Regardless of how much pain or joy this person caused me, he was my first love. He showed me a lot of the world, some of which I wish I had never known. He changed me, removed the innocence of youth, stood by my side in some painful situations. He was one of my first experiences of adulthood and he helped me learn what I did and did not want out of life. He caused some lasting damage that has made my relationships since then a struggle. He did a lot of things for reasons I didn't understand. One thing I do understand is that I loved him. I was still very young and had a lot of growing to do, but that fact is unchangeable.
Since his passing I have taken the time to mourn him. I found the box that I kept our old things in. Things I had long forgotten about. Love notes, a card from flowers, an anniversary gift with a note about how he'd love me forever. This box was opened many times, since that relationship was on again, off again. Each time it ended more things were put in the box, and each time we came back together I would open it again and we would remember how we'd been before. I hadn't even thought about this box in years, and I have known for quite some time there would never be anything more to add to it. Looking through this box, at the pieces of him, the secrets we shared, the love and pain that he gave me... it helped me realize that he will never be back again. I will always know that our relationship was something else. Not healthy, but different than anything I'd known before or anything I'd let myself get into afterward. I will always love that man in a special way, but I almost breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I won't have to witness (or try to help) his suffering anymore.
Chris has been here with me while I've processed and dealt with this. Every day he becomes more and more wonderful than I had anticipated. I am lucky to be loved by a man like him, and he inspires me to work towards being a better person. I hope that some of my issues surrounding relationships will die along with my first love, allowing me the freedom I need to continue to grow into a happy, healthy person.
May my first love rest in peace, and in death finally feel the warmth and support those around him attempted to provide to him in life.