I will never forget the moment your heart stopped and mine kept beating. The moment my whole entire world collapsed in front of me. The thud of your beautiful caring heart had stopped and somehow mine had kept going. I had prepared for this moment for almost 4 months. Yet somehow it felt nothing like I thought it would. I was heartbroken like I expected but the most overwhelming feeling I felt was regret. It almost immediately made me feel sick because in those last few weeks you always made me promise that no matter what happened I would live with absolutely no regrets. Yet here I was moments after you had left me already feeling the greatest amount of regret I thought one could feel. But what really is regret? You always told me to live without it but what really is it? If you Google it you will get some awful definition about feeling sad or disappointed about something that has been done. Clearly, I was feeling that but I knew there had to be a deeper definition.
Maybe regret was not stopping you the moment I saw you outside that coffee shop on that brisk October morning holding your coffee tight with your right hand and fumbling with your keys in your left. Maybe regret was not stopping right then and there to help you with your keys and introduce myself. Instead, I took the coward move and ignored you and your coffee and your keys. Or maybe regret was not stopping you the next day I saw you or the next day after that for 3 months straight. But is that really what regret is? Maybe if I had stopped you that first day or even second the day something could have gone terribly wrong and we would have never developed the amazing relationship we had. Maybe if I had stopped you any sooner you would have gotten sick of me and my crazy messed up head full of feelings that I couldn’t fully understand.
Maybe regret was not spending more time with you before I knew before I knew you were dying. Before I knew that your whole entire body was made out of cancer. Before I knew I only had 6 months with you. Maybe it was not going for that late night taco run or not going dancing when you begged me too. Or maybe it was just not hugging you a little longer every time I saw you.
Maybe regret was letting you hate me for that one week in February hoping it would make all of your pain go away and give you one less thing to worry about when in the end it just made it worse. Or maybe regret was all those middle of the night thoughts I got where I almost picked up the phone and called you and screamed what I felt, but didn’t because I didn’t want to wake you.
Maybe regret was letting you think I just wanted to be friends. Always interrupting those conversations you had with your friends about how ‘just friends’ don’t look at each other like the way I looked at you. Or how ‘just friends’ don’t spend as much time together as we do. Maybe regret was making up excuses for always getting caught staring at you. Maybe regret was not saying screw friendship and walking up to you and kissing you.
In the end, maybe regret is all those things combined, but it’s been four days. Four long painful days since your heart stopped and mine kept beating. And in those four days, I've thought long and hard about what regret really is. And standing here over your body newly placed in the ground I think I have finally figured out the true meaning of regret: Not telling you I loved you before your heart stopped beating.
Its been four days and I think I finally pinpointed the real meaning of regret but that could all change tomorrow when I remember something else I didn’t do with you are get to say to you. Regret is an ever-changing thing. Every day I remember something we should have done or something I should have said. Its been four days and soon enough it will be four years and I will be getting coffee on an October morning and see someone who looks just ever so slightly like you with a coffee in one hand and keys in the other and something will come over me for a brief second that stops me in my tracks and makes me forget how to use my hands. And that ‘thing’ will always be: not telling you I loved you before your heart stopped beating. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep my promise.