|Theodore Petkus Jr.
Jan 8, 1962 - July 23, 1995
20 years ago I lost the person I loved most in the world, Ted. He was my best friend, made me swoon when I saw him in his tux, and was the most witty and charming guy I had ever met. He was a ball of contradictions and complications but that made him all the more interesting and when he died I was devastated. In my twenties I couldn't imagine being in my forties and being OK. I mean I knew of course life would go on but I couldn't imagine how I would ever get over the loss.
I have. Mostly. My Ted-ache is less stabbing, less all encompassing. I hated the saying but now I do agree: time heals all wounds. Never fully mending but at least thankfully not heartbrokenly open and gushing. Bearable. Not that I don't still miss him all the time or get mad at all he's missing out on. He would love how cool technology has become and would for sure own an iPhone. He would enjoy watching Suits with me. He would love Millennium Park.
Twenty years is a long time ago now and yet it went by really fast. I can only actually feel how long ago it is when I see pictures of how young we look. Although even looking at pictures of myself now I can't believe I am twenty years older. That's what time does-- it seems to creep by but really it goes by all too swiftly.
Is anyone dead? and Will it really matter in 5 years?
Because when you lose someone, and I have lost two of the men I loved, a lot of things seem silly to be upset about. Not that I am above diving into drama when I'm tired or annoyed or have forgotten... but I almost always catch myself because I never want to get separated from how fragile life is that I let something really stupid get me down.
I don't think of Ted every day now. Sometimes I don't even think of him weekly. But when the moments come they can be intense... but, then they pass. And I feel how lucky I am to have known him. To have laughed with him. And to selfishly be happy for another day to miss him. He wouldn't want me wasting too much time mourning, he wanted me to live a great life. I'm trying. And when I feel sad I know every year it gets easier to be with the sadness. Not because it's not there but because I'm stronger and I have healed the heartache a little with each passing year.
If you are sad about anything I hope you're getting strength and peace from wherever you can. And my wish is that time will help heal you too.