Because I Have Questions

Last night was the closest I’ve come to going over the edge since Emily’s death. So close, in fact, that just about a dozen steps stood between us.

I knew Monday would be hard. I just felt it the moment I woke up — that darkness that has consumed me every day since the moment the doctor walked into the waiting room with a final blow. Every Monday has been hard because Mondays were our day. But it got even worse as I drove home from Knoxville. Every mile of the stretch between Cookeville and Lebanon was filled with tears and panic that I couldn’t seem to turn off.

I did some things that I’m ashamed of, but I’m not sure that those feelings are justified. It’s sometimes tricky business to distinguish between your head and your heart, and these times are no exception.

I feel overwhelmed by fear and the countless questions that keep lingering deep inside my head. But they’re questions I’m not sure I can ever ask anyone, and even if I did, I’m not sure it would provide an answer.

My Many, Many Questions for Emily

When I sat with Emily on Monday morning before I drove home from Knoxville, I finally threw out one of the many question I’ve been dying to ask her since she died (pun intended).

“If you could have made the choice, would you have stayed here on Earth with me?”

I keep thinking to myself, “This isn’t fair!” Not just because I’m stuck here without her (which sucks big time), but also because she still had so many things she wanted to do. She had a licensing exam to take. She had just started planning our wedding. She wanted to have a child. She planned to travel to all 50 states… the list goes on and on. Why wasn’t any of that allowed to come to fruition? It just makes no sense.

But, asking her if she would have chosen to stay isn’t the only thing I wish I could ask her. I have a whole list of things that, if I had the chance, I’d sit and ask her.

  1. Did you know how much I loved you?
  2. Were you happy with me?
  3. Did you feel satisfied with your life?
  4. Is there anything you regret about our relationship?
  5. Were you scared in those final moments?
  6. Did you know I was right there until the end?
  7. Could I have done anything to make those final few hours better?
  8. Did you get to see your funeral?
  9. Is there anything you never told me that you wish you had?
  10. What’s one thing you’d want me to do with my life?

My Questions for God and Others

As I played a game with some friends yesterday in hopes of distracting myself from my intrusive thoughts, one of my friends started shuffling cards since the draw pile was almost empty. Typically, I’ve always shuffled the discarded cards and placed them under the draw pile that still exists. However, my friend took the draw pile as well and shuffled everything.

The other friend and I questioned her about this method and explained the way we’ve always done it. As we debated it, I said something about needing to go through the cards. My friend replied with a very deep, thought-provoking question:

“Would that really change anything?”

It made me think about all the other questions that have been on my mind since October 19, because many of them hit on a similar thought. Nonetheless, they keep eating away at me, so maybe throwing them here into the depths of the internet will remove them from my brain. (Just don’t judge me, because some of them sound incredibly selfish.)

  1. Why did Emily have to die at that specific time?
  2. Why couldn’t I have died instead so she could have done more with her life?
  3. Was this some sort of punishment?
  4. What did I do wrong in all of this?
  5. Would it have mattered if I had taken Emily to the hospital sooner?
  6. Could I have done anything to prevent her death?
  7. Should I have done more to make sure she was caring for herself?
  8. Is there anything I should have done differently during the time I had with her?
  9. Will I ever get to see Emily again?
  10. If I decide to end my life now, will it change my ability to see her?
  11. Is there a reason why people who hurt me get to be happy but I don’t?
  12. Am I cursed in some way?
  13. Do people who die by suicide automatically go to Hell?
  14. Does Hell even exist? Am I already going there?

There Are No Answers

I think the most frustrating thing about all of this is that I have so many questions, yet none of them have answers. The guilt, the regrets, and the what ifs are eating me alive. I wish I could turn them off, but no amount of distraction seems to help. The questions just eat their way into my mind and ring like bells and over and over again.

Really, it’s not the answers I want. I want Emily back. And that can never happen. To quote Taylor Swift, “I’m never gonna meet what could’ve been, would’ve been, what should’ve been you.” And I have to live with that.

One thought on “Because I Have Questions

  1. Ah, you figured it out. You do have to live with that. Period. You are living in what I think of as the highest truth. Reality. Eventually your brain will settle into the fact that this is real. Right now, right here. I wanted to follow my mom. That was my immediate thought. I pictured myself floating up into the sky to be with her. Yea. For me, accepting the reality of it, though sad at times, is helping me to treat myself well.


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