When I was a child, I had night terrors, or something like them, quite often. So, I remember sleeping with my light on for many years.
Since I received that phone call, I have become afraid of the dark. In the beginning, it was because I felt such a strong presence in the house all of the time- whether it was Dan himself, God, or a self-awareness- me watching my self- I'm not sure. But I had friends sleep over every night for at least the first ten days. And then after I was left alone, I would have to be in my bed by 10 pm and tired enough to just turn out the light and quickly pull up the covers and close my eyes.
Just now I left my room and went into the kitchen to throw something away and felt the fear a little bit. As I did when this first happened, I imagined Dan jumping out at me from behind the walls- in my mind, he would literally jump and have his hands open in the shape of a wave, and his eyes wide. It is not a comforting image. I think my brain is just looking for him- wondering where he went. It is a long time now since I've seen his living face. Almost two months.
The darkness- all that we don't know- the uncertainty of the world we find ourselves in- and especially what comes next.
After the kitchen, I stopped off in our closet...smelled Dan's shirt- the one that smells the strongest. It is so strange how life-giving it is to me...that scent. I sigh after I breathe it in. And then tonight- I peered into the dark corner of the closet behind the door to see if the suit I'd picked out for him to be buried in, was really, truly gone, or if perhaps I would still find it there. It was gone.