Letter to a Dead Lover

Dear Dead Lover,

I am sorry to inform you of this, but you are dead. Do not be confused by what may appear to be normal signs of life: breathing, a pulse, a thought. I have diagnosed you and you are certainly, unequivocally, without a doubt dead. There will be no eulogy, no funeral. I have buried you in the region of my body farthest from my head. I believe that this is somewhere in the feet, possibly in one of the toes, but the exact location is unknown and better left undisclosed.

I have done this because thinking of you has caused me anguish. I have spent hours reflecting on our time together and this is the right moment to put it all away. I will build walls around every emotion, minor or significant, that I have ever felt for you. They will be strong walls, made from each moment in which you slighted me. I will cut you from every meaningful event we attended together. I will do it with such precision that it will be as if you were never there and, upon recollection, no one, not even your parents or best friends, will notice your absence. As a result, my heart will harden.

I do this not with malice, but with regret. Sometimes I think that, if I were stronger, you could still be alive. I am weak. I cannot bear the moment you will appear in my mind. My mind will play tricks on me, it will deceive me, it will make me miss you. I cannot let it do this. This isn’t fair—I know that this isn’t fair. I must do what I can to cope. I have enough to worry about. I can’t chance that you will appear at random or, perhaps, when I am most vulnerable.

The others who talk of you, they will become quiet when I am around. They will ask me how my day is going, but with a look that makes me feel distraught. I won’t get upset; I will have expected this to happen. Instead, I will feel the need to smoke a cigarette, though I have never smoked one before. I may ask them for one in an effort to change the conversation.

Sometimes I will think about the good moments. How excited you were when we first met. How my heart thumped the first time we laid down together and you casually draped your arm over me. When you put your hand inside my mitten that cold night just so you could hold mine. When you said that “that sound” I make is your favorite sound. When I did anything that was your favorite. When I realized that, for once, I found someone like myself who enjoyed my company, my thoughts, my expressions.

These thoughts, though, will appear during moments of weakness and be fleeting. They will not last. They will be quickly replaced by the feeling of insignificance you put upon me, a darkness that will cloud my mind and cause me to shudder, just as I do when a chill blows by. There will be the memory of you being incapable of returning my love. The memory of how I failed to keep you close. The memory of you telling me, on the drive home to our apartment, that you no longer loved me and how you did this without remorse or any expression at all.

If my life is a book, then there is no chapter for you. You are not scribbled in the margin and you are nowhere to be found in the first draft. You are not even a Post-It note in my research. You are a scrap of paper in my pocket. You are no better or worse than the other scraps around you, buried deep in my pockets. Over time, you will become one with the others, just a collective, forgotten memory.

A number of months from now I will meet someone else. Someone who reminds me why it is I love humanity. Someone who makes me laugh when you could not, someone who understands my thoughts better than you ever did. Someone who doesn’t make me feel bad about myself when I wake up in the morning. Then you will be gone, possibly forever. Until that time, this letter will suffice.

Dead lover, I am sorry for this. I am sorry for all of it. I hope that you will understand.

Kindly, Regretfully,

Your Ex-Lover

PS: I write this with sincerity, so it would be unfair to exclude that, at times, I will wonder where you are now. In moments of weakness, I will type your name into Facebook to see how you’ve changed. There will be times when I will look at my Gmail account and briefly un-hide your name in the chat window, just to see if you still exist. These will be sorry reminders. You will always be there. I do not know if I will have the courage to say, “how are you?”

image – Oliver Castaño


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  • brononymous

    man, this is relatable.

  • Aa

    Thank you for writing this, at the perfect moment, on this awful day.

  • HipsterKitty

    I love this.

  • Beeskibran

    It's good to know that there are other people who need to let their EX go….

  • luv

    perfect roller coaster of emotions

  • guest

    pretty good job but total shit ending

    delete her from g-chat, bro

  • Jbbsjlssdc

    Yes, exactly what I didn't want but needed to read and today on all days…the dead lover (as painful and real as that sounds) has been deleted of off g-chat…not worth looking at the taunting email…but you've got to wonder if they feel the same way about you…and if not, then what?

    • http://twitter.com/smokestacksfrvr Josh Liburdi

      then nothing.

      • Jbbsjlssdc

        and if they do feel the same? (do tell)

      • http://twitter.com/smokestacksfrvr Josh Liburdi

        I couldn't tell you. I don't have an answer because I've never asked them that question. not because of pride, but because, well, I can't. I can't imagine how it would be good for anyone to do so. (think John Cusack as Rob Gordon in High Fidelity).

        if they do feel like you are dead to them and that everything is best that way, it's probably better to not know. it won't make you feel any better, but it might get you closure (if that is what you need) and be easier to move on.

        additionally, I don't think knowing that this person might secretly want to catch up with me would make me feel better about anything. if they wanted to catch up with me, then they would. maybe I just don't want it enough or I have enough sense to know that it wouldn't end well. perhaps they are thinking the same?

  • Valerie

    This is perfect.

  • http://fastfoodies.org Briana

    “The others who talk of you, they will become quiet when I am around. “

    yup. or they'll get all awkward when you ask what they did the night before. “hung out with, uh, a friend,” they'll say. they will then change the subject of conversation.

    hurts pretty bad

  • Coco

    This is great! Actually, it's an awful feeling, but it's great to read and relate to.

  • confused.

    thanks, i needed this. started new relationship but i can't help but think about my ex on days like this – i guess it's only natural.

  • knockyourhead

    I have to say that this is good. Awfully relatable …

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