I see the numbers on the page… they don’t add up. Some of them are representative of student loans, some of work-earned income, and the rest are the remnants of the inheritance. None of it equals her being here. Nonoe of it brings her back into reality above the surface of where’s she’s buried.

It’s been six months since I broke down in the courtyard of our apartment complex after receiving the news that she’d left us. Six months since I last wrapped my arms around first her living and second her lifeless body. Since I saw her smile, felt her chest rise against mine mid-hug. It hurts so much.

I do my assignments. I go to work. I serve my church. I have conversations about God and how God has, is, and will continue to move in the world and in God’s creation. Some days, it fills me up ever so slightly. Other days, it only serves to remind me of the void that exists because of her absence. I often find myself wanting to call the house, only to be sharply reminded that it sits vacant, stale, phone shut down, pieces of furniture cleared out. She, however, is underground several miles away next to my grandfather and his family. That’s just her shell, I try to tell myself. Sometimes it works. Most often, it only leads to more desperation.

I love my life and what’s happening in it, but there is so much less joy with her gone. I get more and more angry at the platitudes that continue to be given to me. “It’s a good thing you’re this sad… it shows how much she meant to you.” “At least you got that last visit with her. God must have known and planned that.” “She’s with Jesus now… you should be happy about that.” “She’s still with you, in how you live.”

You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me…

And then, there are those with an agenda. “She knew your lifestyle was wrong. She just didn’t want to hurt you.” “We talked about you a lot. She knew you’d wake up and see the truth someday.” “You can’t disappoint her by living like this. This is no way to honor her life or how much she loved you.” “Don’t waste that money, boy. You know what she’d want you to do with it.” “She wanted you to quit smoking. You really should. And you shouldn’t drink anymore either. It’s not right.”

Go… to… hell…

I’m tired of letting my anger about the unfairness of losing her be directed internally. Such Southern Baptist bull shit. This is not how we’re supposed to love each other. This is not being Christ-like. This is abusive and manipulative and needs to stop. No one, and I mean no one, has a clue of the true details of our relationship, of how much we relied on each other. No one knows the number of times that a conversation with her kept me from harming myself intentionally, or worse, fatally. No one knows just how hard she tried to reconcile the reality of my sexuality with her understanding of God, the natural order, Scripture, and faith. The only thing that mattered for her was her love for me. Everything else was secondary, and I wish others could understand that. She knew how much heartache I’d faced, turmoil and self-hatred… and how much of it was imposed upon me by others in the name of Christ, of “truth.”

It’s been six months since I felt grounded. Since I had the one person in my life whose faith in me never faltered, and whose love for me was wholeheartedly unconditional. This is by means belittling those other relationships in my life – with my partner, my church and school friends. But given that she was a tangible representation of Jesus for me, the person through whom I most felt his love and affection for me, it kinda makes sense that I feel a grief similar to that of the disciples after the leaving of Christ. Something is missing, and even if it’s still there in a different fashion, it’s not the same, and that very fact makes the pain different.

Ok, I feel better… just needed to get some of that out…

~ by Michael O. on December 9, 2011.

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