What an awful, miraculous, strange week. It's been just about exactly seven days since our last conversation, which was just a little bit on Friday night. He'd been taunting me by withholding some details that he was soon to share; we'd probably have had a long conversation Saturday or Sunday--maybe both, one of those marathon text sessions that went for days--if he hadn't died on Saturday morning.
I'm having a hard time with some basic things. I turned off the music in my car after I heard the news, because driving was enough of a challenge and the music itself would have only made it worse. I haven't been able to listen to anything since then. Music was such a big part of what we did together, talking about it and listening to it and sharing suggestions and mix CDs and playlists. He probably sent me a thousand text messages that were just a song title and artist, and we shared YouTube clips and lyric site links as well.
Eating, too, is not easy. He was a great cook--the only one ever to make vegetables something that I wanted to eat--and loved to go out for a good meal. We had a favorite pizza place in the town where I used to live, and significantly contributed to the income of the delivery guy there (hi, Chuck) for the better part of five years or so. Food this week has been on a strictly as-needed basis, and even then I don't know that I've got it all covered. A couple of friends at work are aware of what's going on and have kept an eye out, and my parents have obviously been nudging at me, too.
Drinking just isn't happening at all. The very idea seems impossible. We didn't drink a lot together, but we have (holy cow, my Tequila Birthday...), and there have been many happy conversations about it, and many amazing conversations over a bottle or two of good beer. I can't imagine drinking by myself, or even with someone I didn't know really well, without feeling really broken.
I know that, at least at first, lots of things are going to remind me of him. In my shock and sorrow, I'm trying very hard to remember him, and so it's a cycle of pain and memory. The miraculous, to which I referred up top, has come here and there across the week, and has made the sorrow seem less and the comfort seem a lot more real. First, I dreamed about him on Saturday night. The kind of dream where you wake up feeling like the dream is more real than real life.
I became friends on FB with a colleague who I hadn't known very well. I thought that he knew what had happened, because he was acting subtly different from before. When I private-messaged him to say thanks for his consideration under the circumstances, it became clear that he had not known. For whatever reason, he was just saying and doing exactly what made things easier for me at the time.
Yesterday, the current IT guy at the place where I used to work found a (joking) note that I'd left for him a couple of years ago. That was the same job that Chris used to hold.
And two other FB friends, guys I've never actually met in real life, contacted me out of the blue this week. One sent a private message, just to say Hello and to say that he was thinking about me. He's been reading my status updates (which don't require much interpretation to reveal that I'm going through a hard time) and wanted me to know that someone was listening. The other posted a note to my wall that said only this: "I do not know you.........but i love you anyway." Both of those guys are named Chris.
Whether you believe in the afterlife, guardian angels, and the idea of an otherworldly presence watching over us or not, all of those elements contributed to me feeling like he was with me, and wanted me to know it. He often told me that I was his best friend, and he would not have left me if he'd had any choice. If he had access, he'd whack me up-side the head (gently) and tell me to stop it when I'm being self-indulgent, he'd remind me to stop hiding when I'm feeling most lonely, and most of all he'd be happy to see me happy.
[the title quotation is by Euripides]