It started with Storage Wars.
I have never seen a full episode of this show, yet in one of those odd turns of events and strings of coincidence, Storage Wars cut a little piece out of me tonight.
My cousin Christy, a rare Facebook poster, had the following status earlier:
I didn’t care and began to move dow,n when I noticed the comment string. Three identical posts. All by the same individual.
My former brother-in-law.
I have not seen him since the funeral of my husbands little sister, dead at the age of 23. He cried and wept and made me want to push him into the hole, to cover him with the dark, wet sod.
My fury at him was absolute. As so often is the case, anger came on the heels of death, and I turned it all toward him. Seeing him cry, seeing the other mourners console him made my blood boil.
Because he was done with her.
She died on February 1st. Just over a month after she was raped on Christmas Eve. And her husband, he couldn’t handle it. Less than two weeks later he was involved with another woman. He needed someone. He thought it best if they separated, so he could come to grips with things. The poor guy.
So my husband and I schlepped up and moved her home to live with her mother and try to reclaim her life, and tried to help her as best we could.
She was on medication, for anxiety, to sleep, for depression. A cocktail mixture her doctor prescribed to reel her erratic emotions in. One night the mixture produced some confusion, and she thought she hadn’t taken her pills, so she took them again. A simple mistake, and she never woke up.
When he left her, we went from loving him to hating him in an instant. So much of what had happened was his fault. He left her alone, without her keys or a ride home on Christmas Eve. He broke what was left of her when he turned to someone else to recover from her assault.
He walked away, checked out of their life of his own volition. And watching him at her funeral, felt like a slap. In retrospect, I know that he was surely grieving too, but then, it felt like a parade of hypocrisy and I hated him a little more for it. His quiet demeanor seemed to mock the unforgettable sounds of my husband’s grief, the terrible ache when I heard that a piece of my heart had been cut out.
Tonight, seeing his name, seeing that face I haven’t seen for nearly a decade brought a swift pain, a careless cut with a sharp knife. And I couldn’t help it. I clicked. And saw the pictures of his new wife, of their little girl.
We should have had a little girl like that in our lives, nieces and nephews to play with our son, but we were denied that. We were denied our sister, the little lovely that made us laugh and rage. The one who naively believed there was good in everyone, who couldn’t keep a secret and couldn’t pick out a new pair of shoes in under 5 hours.
And just like that, the wound was dug out from under the fresher pain, taken out of storage to dig claws in once again. I miss my friend, the sister I met when she was just twelve years old. I miss the man my husband was before she left, and the woman who was left behind in place of their mother.
So now that the door’s been pried open again, it’s me against me, vying for the control to pack it away again.