Ceding Territory

Dearest Rachel –

Given the limited amount of human contact he engages in these days, I know full well I have no right to object to the days when his friend Logan comes over. The thing is, Logan himself has said – even since the accident – how “welcoming” our home is, and I certainly want to keep it that way. Especially since losing you may well have been that much more devastating to Daniel than to myself in certain ways. He has fewer close friends and acquaintances than I do, and while a number of those I consider friends were connections made through you, they are still closer to me than to him, and we together share a bond now of mutual loss.

For his part, by contrast, you were his closest friend by far, to very nearly the exclusion of all others. You two shared the same circadian rhythm, staying up and waking up late, spending vast amounts of waking time in the company of each other exclusively. The thought and discussions that passed between the two of you during those times, I can only guess at – and most of those are now lost to memory, or at best, stored solely within his alone now.

So while I find myself holing up in the bedroom, as you (and later in the day, we) used to do upon Logan’s visits, effectively ceding the house to the boys for them to enjoy, I should not begrudge him this time in the slightest. This is good for him, after all (and apparently, good for Logan as well. Far be it for me to infringe on something so beneficial for his mental and emotional state.

But I confess, it is at this time I feel your loss most keenly, and it’s only the darkness and my own exhaustion that prevents me from sinking into depression, with he oblivion of slumber sparing me from the clutches of a melancholic slough.

You see – and you’ll recall this – when Daniel would have friends over, they would generally take over the family room to watch this or that YouTube channel or anime series or what have you. Or maybe you simply gave them the space – after all, Daniel wouldn’t be the type to necessarily insist you leave; most likely, you vacated the space of your own accord for his (and his friends’) benefit. After all, who wants their parents horning in on their time with their friends?

So you moved yourself into the bedroom, where you would watch a show or channel of your own, something that neither Daniel nor I might have fancied (I know you had just wrapped up however many episodes remained of Supernatural, and were just going back to watch the old 70s reruns of Battlestar Galactica as recently as two nights before the accident), and make whatever progress you felt like on the mountains of mail we had been receiving on your parents’ behalf (which is why I keep finding so much of it on your side of the room, along with all those newspapers) It was more than effective in killing an afternoon, and you got some work done – albeit vert little in comparison to the past month, I’ll have you know.

Then, I would come home from whichever office, picking up dinner for the boys and ourselves along the way as instructed (I would dutifully call and ask when I could remember). Although, to be fair, more often than not, you would insist I come home first and we would go whatever was decided upon together, where you would pick something out for yourself while we were out rather than try to decide remotely. Then, we would hole up in the bedroom together; you would continue what you had been doing, I might check my mail or the latest anime or manga downloads online. At some point, we would just bundle ourselves onto the bed and watch YouTube until the time came for Logan to head out, whereupon we would get up and bid him goodnight, and you would join Daniel in the family room while I headed off to bed, to rest for the coming day.

At some point, while we watched stuff together, you might settle into the crook of my arm and fall asleep – which I used to make some fun of you for at the time, but now I understand why. Indeed, you did just that on the Thursday night before you left us.

It was always so special when you would do this, honey. You were rarely one for being held when you slept – you likened it to being held down, like being trapped somehow – and not given much to cuddling, either – even in afterglow. You always wanted your space, and our queen size bed afforded that: whenever it was that you came to bed, I would sleep through it, and whenever I would wake in the morning, you would sleep through that (unless there was a need for you to wake, in which case I would do so deliberately), So those moments when you rested on my shoulder or chest were rare ones to be treasured. And I guess I should thank you for doing so on that last night like this – this didn’t always happen on such occasions, after all.

But I confess, it makes me sense your absence all the more, lying here in a dark and empty bedroom, wishing I had something to hold on to. Erin tells me that, when you two and the boys would go to one of the MLP conventions (I assume it was Ciderfest Milwaukee), you would bring along a particular stuffed animal that you would snuggle in lieu of having me. Which, given your general aversion to cuddling, seems a bit odd – frankly, I’ll wager that plushie (whichever one it was) got more cuddles than I ever did – but the thought that you needed something to fill the empty space left y my absence seems to be rather sweet.

At least, you’d understand if I tried to find something to fill the emptiness I’m dealing with.

The trouble is, I don’t think a plushie is going to do the trick. Neither is a body pillow, come to that. To be honest, I really don’t know what, if anything, will serve – or really, when you come down to it, who.

That’s the most likely thing, though. Something sentient, something warm… something – or rather, someone – human.

Pity that’s so unlikely… or if not (please God), so far off.

I don’t know what I can do during the intervening weeks, months… years?

Maybe I should just try to get some more sleep for now, at least. Until next time.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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