My love, my forever person, killed himself on 2/20/2020. I’m a writer, writing helps. A little. I wanted to share something I wrote to help me cope. I hope it helps you too. Even just a little. I cringe as I run my fingers through my still wet hair. It’s more difficult towards the ends, and a smattering of strand tips break off at my gentle unraveling. It’s orange. Neon yellow-blonde and bright at the roots, but distinctly copper orange at the bottom. It was red, before. Sort of a fire-engine and mahogany color that your mother expertly applied a few months ago. Before the red it was black, you and I dyed our hair to match. Mine eventually faded to brown while your natural red (not unlike the orange-copper of my ends right now) broke through the jet in no time. I thought about dyeing it black again. Apropos for a funeral, and something (albeit a small, unimportant thing) that we shared. I hold on to everything, anything concerning you no matter how small. Everything and anything concerning you, no matter how small, is important to me. Always was, but more so, now. I decided against the maudlin tableau of the grieving lover with black hair. I’m trying to get it back to its natural color instead. At least, as close as I can get it in one week’s time to the ashy, dishwater blonde of my roots in winter. I need to let it heal for awhile. The bleach was necessary damage, a step backwards to provide stability for two steps forward. I drank the other night. I know you’d be upset about that, but it was also necessary damage, also a step backwards to steady me for what lies ahead. A lifetime, my love. A lifetime without you. I need to let myself heal for awhile. I’ll likely grow out, in time. The damage done; the acrid, devitalizing pain of your loss will be cut away, slowly, like frayed and broken ends of over-processed hair. Replaced, in time, by new growth. Strength. I hope.