In filling out that book 642 Things About You That I Love for Jim I came across this prompt:
This is what I believe about you—
My answer came easy. I really believed that you could save yourself. I’m still shocked that it’s not true. I believed you were more powerful than death.
A lot of what I’ve felt since Jim died is shock. There are still the bewildering realizations that he’s never coming home but also this sense of disbelief that my sweet man was actually able to be killed. Something in me was convinced he had the power to prevent that.
While rolling trash cans to the curb this week—a task that wasn’t all mine until 6 months ago—it occurred to me that actually I was right. With a soul the size of his, Jim was too powerful to die. I see myself as Jim's legacy-keeper—the job that came with the privilege of getting to have him at all is keeping him alive once he’s gone. It's not hard. There is so much good to hang on to.
I don’t focus my attention on life after death. Now is what matters to me, but no matter what I might believe about the soul and life after we die, I can treat Jim’s death as absence not disappearance. Like I mention perhaps too often, you don’t live as large as he did and just vanish once you’re not breathing. By way of my unabating memorialization, that man’s not going anywhere.
I have scads of little love notes from Jim. When my mom asked for copies of a few [of the chaste ones] I was delighted to oblige. They’re too good for me not to share. Enjoy. And maybe do this: pick up the nearest scrap of paper and write your person a love note. It doesn’t need to be fancy or poignant or a work of literary art. Just take a sec to be you loving your someone while you’ve got the opportunity to do it.