Babe, there is something wrong with Hugo and I’m scared. He went to the neurologist but we’re waiting on tests. In the meantime, he has spent the entire day on the couch sleeping for a week, now. It had just started when I went to Friendship, last week, and I was hoping it was just due to our erratic sleep schedule (ya know, cuz you’re dead and Thanksgiving wasn’t quite the same, this year). It’s more than that, though…he is really making me worry. I’m just worried he’s going to drop dead. Like you did (that pun was unintended, by the way). I mean, on the one hand, we haven’t been walking our miles and miles each day so I have had a lot more time for other things, but on the other, there is something wrong with Hugo. If you recall, I told him he has to live forever, so he better kick whatever is going on. Wouldn’t that just be the icing on the cake, babe? If Hugo died, too? After all of the other secondary losses, would I even be surprised? I feel like expecting the worst is something I will always do from now on, because that way I will never, ever be caught off-guard like you caught me off-guard, babe. You sure did pull the wool over my eyes.

Your mom sent me a picture of your whole family sitting around the table at Thanksgiving, and it evokes a feeling I can’t describe, but it reminds me of what I imagine those feelings related to familial bonds that only orcas can feel because that part of their brain is more developed than other species feel like. Although, since our brains aren’t as developed in that area, maybe it’s impossible for me to even imagine it. Regardless, as I looked at this picture, I thought to myself, “did you really want to miss all of this?”…but I know you weren’t thinking about that, at the time. As I would say when you were alive to hear it, your family really does have the “family” thing down. They’ve even got the home videos. Sheesh, I loved that we were a part of that.

I set out the Christmas decorations today and it sucked. It sucks looking at all of them, now, even. It makes me feel simultaneously cozy and sad. Nothing feels right. You are supposed to be here. You helped me feel the love that is supposed to come with this holiday. Today, I just feel empty, and I keep bursting into tears. I’m crying right now. I just can’t believe you did this. I have your stocking, and the bunnies’ stockings…wtf am I supposed to do with those when you’re all dead? Do I hang them? I don’t even want to celebrate the holidays. Any form of celebration that would remind me of you. I loved our Christmases, together. I wanted more of them. I thought we would get more of them.

I just remembered that peppermint pig you bought us for Christmas, last year. The one that came with the little hammer. A literal solid peppermint candy pig, pink as could be. I’d never heard of it before. It was fun breaking it apart, and then it watched us from the top of the fridge over the weeks, slowly losing pieces of itself.

I gave most of the Christmas village to Brianna to give to her mom. Not your pieces, of course, those will never go anywhere, but ya know maybe like 80% of the freaking metropolis I was building. I love those little houses. I loved that it was New England-themed, so we could feel closer to home. I put up what I kept under the TV and it looks pretty good, I must say. I just need an extension cord and then it would actually light up.

Andy texted me the week before Thanksgiving, after 4 months of silence. He wanted to talk. I thought about not answering, at all, but that would have been no better than what he did to me, and from now on, I am operating under the belief that everyone deserves to be told what’s wrong. Confronting and talking it out takes more energy- ghosting is easier; far less uncomfortable. Ghosting is cowardly. The only thing ghosting does is make it so the ghoster doesn’t have to bear witness to the pain they are causing, because they have removed themselves from the relationship. That doesn’t mean the pain isn’t felt by the ghosted. It’s happened to me before Andy and I’m sure Andy won’t be the last, and I don’t want to cause that pain to anyone. It’s the pain that comes with not getting any closure, like when someone kills themselves. Like when you killed yourself.

I do want to thank you for leaving your notes, babe. It’s very few who leave notes before they go, and you gave me just that little piece of paper to base everything else I ever postulate about your reasons on. It’s more than most people get. I can’t look at it, now- the shock isn’t strong enough and it hurts way more. It’s the same with your last text- I put you in a separate tab so my eyes wouldn’t gloss over my last reply to you every time I scrolled through my messages. “Peter please.” I type it here and I’m right back there, again. Pleading with you to answer your phone. I know you saw my call.

The sad part is, that tab gets less and less necessary with every new text I get, as other names jump to the top of the screen and you are pushed down the line of “most recent” messages.

Back to Andy- so I didn’t want to go low, I wanted to go high (thanks, Michelle Obama), which led to me telling him I wasn’t ready to talk and I wasn’t sure if I ever would be. So you know what this best friend of mine did, babe? He was basically like, “that’s cool, but I’m going to write it all out in this conversation, anyway.” He even acknowledged he was breaking my boundaries. And then he sent me a novella, babe. I’ve said it before- when people show you who they are…what do we do? We believe them. At least he warned me beforehand so I could block him. It is clear to me he just doesn’t understand, after all I have heard from Tish. It’s not like he sent that because he cared about our friendship, anyway. He sent it for himself, so he could feel like he had closure. So he could feel like he had the last word after all the words he didn’t say in the last four months. That’s fine, he can have that. I still don’t have the energy, and wtf does it even matter? It wouldn’t change a goddamn thing.

I look at the aftermath of your death and the reshuffling of other relationships in my life and it’s hard not to think of this as a reset. The people that were going to leave left, and the people that wanted to stay stayed, and that taught me a lot about who to trust moving forward. And really, I’ve found that when those friends leave, it allows space for the right people to get closer and fill in the gaps. Blessing in disguise or silver lining or whatever you want to call it- not really sure if those are a thing when it’s a result of you killing yourself.

People think I am doing so “well”. Babe, what is it I would have to do to convince people of how hard this is? How hard it is to wake up every morning and get through another day without you there by my side? How many times I have to take it hour by hour instead of day by day, or even minute by minute, sometimes? They don’t see it, so they can’t believe it. Not that “they” is an all-encompassing term (see previous paragraph on the sort of person “they” is referring to), but what would I have to do? People remark on how well I’m doing and my mind immediately jumps to that time when I thought you were doing well. That you were okay. And then you JUMPED OFF A BRIDGE. Would I have to lose my job, give up Hugo, and live with my brother for people to accept that sometimes the pain doesn’t directly translate to my life being ruined, too? I fought really, really hard to not kill myself, years ago. I can’t go back there. I won’t go back there. Is that the baseline? As long as I don’t kill myself, everyone is satisfied and they no longer have to show they care?

Okay, end rant. I wish you were here, and I think you wish you were, too.

I love you. Hugo loves you.