I don’t know how to exist without Derek in my future.
He’ll always be part of my past, but never again will he be part of my future or my present, and I’ve avoided thinking of him in such.
I’ve spend the last two and a half months living in the present, a present devoid of Derek, but that’s nothing unusual. I only saw Derek a few times a year, and while I talked to him online or on the phone semi-regularly, it was always random. There was no schedule or regularity to it, so it wasn’t something I looked forward to with anticipation. It just happened, it was great, and then life continued.
Remembering Derek, while painful, is only painful because I know these are the only memories I will ever have of him. It’s easy to think of him in the past, because as far back as I can remember, he has been a part of my life and I have memories of him. These memories aren’t going anywhere. He’ll always be my little brother.
I love the memories I have of Derek. They aren’t going anywhere. But the fact that there will never be any more hurts. Thinking about the future hurts. Thinking about a future without Derek hurts.
We’re going back home in May for a visit. It’ll be the first time I’ve been back in Calgary since the funeral in January, and while part of me is really looking forward to it, part of me is dreading it as well. I have had enough times in the last couple of months when I have wanted to share something with Derek, only to remember I can’t. To go back home and accept that reality again will be difficult. To see my parents, to have dinner with them without Derek being around? That just feels wrong. Who’s going to harass my kids? Who’s going to make goofy faces?
The last week or so has been pretty good. They say grief comes in waves, and lately things have been low on grief, some days completely devoid of it. But today, as I think about our trip and plan some details, I am caught missing him. Thinking about the future. A future devoid of him. A future in which I will never again make memories with him. A future in which my kids will never get to know their uncle Derek.
The present is okay. It is comfortable. The future, not so much.