He’s really gone.

My son died.

My son died.
I know this isn’t news to any of you; however, some days it feels like new news to me. Like, I can’t honestly believe he’s gone. He’s really, really gone. 

Thank God for the saved voicemails and the YouTube videos he did because I can’t believe how long it’s been since I heard his voice or that laugh that starts at the bottom of his toes and works its way all through his body. It’s contagious. Was contagious. 

It’s been a million days since I talked to him or ran my hands through his hair telling him he needed a haircut. It’s been a million more since I told him I loved him and he smiled back at me with that twinkle in his eye. 

Some days I think I’m going to walk into his bedroom and expect to yell at him for how messy it is. And yet, when I walk in his room this morning, it’s neat and tidy and I sit down to work at my desk like he never lived in this room. 

My son died. 
He’s really, really gone. I try so hard not to look back at that fateful day, but every bit of it is burned into my brain and I relive all of its horribleness over and over again. And my heart feels shattered in a million pieces again and again. 

Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Regret and forgiveness tangled up in this mess that looks vaguely in my head like a ball of Christmas lights gone bad.

How can this be? He’s gone. He’s really, really gone.  

Sometimes I sit in front of his gravestone and trace the letters on his name. It’s like I am willing him back to life and if I just touch his name, say his name out loud, then poof it will magically all be okay again. But it’s not. It never is. 

Talking to that stone just isn’t the same. Dammit. It’s all different and wrong. It shouldn’t be this way. And, yet, it is. 

My Nikolai is gone. He’s really, really gone.