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Say What You Have To

Before You Can’t...

I barely remember waking up, but I do remember the long drive. At least it felt long, pulling into the hospital parking lot, going up the stairs and elevator, looking for his room. Not knowing what I was about to see, or feel. Walking down that hallway, there weren’t very many people. Just a few nurses. My family was at the end near his room, but not inside, only two at a time. So we all took turns, I didn’t look into the room until my own. I didn’t want to see him like that, but I wanted to see him. I needed to, I needed to say goodbye... that word... never left my tongue. How was I to tell the man who helped me so much, goodbye? It’s just foreign to me. I always say, “I’ll see you later,” because goodbye means forever, and I can’t believe this is forever. So I walk in, my dad talks first, I’m off to the side, not knowing what to do, completely blank in thought just staring. Dad tells me to grab his hand, “he can hear you, he just can’t see or speak to you. So tell him you love him.”

So I did, I said it, I told him, “Hey, it’s bubba, I love you, and I want you to get better so I can see you again soon, I love you, I’ll see you later.” And held back the tears as much as I could as I walked away. I should’ve said more, I should’ve stayed. It was Easter, he wasn’t supposed to spend it alone. Though he wasn’t alone, but to me he was. I wasn’t allowed to be there when they pulled the plug. Dad had to drop me off at the hotel before he went back. He warned me, “We might be pulling the plug tonight if he’s ready, doctors say he looks uncomfortable and it might be time.”

I told him I wanted to go with him, that I wanted to be there, but he wouldn’t let me. Mainly my mom's fault, she’s a stickler for making me her pet when she needs me to be. So he called me, I’ve gone over it so many time and still can’t remember what time it was, but I was sitting in the corner in my room, waiting patiently for the man I’ve known to be gone. So Dad called, and my heart sank when I answered, “He’s gone, but I told him you love him and you’ll see him later just like you said... are you okay?”

“Yeah Dad, I guess. (Crying) I’ll be alright.”

But I wasn’t, as soon as I hung up the phone panic settled over me. Crying uncontrollably, as I threw my phone, got up and just ran screaming. “He’s gone, he’s fucking gone, he can’t be gone, he’s not gone. Not him, no he’s gone, but he can’t be.”

For over a half hour no one stopped me, no one said anything, they just let me scream and run around the entire hotel. My world had ceased, and yet I was still breathing. I didn’t understand, I didn’t get how it had happened. I still can’t fully believe he’s gone. I convinced myself it’s this weird game of hide and seek, and I just suck at playing. Ever year, I tweet, “This game can be over now, I miss you, it’s been x amount of years, just come out of hiding already.” It’s been 6 years, 1 month, and 13 days. I’m still waiting for the game to be over man.

Every time I think of that day, I wish over and over again I would’ve told him all I had to say, everything that I wanted him to know, but instead I just whisper it to the sky and hope he understand. Easter is a distant holiday to me. I don’t celebrate, I drink, and I know not the best option, but I just can’t keep remembering that day. I should’ve said all I had to say.

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