Asking “Why?” was me looking for an explanation. Asking “What if…?” is me looking for a way to relieve my guilt.
What if I had given Rob the money he owed on his back rent so he didn’t have to go to a loan shark?
What if I had known how deeply depressed he was and told him that he could come live with us again?
What if I had signed him up for health insurance and gotten him the anti-depressants he so desperately needed?
What if I had had a brutally honest conversation about him being bipolar and insisted that he see a psychiatrist?
What if I had known the right words to say to him that would’ve changed his mind so he’d still be here today?
What if I could’ve told him that the pain wasn’t permanent?
What if I had just been a better listener?
What if I hadn’t “detached with love” when I did and continued to be there for him no matter what shitty things happened for the rest of our lives?
What if I sent Rob to rehab last year instead of getting him into a sober house?
What if I could’ve done something else to help him stop drinking?
What if I had done more?
What if I could undo every mistake I ever made with Rob?
Knowing that all of these questions have the same answer doesn’t stop me from asking them every day.