My phone autocorrects “live” to “love.” It’s been doing it for months. At first, I thought it was funny, and kind of philosophically sweet. And then I thought it was annoying. And now, I think it is appropriate.
It’s been a month since Jason died. Between the head injury and the grief, the details of this month are blurry and soaked in tears. But I’m starting to get my brain back, I’m starting to come back to myself. I’m not all the way back, but enough back that I can start to think again.
I’ve been thinking a lot about love. And about living. And about the afterlife, and death, and what the fuck does my future look like. But mostly, I keep coming back to a few things.
I know that when Jason died, he died knowing I love him. I chose him among all people, and every day I chose him again. I love him deeply, and without reservations. When Jason died, I knew that he loved me in every way he knew how, and some he couldn’t express. He, too, chose me among all the amazing people in our lives, and he continued to choose me. I can’t have him back, but I know to the depths of my being that we shared that love and did not question it. Loving him was part of living. There was no distinction between “live” and “love.”
I hope that we were holding hands when the car hit us.
I count myself lucky that I had twelve years to love and be loved. We had twelve years of adventure. We circumnavigated the world together. We served our country and Vanuatu. We fought and argued, and pushed each other. We lived with the wonderful and the difficult, everything from dirty underwear to acro practice in the living room. We shared a life. I’m lucky that I had a partner who loved me and who constantly showed me his love.
I don’t know who I will be at the other end of this journey. I don’t know if there is an end, honestly. Jason will never be not dead, and I will never not love him. That love will change over time, and my relationship to that will change over time. But he won’t ever be not important to my life.
I know that Jason shaped who I am, just as surely as I shaped who he was. We spent our young adulthood together and we grew like the stems of trees planted close together. Our selves were grown and moulded in contrast to and cooperation with each other. The person I was will forever bear the marks of who Jason was. And the person I am becoming will forever bear the marks of Jason’s death.