Thousands of people in the world die every day, which is one good reason – but not the only one – to say “I love you.” It is painful to lose someone to death. It can be even more painful to lose them to life, to feel them slowly slipping away, to watch them fade into shadows.
One day you let go of my hand and got swept up in the crowd. I watched more and more people come between us. I reached out for you. I called out for you. But I couldn’t get through.
And then I lost you. You were lost. And I was lost. And we lost each other.
And I hated myself for not being able to find you. And I hated you for disappearing. And I hated that we could live in a world where it was so easy to lose someone. And I worried that I hadn’t said “I love you” enough.
I have been searching for you ever since, in the most painful and desperate of hopes. I have caught glimpses of you in strangers. I have seen so many faces that could be yours. Things could have been different. I should have held onto your hand tighter. I shouldn’t have let you let go.
Thousands of people in the world get lost every day, which is one good reason – but not the only one – to hold someone’s hand. I still have yours in mine. I cling to the memory of it as tightly as I should have held onto the real thing. It’s the only way I know how to tell you that I’m sorry.
And I am sorry. I’m sorry for you that you are lost. I’m sorry for me for losing you. I’m sorry that I didn’t do more to save you. I’m sorry that all my life I’ve stood and watched you drift further and further away, that I’ve let you disappear into the crowd, that I’ve allowed you to fade into shadows. I should have provided more light.
It hurts to wait. It hurts even more not to know what you’re waiting for, what you’re hoping for, if there will ever be an end to such undefined longing. It hurts most to wait when waiting is all you can do.
But I will wait for you. If I could tell you something, it would not be I’m sorry or even I love you, although both are true. It would be that I am still here, reaching out, calling for you. It would be that I haven’t stopped searching, or hoping, or feeling the weight of your hand in mine. I would tell you that there is a better life waiting for you, if only you would come back and find it.
I would tell you that thousands of people in the world die every day, which is one good reason – but not the only one – to keep living. I would beg you not to give up.