Standing in front of a room full of people that I convinced myself all hated me I gave a goodbye speech to Matt. I talked about how much I loved my husband the whole time thinking that everyone thought I was a fraud that I was to blame for him dying. He passed in October so we had to wear mask the whole time. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, my sister made sure I lifted the mask and went outside to breathe.
In the end, I had a panic attack and ran outside. I was sitting in the front of a room alone feeling my world crash in around me. The one person who could make it better was gone. All that was left was the pictures playing on the screen and a box of ashes. My heart was gone. Amanda would find me squatting on the sidewalk hyperventilating.
One of the things that I wish I had done was say a better goodbye to the man that I will carry in my heart forever. He deserved that. I also wonder if the reason that he always said he did not want a funeral was that he knew that it would be hard for me to have to do that without him. In my early stages of grief, I lived in denial and often blamed myself.
I found these words to say to him.
There are so many memories that I have with Matt that it was hard to figure out what to say. Matt came into my life almost nine years ago when we worked at Tractor Supply together. I often said that he was the best thing that I got from working there. He was quiet and reserved but loved and cared about the people he truly let in. He loved Tiernan more than anything. I remember the day that I first got to meet Tiernan like it was yesterday. Playing mini-golf and getting ice cream. Seeing their bond was one of the things I fell in love with.
Our relationship blossomed from a friendship into more when I asked him to go see the hunger games with me thinking we were going as friends. We were opposites that completed each other and met in the middle with our shared geekiness I taught him about my love of sheep and he taught me his favorite games. Starting with computer games like Path of Exile, Torchlight, and Civilization. The impossible game I ended up owning on more than one device and never made it to the end. He would make fun of me for playing Tetris and bejeweled. Pokemon go kept us actively walking to the end of our driveway it was also the one game that we equally geeked out over. We got Tiernan and Jay to play with us as well.
When he got back into Magic he taught me to play. He let me use his decks at first then made me make my own after I kept beating him by pure chance. Then started his weekly games with the guy’s something he looked forward to every week. His passion for creating decks that were evil to everyone else made him happy.
We shared a love of used bookstores and he would often laugh when we would spend hours in one. He turned me on to The Sword of Truth series and we would hunt for the books we were missing. He will always have a piece of my heart and I will always think about him when I open a game we played together. Especially pokemon go and while it makes me sad I can feel him with me as I walk down the driveway. He might not be physical with us anymore but he lives on through all of us and the memories we have of him.
It was a short but bittersweet speech that hit on the key parts of our relationship. But he was more than that in my life. He was my everything and I did not do him justice in that goodbye. I did not want to talk about our love because I believed that no one would think I still loved him with the events of the last week we were together. Because I did not want people to judge me I held back and I have never said Goodbye properly.
I know better now. One year out and I see things more clearly. There is no way to say goodbye to the love of your life. You can’t say goodbye to a man that was so much a part of everything you did and lived for. He was my reason for getting out of bed, the person that put a smile on my face by just walking into a room, took away my bad days with a hug, and made me feel safe and loved. One of my therapists suggested that I write him a goodbye letter and at the time I remember thinking I can’t say goodbye to him. I won’t say goodbye.
If I have the chance to plant a tree with some of his ashes and do a little memorial thing. Maybe next year for his birthday. I would love to get a do-over at my goodbye. To talk about him and all he was not only to me but all that knew him and loved him. He was an amazing Son, Father, Uncle, and husband. He would do anything for the ones he loved. Matt lived to make me happy for so long and I did the same. In the last year, I have been trying to move past the feelings I had that day standing in front of everyone. Love does not go away it remains and you can’t say Goodbye to it. I know that it will never be a goodbye because he lives in my heart.