What’s left to say?
After ten years, the world has grown up around the memory of you. Without you, the world is a colder place. Fewer people care about the world and the people in it the same way that you did.
I wanted, so badly, for today to feel more meaningful than most days. I wanted to be overcome with a sense of loss, the type that gives reason for pause. I wanted the world to just let me be for today, to leave me alone for long enough to give some time over to thinking of you and what you’ve meant for me.
Each passing year, I get one more year on you. This year, I’ve lived for five more years than you did. Last year it was four and next year it’ll be six. This pattern will continue until I, too, am just a memory.
That’s just it, though, isn’t it? A memory. Not forgotten. Remembered.
I’m alone with my memories of you. Of the people who care about the world and the people in it, too few remember you. Nobody else has my memories of you. This is the way of the world: our memories can be shared but they can never be anyone else’s.
I too often forget how young I was when you died. Coming on 25, I was carefree. Your death, somehow, changed that. Now, at nearly 35, the world looks different to me. It’s not the world you left, it’s the world that left you behind.
My life is different because of you and your death. While we can no longer sit together over a pint and share stories, every year, on this very day, I make sure to sit alone and drink one more Trad than I should. That hasn’t changed. It won’t change.
What more can be said? How many more words would it take to describe to you the ways in which the world has changed? Where do I find the words to describe how your memory has stayed the same when every time I describe it, it comes out differently, yet, still, unchanged?
There’s no more that can be said because your story is over. Instead, I’ll just sit here silently, drink another beer, and make meaning from your memory.