Status: In process.

Three Words You Never Want to Hear

Saying Goodbye

I lit up a cigarette, staring blankly at the small television screen in front of me.

Daytime television was always so dull and meaningless, chat shows with tarted up middle aged women, discussing younger, richer, women’s fashion choices and making snide remarks about their appearances, despite the fact that none of them had any fashion sense themselves. Flicking through the channels was a tedious task, one that I didn't put much thought into as I flicked past the talk show hosts and gaming shows, the so-called reality television shows about girls that looked like they’d been thrown at the sun and dipped in foundation. It was all so fucking pointless. Who cares about what these stuck up celebrities think of other stuck up celebrities? They were living the life, and we’re expected to find entertainment in watching other people gain things they don’t deserve?

“Frank, sweetie?”

I didn’t answer, my mind loosing itself in the pleasure of bad mouthing celebrities I didn't really care about. It was all just a distraction.

“Frank? Frank!” My mom sped around the corner and into my living room, a look of horror and then relief on her face. “Frank! What have I told you? When I call you, I expect an answer.”

“Don’t worry, I haven’t topped myself.”


“Don’t call me that, you know I hate it.”

“Sorry,” she dropped the shopping bags she held onto the dining table in front of me. “I brought you some more food-“

“I can do my own shopping.”

“Are you sure?” She walked over to my kitchen, opening the fridge door. “Two eggs, half a pint of milk… and a cucumber. Are you even eating?”

“I’m not hungry.”

“All the time?”

“Stay out of it, Mom. I’m a grown-ass man, I can feed myself.”

“Evidently, that’s not true.”

“Evidently, you need to leave,” I snapped, my eyes still on the television.

“Frank,” she said disapprovingly, as I heard the fridge door close. “I’m only trying to help.”

“What, like feeding me is going to bring him back?” I barked, finally breaking eye contact with the television. I turned towards her, her face horror-struck. “Don’t look at me like that. You shouldn't barge in here-“

“I did not barge in here,” she shook her head walking towards me. “You gave me a key-“

“No, you had a key cut so that you could come and go whenever you please. “

“I’m just worried about you. We all are-“

“I don’t care! Okay? I don’t give a shit! I’m not gonna top myself if I’m left alone for more than five minuets!” I yelled, knocking over the table as I stood up.

Her face softened, as if my anger somehow calmed her. I hadn't been very responsive after he had first died, so I guess my anger was some kind of ray of hope for her. You know, since I was actually displaying so sort of emotion.

I took a drag of my cigarette, bending down to pick up the coffee table.

“Frankie, please. I know that this is hard for you. It’s hard for all of us,” her tone had softened just as much as her face had, and I could see that she was being sincere.

“Hard for all of us? He’s my boyfriend,” I replied harshly, sitting back down and re-lighting my cigarette, which didn't seem to be staying lit for very long. It was as if everything that could go wrong in my life, even the smallest of things, would go wrong.

“I know he was-“

“Is. He is my boyfriend.”

“Right,” my mom sat down besides me, her forehead scrunched up in concern. “All I’m saying is, you know that everyone is in the same- or similar, boat as you, and we’re all having a hard time letting go-“

“He’s been gone for three weeks, and people are already telling me to move on. I’m sick of it. I can’t just… he’s my… I mean… “ I stuttered, silencing myself with a drag of my cigarette, which seemed to be finally cooperating with me.

My mom shifted slightly in her seat, her hand twitching as if she wanted to reach over and somehow attempt to comfort me. It would be no use of course.

“Frankie, I only came over to check in on you… and… “ she hesitated, clearly afraid of my reaction to whatever was about to come out of her mouth. “Your eulogy. How’s that going?”

I shook my head, unable to speak. A lump had suddenly formed in my throat, making it hard for me to breathe. Of course, it constantly felt like a battle to breathe these days, every day harder than the last. I scrunched my eyes shut, trying to keep it together. My mom had seen me break down far too many times since his passing, and I had even come close to breaking my damn wrist in a violent outburst after she had suggested I see a therapist. I didn't need to sit down with a stranger and reflect on my time with him. I was re-living every second I had spent with him everyday in my own mind, in my dreams, in my day-dreams, in the laugh of a stranger that sounded vaguely like him. I breathed hard, trying to stop myself from shaking. I could feel my hands trembling uncontrollably, and I had to remind myself that my mother would not like to see me this way.
“Mom,” I whispered, my eyes still closed. “I don’t want to do this. I can’t.”

