This is a very personal post and I struggled with myself to decide if I would post this. This has not been easy…I am only human and I wanted to share this experience. Photography has been and always will be the best outlet for me. “Beauty saves. Beauty heals. Beauty motivates. Beauty unites. Beauty returns us to our origins, and here lies the ultimate act of saving, of healing, of overcoming dualism”
I keep replaying, all of our moments together, in my head. Sometimes it’s just one memory, the smile that would cross your face when you opened your front door and saw it was I, or the warmth I always felt, in your hugs. These memories are serene and lift my spirits. But it is so hard, without you and so often the nightmarish memories cascade down on me, instead. They flood my mind and drown my senses: seeing the drug in your eyes, hearing you say you’ll stop, that was the last time, you want to be stronger- I want to scream and cry out but I can’t even moan, the very air in my lungs chokes me and the black hole in my heart absorbs me, sending me spiraling into a sadness so deep and painful that to move or think is agony.
You promised me you weren’t using anymore but I don’t know why I let myself believe you. I could always see the drug in your eyes when you used. It slowly shadowed your soul and replaced the light inside you with a chemical disease.
I woke up, curled around you with my chest pressed against your back that last morning. I saw the signs, I knew they were there: the belt in the living room, your spotless bedroom, your weathered and skinny frame and that dimness in your eyes. And, on this morning, your breathing was so short and shaky with whimpers and snores; they tore at my heart. You were having trouble breathing. I told you to go to the doctor.
You said you would go to the doctor.
But, I should have taken you to the doctor and rescheduled that damn photo shoot.
I shouldn’t have left you to yourself that morning and it torments me that I did. I will forever feel as though I should have done more- but what more could I have done? Your soul had been fading for months, giving up on yourself, on me, on everyone. You told me you were strong enough to fight the demons on your own and when I moved away, you reassured me it would be okay. But I was too far away to protect you from them and from your pain.
You know, I use to dream of your death. I feared this day would come for so long and it really seems as though it was delayed- you survived the car accidents, the relapses and I feel so blessed because my time with you would have been so much shorter.
We only had one year together and in it, you touched my heart and changed my life, forever. You taught me love knows no gender, no boundaries and mostly, your love for me was unconditional. I’ve never laughed and cried so much with someone and I have never been so close to someone so quickly. We met during our darkest hours and we became each other’s light. You told me you felt no one cared about you and even though you would withdraw from everyone, you still let me into your pain. Our pain connected us, even in the beginning I felt yours and I know you felt mine. And as you shared my pain and lightened my burden, I tried to do the same for you.
I hope you know how hard I tried.
And, I hope you know I tried, with everything inside me, to bring beauty to your life. I hope you felt it and I hope you saw it. In my heart, I know you did. You shared, just briefly, the beautiful world I was creating for us.
I will never meet anyone like you, again, in my life and I want you to know I don’t remember you as I last saw you that morning, with troubled breath and frail features. I remember you as the warm light you were to me and when I lay down, with your jacket close to my body, my skin begins to tingle and feel like it is on fire while my heart fills with the joy and love you always gave me.
I love you.
I hope you have been freed of pain and of your demons.