Bedside confessions

I sat by your bed and held your hand whispering words into the silence meant only for us. The time for talking past us, but there was still so much to say.

My words fell heavy on the floor to mingle with the tears and pain discarded there.

Unsure of you, unsure of me, I choked on all the things I wanted to say and settled instead for words that comforted no one.

Left alone in a world that had always felt too big, stepping into shoes that would never fit, promises we both knew no one would let me keep. Another failure in your eyes, I’m sure.

Holding on to the pain of a past I cannot change. Lessons learned in vain.

As I watched, I knew that time was running out for us, the veil stretched thin around me and I could hear the whispers of the other side and the soft Odin rides Sleipnirbeating of hooves in the stillness.

Who was I to hold your hand? Forgotten and left behind, but there was no one else. I wished for someone to hold mine but that was a luxury I’d never had.

I listened to the sound of the clock winding down and wondered where you were.  No soft touches, no visions of goodbye.  Just me, you, and the sound of hooves growing closer.

Maybe I should have wanted to stay, to be there when the clock stopped, but it was a pain I could not bear.  Lost and alone, I wandered the halls of pain and loss like a wraith seeking a comfort I would never find.

Even with the benefit of years between, it is a pain that I can recall at any moment, but with the pain comes anger.

Anger for the things neither of us said, for the things we could have been, the life I could have had if only things had been different.  If only I had held some small part of your heart in my hand as you had held mine.

How could you never see the pain you caused?  How could you not know that my life was dedicated to trying to find that middle ground of being myself and still have you love me?  How could you not at least respect the strength it must have taken to stand against you as no one else would?

Was I really so unlovable, as you had said over the years?  Was there nothing about the life you created that engendered the smallest amount of affection?

Was it me, or was it you?  I, living proof of the fact that even you sometimes failed, but the failure you saw was not the truth.  The truth was not that you had failed to keep up your charade.  The truth was that you failed me.

Written in an effort to deal with the passing of my mother nearly three years ago. It’s something I’m still working my way through.


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