Death Our Sunshine

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Simply Simon

In regards to this grief business? I'm not so sure.

I have discovered in therapy that I am profoundly unskilled at accessing my own emotions and being honest with myself in the present about what I think or feel, how I react, etc.

Ronnie cut through all of that. It seemed like his condition gave him so much experience with watching people that he was able to simply glide through anyone's poker face straight to their core.

And it was impossible not to be authentic with him. And it was impossible not to be present. He was so present and so authentic that anything less that who you were genuinely in that moment was an insult.

The only time he didn't look perfectly content--if not positively joyous--was when I asked too much. And the look he gave nearly escapes description for those who never saw it. I would be feeding him, urging him to just take a few more bites, tirelessly keeping up the perpetual patter we all kept in our back pocket for his difficult days, the stuff that made him laugh and therefore opened his mouth so we could get another spoonful down, and he would look at me. And the look was quiet, and a little sad, and so full of compassion. Because he knew he was living for our sake. And he knew we wanted so badly to keep him. And he knew there was only so much he could take. The look, in short, said, "Enough now."

Ronnie knew me, because he saw me, and I had no filter around him. He saw me do stupid shit. He saw me work for hours in the kitchen to make him a dinner that was just the right consistency without sacrificing any flavor. He saw me when the world didn't feel like it was worth it anymore, save that precious bit of time at the end of the day when we were alone, and I could sing to him like no one was listening to my tonal missteps.

He heard me talk to my PTSD-afflicted co-worker about our shared condition. He heard me talk to my beloved rock of a co-worker about my relationship failings, my burnt-up heart, the tribulations of my jacked-up trailer.

He just absorbed it all. And I think he knew that when I was with him, not a lick of all that really mattered, because I was right there in the room with him, saying again and again, "Oh, Ronnie. I just love you," while we both cracked up at a dirty joke on TV.

One of the reasons I was one of the best at feeding him was that time did not matter to me when I cared for him. If it took an hour, it took an hour. If it took two, it took two. If he did an hour and needed a nap, and then it took another hour, so be it--four hours gone in the effort to give him what he needed. I didn't care.

That easy evaporation of time doesn't exist anymore. That drive doesn't exist. The ever-urgent question, and its ever-accompanying catch 22, of what Ronnie needed most does not beg an answer anymore. My days are no longer consumed by the urgency of his survival, and they no longer end with me kissing him on the forehead, saying, "Sleep well, sunshine."

And the love is just so big. It is too enormous to let myself feel it except at the very periphery of my days, when I wake up or when I go to sleep, lest I begin to cry again over my loss. And not just my loss. It's like, my gain by having the time I did with him is just as great a thing to grapple with. There will never again be another Ronnie, and he did so much for me. The way he met every moment of life with vigorous happiness was just so incredible to witness.

One night, near the end, my co-worker said to me, "At some point, Ronnie chose happiness. He chose to give and receive happiness. And he's different for every one of us. He just knows how to maximize joy."

Truer words have never been spoken.

For you, Alba, I'll say this for certain about my dear friend:

You're the only one who can hold your head up high
Shake your fists at the gates saying,
'I've come home now!'
Fetch me the Spirit, the Son, and the Father
Tell them their pillar of faith has ascended
It's time now
My time now
Give me my
Give me my wings!

Simply Simon

My co-workers don't seem to appreciate that I still mention Ronnie often. I can't tell if their ubiquitous silence is an expression of their own grief or if I'm supposed to stop talking about him.

I can't help myself. I miss him. The void remains. I just want to grab them, dear guiding rocks that these women are, and say, "You don't understand. I have no reason to live anymore. My life is meaningless."

But they could not understand that.

Simply Simon

Several days ago, a commercial or show or movie or something had someone singing "You are My Sunshine," and my co-worker, who dearly loved Ronnie, began humming. I had to put my hand on the counter to steady myself.

Tonight, I went to my friend's house, and when I walked in, "I Walk the Line" was playing. My heart began breaking.

I sang those songs every night to him. I sang "Walk the Line" while shampooing his hair and "You are My Sunshine" just before I left him before bed.

"Sweet dreams, Sunshine. I'll see you tomorrow."

I remember, near the end, I used to say that just in the hopes that he would hang on for me so long as he knew when I was coming.

I still feel immeasurable guilt that I wasn't there when he died. I always thought it would be me to bear the burden of trying in vain to save him.

From the sound of it, at the very end, my co-workers were no longer fighting, after they had all battled all night. He simply died.

I remember kissing his forehead, as I always did, and thinking how extremely cold it was that Christmas morning.

I miss you, Sunshine. We all miss you.


I dont know what you believe via an after life or not, hell i dont know what I believe. But the 2 songs days apart, maybe he's with you trying to tell you that he's there and he's ok!

Either way, he's knows just how much you love him!

ETA: I find that you guys had an amazingly beautiful relationship. It warms my heart with love when I hear you talk about him!
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