That Moment

That moment when you think you see him. The same shirt, the same belly, the same hair…from a distance, without your glasses, you really, truly think it’s him. Your heart lurches…you look again more closely, and even for the next moment, knowing it couldn’t possibly be him, it still looks so much like him your heart continues to pound. 


You don’t want to put your glasses on, you don’t want to let your brain be rational, you just don’t want to remember just for another long moment, that it’s not him. Just for another second, please be him.


It’s not.


It sends you into a tailspin. Memories of that time, when he wore that shirt, when his hair looked like that, come flooding back. You weren’t expecting this. You were just on your way to work, thinking about grocery lists and errands.


Now you can’t think about anything else. It’s like PTSD or something. Adrenaline floods your veins, some sort of macabre fight or flight reaction. But you aren’t being chased by a tiger. Just the memories of what you have lost.


It all comes rushing back. That moment you found him, dead. That black day and the black weeks that followed. That feeling of horror you couldn’t shake. The not knowing how you could possibly live without him. The not knowing how life could possibly happen now that he was gone from your life, and the world. How was it that the planet was even still turning??


You can’t stop it. The pattern of thoughts that follow the trigger. Remembering what the world was like before he died. What it was like to be sitting next to him, what it was like to hear him laugh, what it was like to hold hands in the grocery store. 


Then, what life has been since he left you. What terrible decisions you have been faced with, alone. What choices you have been forced to make. The different faces you see during your days now. The completely and utterly different life you live now. It might be in the same house you shared with him, or it might not, but it doesn’t matter. Nothing is the same. You don’t shop the same, cook the same, clean the same, dress the same, spend your days anywhere remotely the same as before. The future you look towards now is absolutely nothing like the one you imagined for so many years by his side.


All these thoughts come flooding in during that about ten seconds after the evil twin sighting.


How do you go about your day now? How do you shake the trigger? How do you refocus, how do you wash the black cloud away?


You don’t. You put one foot in front of the other, you continue walking in to work, you greet your coworkers, you smile even if you don’t feel like smiling. The black cloud gets pushed back a little at a time, but you realize it really never leaves. You can’t stop thinking about how it felt just for that one moment to see him, to believe just for a tiny second that it really was him. How it felt to really truly have him back in the world with you, and the grief-stricken knowledge that it was all just a dirty trick.


That is all.


Showing 3 reactions

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  • Stephanie Vendrell
    commented 2017-08-03 23:23:59 -0700
    Joseph, that is a really nice thought, thank you, that it is a sign of him looking over me. I will try to remember that next time. Lisa, hug.
  • Lisa Richardson
    commented 2017-08-03 08:35:07 -0700
  • Joseph Kearney
    commented 2017-08-03 07:23:40 -0700
    Maybe it wasn’t an evil twin. Maybe it was sign of him looking over you. I try to make sense of these triggers and the pain in my heart. Is it actually them pulling those triggers? Is it actually them living in your heart that causes that pain? I guess one day we will eventually find the answers. Not soon enough for my liking though.