you wholeheartedly. Why you left someone who would’ve been delighted to share in your life, your love, and your laughter every day for as long as we existed. I wouldn’t have to replay the swift downward spiral of our final weeks, me reaching for you and you slipping away from me. I screamed out for you and yet there was nothing I could do but watch you turn your back on my love and decide that I wasn’t for you. Maybe if you did that so easily, you never believed that I was in the first place.
I wouldn’t have to live every day of my life going forward knowing that I adored you, but you still let me go with hardly a backwards glance.
I wouldn’t feel so foolish.
I wouldn’t feel so lost.
I wouldn’t wonder what it’s like to be equally cherished and treasured by the one I love.
If you’d died, my grief would be expected. Respected. I wouldn’t be told to get over it, to move on, to understand that you weren’t for me if you left so easily. As if I don’t want to do those things. As if I wouldn’t rather forget that you ever existed and return to the woman I was before I met you, happily oblivious to your presence in the world. Instead of sympathy and comfort, I’m met with confusion, sidelong glances of pity, and trite platitudes. If you had passed and not simply left, I would have the support of everyone that I know. Instead I feel I must hide my sadness in shame, afraid to hear “I told you so” or “it’s better this way” or “you’ll be glad this happened.” No one would ever say that to me if I were grieving a death. Why do they feel entitled to do so now? They cannot quantify my unique and personal loss.
Memories would be cherished vignettes to return to in times of sadness for comfort, not something I try desperately to push away before they dissolve me into a spineless mess. I cannot wait until my recollection of our happy times fades away into the background. Now all it does is spring into my mind unbidden, bringing with it uncontrollable pain and regret for what could have been. What we could have been, if you hadn’t decided this wasn’t worth it to you.
Death, though obviously horrible, brings a sort of closure. There is a finality that cannot be denied. Knowing that you are somewhere out there, walking around, living your life without me, enables me to cling on in an embarrassing way. It allows me to remain hopeful even when it is completely illogical. I will never truly feel like I understand what happened between us, and I can allow myself to stay in denial about the fact that we are indeed finished for good.
I do not literally wish a tragic fate on you—not at all. I love you. I would never hope for that, but in some ways, it would be easier.