I Didn't Know You
It's always difficult to lose someone. From family members to close friends to beloved pets, it's difficult to say goodbye to some you love and know inside and out. How do you say goodbye to someone you realize you knew nothing about?
I thought I knew you. I watched you grow. I watched you live. I watched you become afraid. I watched you deteriorate slowly. I watched as you stopped eating and feared it was finally your time to go. I watched you in surprise when you improved. I watched you as you received medical attention and hoped you would finally become well and happy. I watched as you protested medicine and treatment forced on you and cried when you stopped eating again. I watched you as I prayed you would keep healing. My shock at your death was accompanied by relief that you would suffer no more. I thought I knew you, but I realize I know nothing about you.
I thought I knew you were wild and deserved to be free. I realize I was foolish to think I could make you happy. You should have been free! You should have been wild and beyond my reach. Why did I keep you under lock and key and thought you would be happy? Why did I think I knew you? I never believed you cared for me. I wasn't so blind that I couldn't see that you merely tolerated me. When did it turn to mistrust and fear?
I'm a fool, a guilty horrible fool. I should have seen that you received care earlier. I should have done something! I should have freed you. I should have. I should have. I should have. But it's too late now, isn't it? I can weep for you. My hot, bitter tears mean nothing to you even if you could see them. What are tears and sadness and regret to one whom has never known them? It's pathetic, I know. Guilt will eat away at me, forbidding me from ever forgetting my foolish pride. I couldn't make you happy.
I failed. I couldn't fail you; you had no expectations of me. I failed myself. I can only promise in your memory that I will never be so foolishly proud again.
I'm sorry. Forgive me for never knowing you. I realize I could never have known you. You were beyond humankind's knowledge. And with that realization comes the knowledge that I love you anyway. I'd love you if you cursed me. I'd love you if you punished me. I loved you while you shrank from me. I did not know you, but I love you.
With my love for you, I see that you could never have known that I cared for you. As you were beyond my knowledge, I was beyond yours. You couldn't see I loved you. You couldn't see I watched you. You couldn't see that you should trust me and not fear me. You didn't know that I couldn't know you.
You didn't know me.
Yet, I love you.