I penned your obituary the other afternoon, while laying in the bed of my new lover. He must have known my thoughts had turned to you, yet again, and found a reason to excuse himself and leave me with my unrelenting demons. An act of kindness, really.
Such a strange thing to do, but then again perhaps not. You aren’t dead but I had to bury you. I have to bury you. I will bury you. Past. Present. Future. Around and round we go. It’s a long slow process, not at linear, this getting over you.
Jason James, age 43. Suicide.
I was fifteen years old when I met you – you with your long hair, bass guitar, and eyes so sad they brought me to my knees. I think I loved you even then. It would be another twenty years or so before you finally invited me for a cocktail and then wasted no time in turning my world upside down.
From the instant you touched my hand at the table, we had a love. Big love. What I thought was real love. ‘I’d die for you’ love. It was ‘everything I imagined it was supposed to be’ love. Until it became dishes shattered, holes in the wall, blood on the floor, sirens wailing love.
How am I supposed to grieve you? My king, my almost husband, my villain, my captor, my everything. I left you five times in total, the last being the most painful. I thought my final departure was the most suffering I’d ever endure but you had to, of course, prove me wrong.
You suffered childhood wounds so great you thought nothing would heal them. Nothing but booze and denial and self hatred. You tried to drink yourself to death, nearly drowning everyone around you. You told the time of day by the amount of whiskey left in your 26 and I always talked to God when you neared the bottom. I wonder now if I tempted fate one too many times by praying you’d die before you hit me again.
I killed you off by suicide. I’m sorry if that’s cruel. It’s that there’s a part of me that wished, for just moment, that you’d conclude you couldn’t live with the knowledge of what you’d done to me.
Maybe somewhere in your mind, underneath the drunken blackouts, you would recall the nights we had. When you ripped out my hair in fistfuls and made me sleep on the floor while the dog was invited to rest on my pillow. When you called me a filthy whore and forced me to lay still while you angrily did as you pleased. When you told the police the tv was just too loud after putting a hole in the drywall with my head. I wished, for just a moment, the guilt would consume you the way your violence consumed me.
It’s difficult, this task of writing about you. I loved you. I hated you. Though whatever I felt, we were bound together by some invisible thread that would not break. Some past life pact, a soul connection. There was no denying it. You always said in the deep dark moments with your fist raised that we’d never be finished as long as we were both alive. And now you are gone.
I’m not exactly certain as what to do next. But I promise to visit your favourite places. I promise to give your guitar to that busker we once met. I promise to tell everyone that you are sorry because I know you would want me to. And I promise to fall in love with a man better than you, like you asked me the last time I saw you.
So, to me, you are dead now. It’s the only way I can continue. I hope you understand.
I loved you Jason. I hated you. Goodbye.
Jennifer Lee is a writer, wanderer, and witchy woman, currently residing in the Canadian prairies. She has lived a hundred lives and survived to tell the tale. This is her first published piece