A Mourner’s Guilt

Little Guy and I are at the old house today.  Housesitting ended, and we don’t have anywhere else to go without imposing on anyone.  We took a walk in the neighborhood.  Little Guy started talking about the day that his daddy went to the woods and died.  He seemed hurt by the fact that his dad had gone for a walk without him that morning.  Little Guy had tried to go with him, but Ex told him, “Go back inside.”  He did.

I asked Little Guy if he had watched him from the window in the house, but he said, “no.”

I asked Little Guy if he started playing with Legos when he went back inside because that was what he was doing when I picked him up.  He said, “no.”  

I asked Little Guy if his daddy had made him breakfast that morning.  He said, “yes.”

I asked Little Guy if his daddy had told him that I was going to pick him up that morning.  He misunderstood me and said, “Nope, my dad didn’t say he was going to pick me up again.”

I so wanted to find out what happened that morning, but I know I’ll have to wait until Little Guy is older before I find out more of the story.  

I remember packing Little Guy up in the car that morning when I had finally gotten him dressed about an hour after I arrived.  Ex still hadn’t shown up.  I remember thinking, ‘Ex is out there, dead or alive, he’s nearby.’  I told Little Guy to holler out to him before we left, in case Ex could hear him.  He hollered and got no response.  I half wanted to go and look for him right then, and I half wanted to just get the hell out of there and get Little Guy to a safe place so I could come back and find Ex.  I picked the second option.

I wonder what would have happened if I had chosen the first, going to look for him right then, when he was probably still alive, according to the Coroner’s report.  He was sitting there in the woods waiting for us to leave, waiting to know that he was alone and Little Guy was safe.  What would Ex have done?  Would he have pulled the trigger if I approached him?  Would he have let me talk him out of it and gotten in my car and let me take him somewhere he would be safe and maybe still alive now?  Would he have pulled the trigger on me?  I doubt it.  What would I have done if I had found Ex dead while I still had Little Guy with me?  That would have been AWFUL!  What a terrible, nightmarish memory that would have made for Little Guy.  

I know that it’s not my fault, any of it, and that I’m not responsible for his death.  It was his choice.  I guess I’m not done what-if’ing when I shouldn’t.  I can’t change the past.  I can only accept it and make the most of the present.  

Last night’s Yogi Tea fortune read, “Those who live in the past limit their future.”  I couldn’t help but think about Ex first.  He spent so much time living in his past and trying to overcome it.  Then, I turned my thoughts on myself and prayed silently to the stars that I would overcome this event and feel normal again, soon.

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