Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Birthday Wishes to Sean... Wherever You Are

Dear Sean,

Today everyone is writing on your FB wishing you a happy birthday and missing you. I wanted to do it, too. I've actually been composing this letter in my head for years now. It always felt so cheap to do it on Facebook cause we didn't FB with each other that much (if it was MySpace that'd be a different story). I wondered how it would be perceived. So, I'll do it here, on my blog (I'm sure you'd be thrilled) which is something I did, even on Myspace.

My birthday was six days ago, and every year I get sad around this time. And every single year I can't figure out why I'm sad... that is, until I remember your birthday follows so closely behind mine. I don't really mourn you on the day you died. I mourn the fact that you aren't here on your birthday. Maybe that's weird. I can't tell you how many times I think about you and can almost hear your voice in my head with your response. You'd say, "It's cause it's my birthday, bitch! ...just kidding, I love you. What are you gonna get me?"

I went through your pictures on FB a few days ago, the ones everyone had posted of you. It makes me a bit angry because I know most of those pictures are mine. I took those pictures downtown, that was my scooter (scoot, scoot!), and your love affair with Ramsley (which we came up with together). Those "photo shoots" were just a way for you to see how handsome you were. I won't forget how you had such low self esteem and the way you handled it. ...speaking of which, it bothers me that people don't ever seem to talk about the reality of you. Maybe it's what happens after you are gone or maybe it's just that people don't want to admit it. I'm sure a great portion of it is that they really just didn't know. You hid it so well with that smile... unless you were drunk... then it was trouble. Then, you needed help.

Maybe that's what it really was. I would never quantify who you were in "loving life" or "living life to the fullest" which has pretty much become your legacy. I would say that you made people have a place to belong. You forced people to own up to the truth about themselves, which you saw, and you magnified. But, you were always so blatant about it. If you thought something was gross, it just was. If something was fabulous (like you, of course) then it was. And it was that way for everyone around you. In that space, you made a home wherever you went.

But, you were sad, too. Behind closed doors and when the partying had stopped, you got sad. But, you shrugged that off, too. "Whatever." My therapist once told me it was important to feel pain, to experience it, because that was part of the process of healing. You had that figured out years before I did. You had a c'est la vie attitude, and when something wasn't going your way, you either threw a fit or moved on to something else. Usually both and in that order.

I'm simultaneously angry and sad that you're not here. I get angry because when I hear certain people talk about you, I want to scream at them that they have no right because you hated them or they were jerks or lied etc. Then, I think that some people may feel that way about me. But, like you would say, whatever, they didn't know.

I owe you a thanks, too. I know we understood each other. God, we were so much alike. I'm sure you'd tell me not to be stupid, but it is weird you were over at my house a few days before you died and making plans to watch The Pursuit of Happyness with me. I kept the cigars we smoked together for a long time. As well as the beers. At some point, I decided I needed to let go. I needed to not cling to momentos that only caused me a crippling nostalgia every time I looked at them. No, Sean, that doesn't mean I don't love you anymore. Trust me, I've cried plenty. You ruined Mr. Jones for me. That was my favorite song before I met you. As well as You Can't Hurry Love, the Dixie Chix version.

If you look down on us now and it seems we may have forgotten you, you're wrong. If we look happy it's cause we are working hard to have a life despite the pain. We learned that from you. I do miss you. Like I said, it's always worse around this time of year. It's not that I think your death didn't matter, it's the lack of your life that reminds me and your life was always celebrated the most this time of year.

Happy Birthday.

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