A Funeral for my Love
Since we didn’t have a happy ending,
I’ll write a sad one.
This heartbreak is unlike the others.
My therapist in college would have called it
Heartbreak compounded by death grief.
I watched a classmate go through it once.
But unlike the boy I went to school with,
you aren’t actually dead.
Turn the story on its head.
What if you had died?
It feels like you did.
The person I knew, the person I loved
no longer exists.
I lost you a long time ago.
Those warm summer days
you started to change.
Slowly at first, the life left you.
I saw the light fade from your eyes.
First in pictures, then in person.
By the cooling of the fall you had thrown away so many of the traits that I loved about you.
Your passion was gone.
You became aggressive.
All of your interests and your personality changed.
I saw it then.
I tried to shake it out of you.
I tried to love it out of you.
But I could never make you into someone you didn’t want to be.
Now I understand why some parents have funerals for children that haven’t died.
Mourning the loss of a daughter.
Instead of celebrating the birth of their new son.
They say funerals are for the living.
I’ve been to enough of them to know.
Somehow, I think it’s the only grief I know how to process completely.
By the time I was 10 I had lost so many people including my great grandparents, my second mom figure, and a brother.
I think I’ll plan you a funeral.
I’d feel better to know that you’d had a proper service.
I once loved someone who told me they’d plan mine.
It was a sweet sentiment, I promise.
This will be a service just for me.
You’ll be there in your best suit, looking like a peaceful stranger.
I’ll give a speech about some tragic train accident in November or an unfortunate drowning incident involving an overactive river current in August.
Nostalgically, I’ll go through all of the memories we shared.
Barely any, really.
What a shame you had to leave so soon.
We promised each other forever.
Then I’ll close up your casket,
and lower you into the ground.
I’ll remember you as you were.
For a little while I’ll visit your grave regularly with flowers.
You won’t see them or me.
You’re dead, remember?
With enough time, my life will go on.
Just like it always has.
Eventually I’ll stop visiting.
I’ll no longer wish to grow old watching you rot away underneath a stone that never changes.
I’ll no longer need your permission to be happy.