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On: Grieving, to Gabriel


I opened my eyes, half way, like every morning; I could hear the roller coaster and faint screams, it was joy, right?!?  It sounded like joy.  And I could see curious beams of sunlight sneaking into my room through the curtains that I failed to adjust properly at bedtime the night before; the night before you left me, the night I wasn't thinking about you. Why wasn't I thinking about you? ...Why wasn’t I imagining your laugh, oh that laugh was contagious.

 I write this to say goodbye. I write this to say thank you.

Oh yes, I was telling you about the morning: back to that morning. Come with me back to that black morning – mourning …  the sounds were masquerading as joy, but they had fooled me—I opened my eyes—not to joy, not to beams of light, but thousands of painful stings like pricks of a million bees feasting on my heart, it was awful. I guess we have a choice of what we want to feel, believe, and focus on. I know what you’d want me to choose. It’s just really hard today.

The night before the morning – mourning, I was thick in the middle of something making me uneasy. On that night, when across the ocean the grieving had just begun. I was drinking and thinking and trying to sort out why my nerves were so strung out. It was you; they were strung out on you and I didn’t even realize it. I was always intuitive and I have always hated not knowing why I'm heavy until something hits me between my eyes. It feels like a taste of hell …if I could just focus, if I could just draw an inch closer to my feelings; my feelings are so intense, then I would’ve known, before it knocked me over, before you never made us laugh again.

Gabe, I cried for you, and I will again, until I’m done. But I will also honor you and laugh for you and consider how you'd take in a million situations you don't get to have now. I'm still breathing and I get to have them, it's so unfair. 

Can I ask you something? Do you remember the skinniest tree you’ve ever seen? Do you remember trying to hide behind it? Do you remember the gypsy's and their straight accusations? Do you remember those mandatory blue booties and leaving work to learn the art of wafting smoke rings from the drag of a hookah pipe? Do you remember the red room in the condo with those 2 twin beds, do you remember getting rained out with more than coffee in the coffee mugs? … where did we park? Level 7 was yesterday. 

Let's go to the cafeteria and eat terrible food because it free. Let's flirt with mimes and commit minor crimes against a code of conduct. Let's go buy discounted baked goods. Is it pay day yet? Torvill and queen and tributes in blue jeans and who says I can't look good in a uniform?

I was putting on my red lipstick today, looking at the mirror; not present in that moment. I was just replaying you in my mind. I feel floaty (yes, I made it up, not a word, but you’re ok with that, right? and you’d even go so far as to use it, too.)  I’m aggressively confused. I’m massively wounded. I’m without you. But you are in the cells of so many people, you put yourself there and you will never be gone. My life felt better because you walked into it.

In loving memory of beautiful Gabriel Leel, Thank you!

Comments

  1. I met Gabe once 30 plus years ago. I knew his mom, worked in the same school district. I am so sorry for your loss.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Barbara! I hope his family knows how much he meant to so many of us. He was brilliant. I knew him through work and didn't know them. He is forever missed :(

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