[Originally written in 2007... felt like busting out more old emo pieces to match the weather and my new blue-ish hair.]
The things that stay behind are not real things. They’re not tokens, photos, or old concert tickets. They’re not forgotten shirts or crumpled notes. They’re nothing that you can hold in your hands or put away in a box.
The things that stay behind were born of him and the feelings and happenings that came with him. He left them to me when he walked away. They trailed behind him and stopped at the door. He shook his head and they dropped off, discarded as if he were merely shaking the rain out of his black hair.
He is gone, and so are the tangible things. The things I could roll between my fingers (the cool metal of his cross necklace), the things I could smell (the comforting scent of his favorite t-shirt), the things I could see (the look of his hand in mine), and the things I could hear (the ringing of his laugh against the walls).
In their place are things that I can’t see, touch, smell or hear. But I can feel them. The memories and emotions float about my head, softly now. Back when the door clicked shut for the first time, they assaulted me until I was blind to them. Now they’ve lessened and so have I.
Sometimes I think that we never really existed. Maybe we didn’t. The memories feel more like dreams: vague tendrils of words and images that swirl in a complicated mess of grief, leaving me in confusion as I wake in the cloudy haze of morning.
He's gone, and it's time for me to go, too. Move back to where I came from. When I leave, letting go of him, of us, I will not lock the memories away. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. They can’t be contained. But they have such strong roots here, I don’t believe they will follow me far either. That is the hope.
Still, I can’t control them; I know they will be back. Like long lost relatives, they will spring to me out of nowhere. They will be accommodated, but I will be uncomfortable. I will wait patiently and eventually they will leave, only to visit less and less as time wears on.
This is letting go.