If Only Our Souls Were People Too

Dear PJ,

2 months….60 days without you. Damn, it feels like so much longer. I talked to your wife for over two hours today. How she misses you. We both have these semblances of regret…because we didn’t say enough goodbyes. We didn’t know you’d be gone forever…

We didn’t know…

…but we’re pretty sure you did. You had this innate sense of the future and the brevity of it and how it might impact the people closest to you. You knew and you kept it a secret for the majority of your final months. You distanced yourself…was it an effort to protect us? I’d like to think we all just want one more day, one more heart to heart conversation…about the truth of the nature of things. You lived to shelter others. The most sacred aspect of your ministry was bereavement and yet you prohibited us from participating in it with you as your journey neared its end.

I’m slated to return to church this Sunday and I’m filled with dread. It feels like I’m forced to move forward now that a new person is standing in the shadow of your pulpit…putting his mouth to the chalice, singing your communion song. It shouldn’t be this way…and yet you knew it would be.

Didn’t anyone ever tell you secrets don’t make friends?

The best part of today came in the words of your wife. She told me how much you loved me. How much our friendship was valued by you. How I retain a priceless place in your family and with her specifically…because I saw you as you were and I miss you as much as she does. I’m honored by her words.

I miss you so much at times, it feels like my heart might implode from the weight of sadness. There’s nothing I hate more than being without you….and knowing come Sunday, you won’t be there. Sure, your “spirit” (or whatever the hell the church people call it will be there)…and no offense to your spirit, but it’s a poor man’s substitute for the real thing. If only our souls were people too. I’m pretty sure mine would enjoy the company of yours.

Empty

Dear PJ,

I hate dreaming about you. Last night I dreamt I was in your house for the first time since you died… Your bags from the hospital were still unpacked and sitting on the floor. It was like the place was frozen in sadness…missing you. I was asked to house sit once again…and normally I would stay in the room you shared with your wife…but this time, everything felt so empty.

That’s when I woke up…I literally sat up in my bed, confused…unable to recall where I was. Took a little more than a minute to calm my heart rate and recognize that I was safe…in my home…and then I remembered…that you are gone.

I still haven’t been back to church but I’ve been thinking about it for awhile. I almost went last Sunday…but I chickened out. I might actually follow through with it this week. I’m not looking forward to it. We’re approaching two months without you. Sometimes it feels like years…other times it feels like yesterday.

And like your house…I feel slightly empty without you in my life.