You will die as the person who hit rock bottom and will never be able to meet your other self, who, in a parallel universe, decided to stay. You will die as the person who got sucked into the black hole and decided it was too hard to crawl up its edges and tumble back out into the stars. It’s always possible for you to travel to that parallel universe and shake the hand of the version of yourself who stayed and thank them for not giving up. And if you stay, you’ll become that person, and the two parallel universes will align to one.
In the history of science, there are so many disruptions in the fabric of time and space. So many ripples and waves spread through the solar system and move the planets every day, send comets spiraling down to earth, and whenever someone dies, another tiny hole is ripped in the fabric. It’s nowhere near being torn to shreds, but it’s quite certain that at least 1/140th of it is so pockmarked and beaten up that it’s beyond recognition.
But whenever someone who was planning to die chooses to live, one of the already-existing holes closes.
Mending is not always easy, but it is always an option.
Maybe you think this will be painless and quick, like slipping into sleep or a dream state in which nothing ever happens. But the reality is something’s gonna hurt, and it won’t just be you. They say that thunder is God’s belly rumbling, and rainstorms are his tears. But when you put the knife to wrist or gun to head, the wailing that’s going to echo around your fallen body is going to be twenty times louder than God’s rain, and it’s going to come from the mouths of the people who loved you most. In situations like these, they will miss you down to every last cell, down to the marrow, down to the bone.
And yeah, the universe won’t stop just because you’re no longer a part of it, just because you’re dead. The Earth isn’t going to stop orbiting around the sun and people aren’t going to suddenly quit making their beds every morning. In the grand scheme of human history, your disappearance will only be a needle puncture in the vast fabric of eons.
But when you add up all the needle punctures your death is gonna poke in the people that loved you or had dirty sex with you or the people you fought with constantly but adored with a passion, the people who gave to you unconditionally, who always texted you back and looked at you with eyes so deep even staring back felt like falling into a well, that’s more than just acupuncture. That is miles and miles of goddamn beaten-up roads covered with potholes so gaping even the toughest cement could never fill them all the way to the brim. They’re going to miss you, and they’re going to miss you bad.
But all this isn’t meant to make you feel guilty. It’s meant to make you realize that even on the days when the sky feels like it’s falling on your head like in Chicken Little, then outer space and all the planets decide to crash down on you too, that someone out there is going to be affected.
There is someone right now in this very universe who’s going to be the first to hold your cold, limp hand after the bullet has passed through, the person who will kiss your forehead, the sixth-grade history teacher who will cry reading your suicide note. The homeless man who will read about your death in the paper and think of his daughter, the best friend that will forever feel your absence walking beside her. Your mom, who’s never going to help you pick out flowers for prom or feed you chicken soup when you’re sick in bed.
But in the parallel universe, where your other version is waiting, the version who stayed, there’s the person who’s going to hold your warm, firm hand when they get down on one knee and ask you to marry them, the person who will kiss your forehead every morning you wake up, the sixth-grade history teacher who will still write you letters ever year to say how proud they are of all your college accomplishments. The homeless man who will read about you in the paper for leading the first suicide prevention program in your community, who will think of how his daughter could have been saved by someone like you. The best friend that will stand beside you on your wedding day and smile with tears in her eyes when you throw the bouquet or kiss the bride. Your mom, who’s going to ask you to choose between hyacinth or roses for prom, who will feed you chicken soup on the worst days of the flu.
And then there’s you, the other version of you, that is, who is standing there in that parallel universe with their arms outstretched, waiting for the hug that will cause both universes to also embrace one another and pull together until they become one, until the universe in which you left and the universe in which you stayed join to form the universe in which you chose to live.
All you have to do now is reach out your hand.