It's sad that when things like this come up in my mind, I think of movie scenes. I wish that since I consider myself a literary person, I'd use more literary references when using metaphors. There are a few books I've read that can also convey what I'm about to mention, but as it stands, in this format, movies are just easier to cite.

Two movies come to mind. The Lion King and another one whose title is something like Gillian, on Her 37th Birthday. The first one I've seen several times and the second I've never seen but only the trailers. In the Lion King, there's a scene where Simba is visited by the spirit of his dead father, Mufasa. Mufasa reminds his son of his royal heritage that he has left behind due to a shameful involvement with his father's demise. As Mufasa's figure rolls away with the night clouds, Simba yells out, "Father, don't leave me."

The second movie, or rather a segment I've seen when watching a different rental, shows a man who is chasing the ghost of his dead wife on the beach. He and his family comes back to this beach house every year to celebrate his wife's birthday, and now, the next birthday after her death, she materializes before him. Since her death, another woman is vying for his attention, to which he is more than resistant, having not yet dealt with his wife's death. The segment I saw shows the man chasing his wife's ghost down to the shoreline. She calls behind him and playfully says, "Go play with the live girl."

It is easier to deal with death than the slow dissolve of someone from your life. It is like being visited by a ghost. It's a hollow pain that resonates within you like an echo. You don't want for there to be a cavern, for the voice to bounce around, but neither you nor that person can change stone and air. It just happens.

No one wants to close a door when it could easily be left gaping open. No one wants to be wrong once that door is closed. And often, all you can see is what you have already been given, the pattern of how it's always happened before. So you make a choice, to close the door so that the promise of leaving it open is outweighed by all the unwanted things an open door invites: bugs, dust, noise, rain. You decide that the whole of your house is worth saving at the expense of fresh air, that all you can do is pick that which will preserve the most of you, the lesser of two evils.

I've lost you. More and more, you slip away, and neither of us are really fighting it anymore. It is not worth being once more pushed away so that, maybe once, you would let me back in. Not when there are people all around me who are willing to give back what you could not, who are asking that I be in their lives. There will be times that I will conjure you up like a ghost and you will visit with me in my memories, and there will be a wry half smile waiting for such moments. But they will pass, just as you have passed from my life without even really being in it. You exit the same way you entered, as a hopeful blinking cursor on a screen. Goodbye Shmuel. Goodbye ralston. You will never be forgotten.

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