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Maybe I Should Have



Maybe I should have heard you when you said you had to go. That we fell out of love. That you had to do what was best for you. Maybe I should have just let you go. I should have kept all the words I used like weapons locked up tight. I should have kept my mouth shut. I should have begged you to stay. I should have let my anger show less and my hurt show more. I should have cried and pleaded and demanded that you hold on. Just wait. Wait a little bit longer for the moment to pass. For you to come to your senses and remember who I am. To remember that you promised me forever. I should have stopped blaming you. I should have seen that I played my part too. I should have stopped accusing you. Of being selfish. Of breaking your promise. Of deserting me. Maybe I should have told you that I needed you. We needed you to keep our family whole. That nobody would be here to keep me safe if you were gone. That I was afraid be left all alone.


Maybe I should have put my pride aside and seen that you were hurt too. That you felt unimportant. Discarded. Dismissed. Like everything else mattered more than you. That laundry and dinner and playdates took priority over you. That I was too distracted to see you anymore. That I didn't need you the way I had before. That I didn't want you anymore. I should have told you how I felt. I should have shown you what you were to me. That you mattered. Maybe I should have given more of myself to you. I should have done less for you and more with you. I should have been more present. More focused. More invested. Maybe I should have remembered who you were. Who we were together. Maybe I should have seen that you didn't want to leave but that you wanted more.


Maybe I should have worked on myself a long time ago. I should have peeled back all the layers and healed all the wounds. I should have fixed all the broken pieces and discovered who I was so that I could have been more whole for you. I should have been more sure of myself and trusted in how I felt. I should have had less doubt and more love for myself. I should have been less defensive and more understanding. I should have seen that you weren't asking to be taken care of but wanted to be wanted. To come first. I should have thought of you less as demanding and more as wanting more of my time. I should have had more compassion and empathy and given us both more grace.


Maybe I should have had the courage to find my voice. To speak my truth. To make a change. I should have admitted that we had changed. That it wasn't the same anymore. That I missed the way it was. I should have tried harder to understand why. I should have tried to figure out how to find our way back to where we were before. I should have put everything else aside and stopped ignoring what I knew to be true. I should have recognized that I had a choice. That I wasn't asking for too much. That I deserved to be happy too. I should have talked to you. I should have asked you how we could find each other again. I should have never let you go.


Maybe I should have paid more attention after you left. I should have seen that you were not the person I knew. That you were becoming someone else. Something else was taking over. Something dangerous. I should have tried harder to understand. I should have quieted my own fear and judgment and seen that you were losing the fight. I should have stopped seeing you as the enemy and seen you as who you were. I should have ignored the worry I had that it wasn't my place to care for you anymore. That maybe I was mistaken. That I was reading into it too much. I should have trusted my intuition. I should have spoken up. I should have confronted you. I should have done something else.


Maybe I should have insisted you get help. To talk to someone. To go to rehab. To surrender yourself. I should have picked my jaw up off the floor and recognized your struggle. I should have stopped assuming you were making bad choices and started seeing that you were drowning. That you were no longer in control. That you were falling off a cliff. I should have stepped in. I should have asked questions. I should have made decisions for you. I should have let you know that I was here and that you weren't alone and that everything was going to be okay. I should have reacted. I should have done something, anything, to make sure you were going to survive.


Maybe I should have known that you would leave this Earth. I should have seen that your hope was gone and you didn't see any way out. I should have felt it in my soul but my connection to you was gone. You weren't mine anymore. You felt so far away from me. I should have understood that that much distance had nothing to do with me and everything to do with how much pain you were in. How dark it must have been where you were. How alone you must have felt. I should have seen the signs. I felt you drifting away. I should have tried to pull you back. I should have reached out and grabbed you and never let you go.


Maybe I should have let my feelings come after you were gone. I should have poured them all out and let them come, one by one. I should have fought less and accepted more. I should have stopped trying to hide my grief. I should have let the tears flow. I should have let the anger scream and the defeat drag me to the ground. I should have allowed myself to cry and hurt and rage. I should have given myself permission to break down. I should have known that there were no answers. That there never would be. That you were no longer here to tell me why. Nothing and everything about it made sense. I should have understood that I couldn't have known. That there was nothing I did or didn't do to keep you here any longer. I should have found forgiveness for us both. For being human. For doing our best. I should have stopped feeling like you left me all alone. I should have just let you go.



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