It’s not that time heals. It simply frays the connection.
The would’ve’s and should’ve’s that are constantly beside you in that parallel life in the beginning and for some time, become only guesses- might haves but no one’s sure. Nothing’s for certain. Just as it took a billion strands of events and circumstance weaving together exactly so for the death to happen, time creates new strands without you in them and the parallel present is out of my grasp now.
When I hear you speaking to Audrey now or imagine what you might have said, I hear you say, “Hiiiii Audrey!” but in a baby voice- as you spoke to her at 21 months old. I don’t speak to her in the same tone I did then so I know you wouldn’t either. I don’t really know how you would be interacting now with her- having actual conversations as I do. I can guess.
My environment is the same, but won’t be for that much longer- making the guesses even more random and meaningless. And like Audrey, I too am changed. I am not sure anymore how we’d interact because I’m older and I’ve lost my husband and endured this most unspeakable tragedy.
Tonight I sat on our balcony after Audrey went to sleep, drinking a root beer, looking up at the sliver of moon and imagining what it might have been like if you were here sitting with me. I realize I don’t know anymore.
“I’m alive,” i say out loud and touch both of my arms and stare down at my legs already in pajama pants, because that’s pretty much the only thing I know. “If you ever died first, I’d just die,” I had said.
“I’m alive. I’m still here.” This is an eleven month epiphany.