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Dear Kyle

February 10, 2016

Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same.

Please forgive me.

I chose to believe that you were better, that you were well. You’d gotten that new job as a machinist, and you took so much pride in your work. The spotty attendance at family gatherings I attributed to your new schedule. I had no idea you were struggling, again.

Your absence on Christmas made me wonder. When you appeared on New Year’s Eve we exchanged glances, but never spoke. You looked weak. Your face was grey, your frame frail. I had a bad feeling. That night I dreamt I was attending your funeral. Dressed in a dark blue suit you were peaceful and handsome, lain out in a silk-lined casket. I awoke out of breath, crying and sweaty.

Only two days later you were dead. At age 26, you succumbed to a heart attack. Was it the blood infection you’d contracted? Were you using? Was it suicide? What took you from us? I wanted answers. But what would they do? The autopsy results wouldn’t bring you back.

I’d never really know how you suffered, faltered, or even felt. I can only comprehend what I feel, and what I’ve lost. I’ve lost a kind, creative soul who I could hide out with at family functions when I didn’t want to talk to anyone else. I’ve lost an unspoken acceptance, a great connection, and an inspiring conversationalist.

Today, I will attend your funeral, and I am empty. I do not know what to say, how to react. I want to scream, to cry out, to honor you, and to never forget you. But who am I? Just one person of many, grieving.

It is crazy to believe that I will never see you again. Ever. My heart aches as I ponder this. I will never hear your soft laugh, or see that quiet smile that comes over your face and lights up your eyes – the one that your little brother could always evoke. I won’t ever see you wearing a blue suit. Or that awesome brown fedora often affixed to your head. I won’t hear you strumming a guitar, espousing the brilliance of The Beatles or recommending classic films.

In your honor, I finally watched Mildred Pierce with Joan Crawford. It was sad, and for me as a mother, strangely poignant. I’ve also viewed you and Sierra performing Feliz Navidad at our house on that Christmas Eve at least a half-dozen times. It’s hard to get through it without sobbing. I recall you needed a lot of convincing to play. I’m so very glad you did.

You were blessed with so many gifts, Kyle: your music, your art, your kindness. And memories of those are what I, and I’m sure many others, will treasure. I’m so sorry they weren’t enough to release you from your demons. I hope you find peace in Heaven, if that is truly where we go when we die. Just know that here on Earth, you will remain forever in my heart.



5 Comments leave one →
  1. Peg Bailey permalink
    February 13, 2016 11:23 pm

    Beautiful, poignant, sad … You are a good writer. Love Mom

    Sent from my iPad


  2. April 22, 2016 11:05 am

    So Sorry for your Loss!! This is so touching, I felt a deep sadness reading this. 26 is such a young age to leave this world!!
    I’m not sure who Kyle was, a relative, a friend, but seems like this person was somebody very close to your heart!!
    I wrote a similar appreciation, unable to cry, for my grandmother, on my Blog (March, last year), but she was 93!! And Bedridden!! Thus expected!!
    Take Care Bailey!!

    • May 1, 2016 9:20 am

      Thank you, Nuwan, for your kind words. Yes, he was/is very special to me. Even now emotions flow in waves. Losing people that we love is never easy, is it? No matter what the age.

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