It wasn’t a noise that woke me but the absence of sound. I fell asleep listening to Natalie’s YouTube videos, at my desk. My arms wrapped around this imitation Noah, this plastic, and cloth creation that I somehow thought would mimic the son I lost. His butt is sitting on the desk as I leaned my head into his onesie, one I’ll never have to wash or worry about him outgrowing. My cheek touching his, imagining his breath, his heartbeat, his warmth, and wiggliness. Us, together as aunt Natalie sang us lullabies…
But somehow my subconscious was on alert, knowing the music stopped, that she was gone again, that I lost her again. I panicked and opened my eyes, searching the room for her.
I went to her Facebook page and realized that the dress she’s wearing on her cover photo was the one she wanted to be buried in. I felt this flash of fire in my belly. Lava spilled out of my eyes.
We couldn’t even do that for you. The god damn autopsy scars would’ve shown. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
I clicked on her photos, trying to distract myself from the realization she wouldn’t be texting me about Thanksgiving plans or reservations or family time or anything. Ever again.
The still pictures, they provoke me, encourage my anger. How will I never see another goofy pose from her? Hear her laugh and snort over funny little things? Be party to another “get rich quick” scheme?
I scrolled through the messages from friends about how they all miss her and love her.
Damn you, Nat.
With all this anger and fury I think about deleting these pictures. Erasing her playlist. Boxing up gifts and remembrances from her.
I know I won’t though. Under all of this heated emotion, anger, helplessness, the real emotion that stays is heartbreak. As horribly overwhelming as it is, it’s what I have left. The pictures and the music, they stir up emotion, sure but I am grateful for them.
Happy Thanksgiving Nat. I am thankful for having you in my life as long as I did. I love you.