For the first time since Nate died, I'm actually feeling pretty good. There's a sense of peace I haven't felt in a long time. But it's a new kind of feeling, since there's still this hole that Nate left. It's confusing to feel happy and hopeful while still in a state of mourning. I sometimes feel guilty for it, though I know it's okay.
One thing that's helping me is working on the Big Scary Monster comic book. It feels like my duty to keep this character alive, this thing that Nate and I created together. And when I'm drawing his character doing new things, it's almost like he's hanging out, thinking up ideas with me. I work on it every day, at least a little, before or after work, whenever I get a chance. This weekend is going to be a marathon of drawing, which is exciting.
There is this one new thing that's been happening. Lately I've been finding myself at the viewing again. Not in a dream, but awake. I close my eyes and I'm standing in front of his open casket. I remember all the details of how I last saw him, vivid as if he's right there. And I keep going back there, over and over, as if a part of me was left there in that room at that time. It makes it hard to fall asleep, and I have to work to think of other things.
It's only been about four months, but it feels like an extremely long time ago that Nate was still around. The heavy weight filling my chest is still there, but the pain is less raw, not getting better exactly, but becoming more manageable.
I'll leave this with a good memory. A few weeks before the accident, Mollie and I went up to Alpharetta to spend a day playing paintball with him and some of his friends. Afterwards we went to eat sushi, and then watched Hellboy 2 at his house. It was so great just spending the day with him like that. The first time we'd done that in so long. I saw my future full of days like those, playing music and going on adventures. It was a great feeling.