Every time I think of you, my chin drops toward my chest and my eyes close. Memories, thoughts and emotions rush through my head like a subway train in a tunnel. I strive to keep myself from crying. Again. Tears to add to the buckets I have already cried over the last two and a half years.
Sometimes an alert friend or acquaintance will ask, “What’s wrong? Are you OK?” My body language signals sadness, dejection or feeling an emotion deeply. Bowing one’s head can also be a response to a perceived threat or a sign of submission, as in, “I cannot even look at you.” Or quite simply, a sign of exhaustion. But to me, the expression “to hang one’s head in shame,” resonates with me the most.
“If only…” If only I had understood the depth of your pain and hopelessness. If
only I had stepped outside myself and took the time to really listen.
“What if…?” What if I had flown across the miles and stayed with you until you
felt better? Or what if you had moved in with me like we planned for so long?
“Why…?” Why did you leave us? And by “us”, I mean ME. Did I contribute to
your heart ache?
I wasn’t smart or insightful enough to understand what you were going through. I was too self-centered to step away from my career and take care of you. I made you feel unwelcome when I had to delay the date of your move to my home. I took your isolating behavior as a personal affront. I was defective. I was not enough. And I feel disgrace and shame. Not because of what you did. But because of what I did not do.