It’s not fair that I have to wake up each morning and relive your death — because sleep has a way of cleansing my thoughts. Of resetting my mind. Of making me believe that everything is all right, that everything is normal.
But as soon as my eyes open, before the crust is even wiped away, I’m reminded that you’re gone. By the lack of sound floating up to my bedroom. By the missing texts that would be glowing on my phone. By the emptiness of the house, the emptiness of my heart.
It’s not fair that you were such a good person, overspilling with sweetness, and yet your life ended just like that. All of the goodness shining inside of you didn’t earn you a few extra years. A few more minutes of life. A few more seconds with me.
It’s not fair that I have to act like it’s just another day when the anniversary of your death rolls around again. Or when your birthday passes, which is empty of all meaning, because death preserved your age. You’re not sixty now. You’re would-have-been sixty now. You’re not retired now. You’re would-have-been retired now.
It’s not fair that I look different than I did in all of the old photographs of us together. That I’ve had so much time to change, to grow, while your opportunity to blossom was taken away. Your future was taken away.
It’s not fair that my life is continuing — that I’m dating and graduating and growing up — even though you’re not around to witness it. Not around to hug me tight and tell me you’re proud of me. Not around to scribble inside of holiday cards and offer to cook me another hot meal.
It’s not fair that my life is in the middle stages, that I still have so much to experience, examine, explore. But you’ve learned all you ever will. Saw all you’ll ever see. Did all you’ll ever do. Your life is past tense while mine is present.
It’s not fair that I have so much leftover love for you, but no place to put it. I can’t squeeze your hand or high-five it. I can’t wrap an arm around your shoulders or smile back at you. I can’t even buy you presents, unless I leave them atop an unwelcoming grave.
It’s not fair that my friends know your name, but not much else. That they’ve never seen you, aside from in photographs and their mind’s eye whenever I tell another story about you — and I’m always telling stories about you. Your name is always dripping from my lips.
It’s not fair that you only exist in two dimensions. On the glossy paper in scrapbooks. On the tattoo shading my skin. On the words of a page.
It’s not fair that I have a million things to say to you, but no way of knowing if you can hear any of it. Even if you can hear, even if you’re settled right beside me, I won’t get a reply from you. It won’t be a real conversation. It’ll just be me. Alone in a room.
It’s just not fair. But nothing seems fair now that you’re gone.