When you are gone

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One of many happy memories we had

I usually like to write about the fun things in life and, hopefully, be funny while doing so. Life can be unpredictable and too serious so I like keep it light and witty. But this past December, on a Friday night where I was snapchatting my wavy hair to my friend, I received news that changed the way I viewed my life. I learned my ex-boyfriend had passed away unexpectedly.

I was in shock. I never imagined him…dead. Death is so final and I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea he was no longer part of this world. Sometimes, when you go through a relationship that ends with your heart broken, you secretly wish for your ex to disappear from the face of the earth. Even with all the hurt, I never imagined him dead (although my friends might say otherwise!). I learned he had been sick earlier during the week, but hoped and prayed this was just another time where he would get healthy again and I would pick up the phone and scream at him for not taking care of himself and he’d be loud and obnoxious as usual. We would laugh and he’d call me Guaca (a nickname he’d given me because I don’t like avocados) and we’d catch up on life.

But reality was his lungs collapsed after a week in the hospital with pneumonia. I would never be able to pick up the phone and hear him laugh or talk or see him smile or take a million pictures. It had been 3 years since we last spoke and even longer since we last saw each other. He lived in Lima, Peru and I in Sacramento. The relationship had ended on bad terms. He said some very hurtful things that caused a lot of resent toward him. But the four and half years we were together, I was in love with him. He has been the only person that I have loved. He taught me about love and I learned a lot about what I am capable of. Relationships are hard and no one is perfect. And he made me understand that.

Six months before he passed away, I felt I no longer needed to hold on the hurt. It was as if I was clinging to the pain and anger because it was the only emotions that tied me to him. I decided to write him an email where I only wrote three very simple words: I forgive you. I didn’t need to write more or explain why. It was what I felt at that moment. He wrote back saying it didn’t matter how long it had taken me to say those words and but he was glad I had. He was happy with his life and wanted to explain to me in person what he was feeling. At that moment, all I knew is that I had forgiven him and it felt it was the right thing to do.

After his response, I never wrote back. It wasn’t until December that I learned he was lying in a hospital bed unresponsive. It was a too late to say anything. A huge part of me regrets not writing back and letting him know how I felt. I never imagined I would receive a message through Facebook telling me he was dead. I thought I had time. Even though we say people die unexpectedly, death is really the only thing in life we should expect. Everything in between is what we write as we create our story. With all the good and bad memories I experienced with him, the most important lessons I learned from him is to love, forgive and live. All the in between is just fillers in life.  

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