*Reader submission, photo of author*
We were talking about scientology of all things.
Truthfully I had no idea what the hell it was and he is going on and on about it.
“Why do you know so much about this?” I ask.
“I like to research and know a lot about things I think are really fucking stupid.”
He goes on to tell me more. Then he gets frustrated because he’s driving and the person in front of him is, “being a fucking idiot”. He says he needs to call me back.
We hang up.
That was the last time I had spoke to him.
That was the last time I would ever speak to him.
It was Thursday March 5th , 2015.
Normally I would be at my internship at a domestic violence and sexual assault center and then drive from Columbia back to Baltimore so we could be together for the weekend. But I had a snow day, which I was wishing for.
I got my wish.
It was snowing, which meant I was not going anywhere and we would just have to wait until the next day to see each other, maybe even Saturday. Apparently not even a heavy amount of snow on the ground could stop Drew from going to the gym. No excuses. And besides, “it really isn’t even that bad.”
We texted a little after that, saying some of our normal adorable things.
I told him I loved him and missed him, and he said the same.
March 5th, 2015 was the last day he was alive.
Although it would seem that the way the series of events are going, maybe he died in a car crash, you know, because of the snow and the phone and the texting and, “it really isn’t that bad.”
No. He made it home. He made it home to talk with his roommates.
Talk with his best friend about, “life, love, and the mysteries of the beyond.”
That is what he told me when I asked what he was talking to Logan about, his best friend and roommate. The text message: “Life, love and the mysteries of the beyond.” That was the last thing he texted me. I text him a few times.
I called three times after. I still don’t know if I was calling a dead person.
Drew overdosed on heroin and died on March 6th .
At least that was when his body was found and we knew he was dead.
Reliving these memories is painful, even though I relive them every day. I sometimes think of it like this:
My first internship as a graduate social work student was at a psychiatric hospital. I worked with a patient there who was a young guy diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, among other diagnoses. He was big on self-injury and stabbed himself with a butcher knife in the abdomen. However, he would not let the wound heal and would continuously pick at it, as well as put objects into the wound.
Staples, crayons, paper.
Every time his body would try and save itself, try and heal itself. He would rip the wound back open.
When I remember the details of that last day.
Of the day I found out.
Of the week following.
The wound that is my heart is ripped open.
I feel like I try and sew it back together. My friends and family have tried to sew it back together. And believe me, I want it back together. But I cannot help but constantly remember the details. The things I did or the things I “should have” done, “could have” done.
I try my best to think, because I know, there is nothing I should have or could have done. I did not administer the needle into his arm. No one forced him to do that.
Except for his own mind. His own mind killed him. The disease killed him.
Strangely though, knowing all of that hasn’t cured me of the pain that came when his left.
Isn’t that a bitch.
So although this internal wound that although will never be physically found by any doctor or technology, but is still extremely real and holds physical pain, exists; it is a wound that I don’t think I ever want to let fully heal. Having the pain, feeling the pain, brings me a connection to him.
I dread the day in my life where his memory isn’t as bright as it is now. I dread the day where I can think about him and my whole body doesn’t feel tight or I feel like I am not going to cry. I dread the day I can’t close my eyes and still feel my fingers running through his hair down to his face to pull it close to mine.
Because today, the day before the six month anniversary of his death, all of that is exceptionally real.
Six months. That’s one of the first big anniversaries right? Half a year. Thinking about it makes me feel panic. When I think about the events that led up to his death, or the fact that Drew really is dead, or the fact that the person that I see in pictures is the only time I will ever see him again…
When I remember that those things are not just “what ifs.” They are not just thoughts, but they are memories. The wound is ripped open.
So today, I think about not as the day before I reach six months with out him. Almost six months since my life crumbled to the ground.
Six months ago today, he was alive. Six months ago today, he made me laugh. Six months ago today, he told me he loved me.
And I wont lie and say that even thinking of that doesn’t make the wound smaller, but maybe it makes it hurt a little less. Depending on if I want to look at it from a positive perspective. And I do.
Six months is a long time to go without someone. Especially someone who you thought you were going to have a lifetime with.
But instead, I choose to spend this last hour of September 5th, happy.
Happy to know that he loved me and I loved him and although he can no longer say it, doesn’t mean I don’t still feel it.
So Drew, thank you for making me laugh one last time. Thank you for accepting me one last time. Thank you for telling me you miss me one last time.
Thank you for loving me, always.