I think of you often. And sometimes I feel silly, basing my decisions and actions off of someone whose opinion I can no longer ask, questioning my choices because of words I only hear in my head, no longer spoken aloud by you.
I wonder where you are now. If you’re playing cards in heaven, talking the ears off of every stranger you meet up there, filling the skies with the light from your smile.
I wonder if you watch me, shake your head when I do something senseless, laugh when I fall for another stupid boy. I wonder if you tell the other angels about me, if you share stories of the girl I used to be, the woman I’m hopefully becoming.
I wonder if you are proud of me, would be proud of me, if you were still alive.
It’s been a long road without you here. I know I wasn’t the only one hurt by your passing. I know it’s selfish to even think of my suffering as comparable to what others closer you were feeling, and still feel. But sometimes when I watch the waves crash over the rocks on the shore, or follow the seagulls as they duck behind the clouds as I sit on that little hill by my apartment, I wonder what you’d say to me, if you could.
I wonder if you’d tell me to keep writing, to never let my words die, even if my hopes sometimes do. I wonder if you’d tell me to be on my own and stop worrying so much about love. I wonder if you’d smack my arm and tell me to talk to God more than I do.
I wonder if you listen when I pray, if you’re the one watching my footsteps, pushing me through when I feel tired.
I wonder, when it rains and I wake in the middle of the night to the drops hitting my windowpane, if it’s you reminding me I am here, and I am loved.
I think about you when it’s cloudy. When the sky is gearing up for a beautiful sunset, but the color has hidden beneath the clouds, waiting patiently. I think about how you were always so calm, so serene, even in your final moments. I think about how you used to drive me crazy, but how it’s so true—we always miss the little things the most when they’re gone.
Sometimes I wonder what you think of me. Of my one-bedroom apartment by the beach. Of my blankets sprawled across my bed and notebooks of messy handwriting filling every empty shelf. Of the men I’ve loved, of the relationships I’ve built, of the words I write that sometimes seem so close to me it’s like my heart is spilling blood across the page.
I wonder if you’d read my poetry if you were still alive. If you’d still tell me to shut my mouth when I’m being sassy. If you’d still shake your head at the music I listen to or the company I keep.
I wonder if you’d forgive me for the ways I didn’t love you as much as I should have when you were here.
I hope you’d see how much I do now.
Days like today, I listen to the cars rushing by on the busy streets. I open my blinds and watch the clouds float lazily across the sky. I remind myself that this is the only life I’ve been given, and I haven’t been promised an infinite number of days.
I remind myself that your meter expired, your time ran out, but your love will never fade. And I’ll try to keep living like you did—fully, with all of your heart, even until your last breath.
I hope to honor your memory in the way I live and love.
And I hope to make you proud, even if you’re no longer here to see it.