It's not like I ever forget that Blake died. In fact, I don't think there has been a whole hour since he passed away that something hasn't made me think of him. I'm constantly getting reminders: a song, a phrase, an article of clothing, a place we went or wanted to go... anything, really. And when this happens, I quietly acknowledge the trigger, find him in my heart, say hi, and go about my day.
But every once in a while, something bigger happens and the quiet acknowledgment isn't enough. It's like my body remembers it has a hole it in, right at the center of my heart. What a weird sensation to be able to physically feel something that is seemingly just emotional. But I feel it. I feel it so much that the only thing I can do is stop everything and write.
This morning I received an email from an old classmate of Blake. He described going on Facebook for the first time in a long time just to check up on friends. To his complete surprise, he saw that the smiley, popular guy with a "sensational presence" that he remembered from high school had passed away. He went on to detail his interactions with Blake and why he was such a great guy. He said the usual "I can't imagine what you're going though" and of course sent me "love and prayers."
There have been numerous messages like this throughout the past 11 months, but for some reason this one hit me really hard. I think it was because his shock in finding out for the first time made me remember how truly soul shattering it was for me to find out for the first time. Nothing can prepare you for someone telling you that a person you love- that you are IN love with- is gone. Nothing. You go silent, you ask questions, you deny it, you cry, you gasp for air, you scream, you do a lot of things, but you never forget. And from that point on, there will be a hole in your heart. A hole that will physically hurt when you are reminded.
But somehow through writing, I get the pain to subside. It doesn't fill the hole up or make it go away, but it focuses the hurt and channels it into something clearer, comprehensible... beautiful, even. And that's a metaphor for how I've been trying to live my life since that moment. From that soul shattering moment when I found out that Blake died, to the tiny daily reminders, to the even bigger triggers, every day I attempt to make the pain make sense. I try to use that hole to create a life lovelier than I could've ever imagined.