“I know, honey,” she whispered back, and I felt her hand on my shoulder. “It’s not fair.”

“I can’t stand up there in front of everyone he knew and tell them about us.. it hurts, too much. I can’t.”

“I get it. Okay? I understand. I know how it feels to love someone as deeply as you did-“

“Do,” I breathed, barely controlling my shaking hands.

“As deeply as you do, and although I haven’t experienced lose in the way that you have, I can barely imagine the kind of pain you must be in right now. If anything ever happened to you, for example… I… I can imagine I’d feel just as awful as you must.”

“Not helping,” I croaked, tears now freeing themselves from beneath my eyelids.

I felt my mom’s hand brushing against me. “I am so sorry.”

“Saying sorry… won’t do anything,” I choked, each word impossible to utter. “Saying sorry… won’t bring him back.”

“I know.”

There was silence for a moment as I heard my mom turn off the television. Silence didn't help. Silence was poison to me. I hated it.

“I can’t think of what to write… I mean.. funeral’s are not for the dead. They’re for the living. I know that. But… there’s so much I needed to say to him. I know he won’t hear it, I know it’s stupid but… I want to.. I want to address my eulogy to him. Not them.”

I heard my mom sigh sympathetically.

“Then write it to him. If that’s what it takes for you to feel some kind of closure, if any, then you need to follow your heart.”


“Did it hurt?”

Gerard turned around, a smile etched onto his face. He tilted his head, as if trying to see me more clearly.

“No. It was like falling asleep… but much more peaceful.”

I frowned. “How’re you hear? Where are you?”

He gave a small chuckle that echoed across the brightly lit room. In fact, it was a room lit so bright I was sure my eyes were meant to be burning, but they weren’t.

“I’m with you,” he grinned, outstretching his hand towards mine.

I took, eagerly, and was stunned to find that I could feel him. I had half expected my hand to swish through thin air.

“Am I…?” I trailed off, my eyes meeting his. I could see my stunned reflection within them.

“Dead?” He laughed again, shaking his head. “No. You’re only dreaming.”

I felt a pang inside of my chest. “I wish I was.”

“No, you don’t,” I’d expected to see concern written on his face, but he just continued grinning. “You wish you were with me.”

I took in his words, not fully understanding them. Nothing made sense here. I mean, where were we? I would have taken a closer look at my surroundings, but I didn't want to miss out on a second of Gerard.

“To be with you… I’d have to be…”

“You can say it, Frank. It’s not a dirty word.”

“Gerard,” I breathed, stroking his soft cheek. “I miss you so much.”

“I know, baby,” he nodded, now looking a little more concerned. “But you’ll be okay.”


“It’ll heal,” he stroked my chest, right where my heart was.

Tears sprung to my eyes. How could he say that? It wasn’t possible.

“I promise you, it’ll heal, Frankie,” he placed a delicate kiss onto my lips. I savoured the moment, wishing I could freeze time.

“It’ll never heal without you,” I croaked, shaking my head. “I’m so sorry I didn't say goodbye properly. I didn't do anything to comfort you…”

“It doesn't matter,” his smile seemed a little forced now. “I wasn’t scared. I wanted it, in the end.”

“I love you,” I whispered. I could see the brightness of the room being to fade. “I love you, Gerard Way.”

“Until death do us part,” he smiled, taking his hand from mine. “It’s time to move on.”

I suddenly found that I could no longer speak, no matter how hard I tried to. I wanted to reach out for him, to stop him from fading away, but I couldn’t. I watched in agony as he disappeared, and I was awoken to a harsh reality.

Gerard Way was gone.


What is the meaning of life?

Well, that's a question that has been asked since the beginning of time and a question which has never been given an answer. I've pondered over this question only a few times in my life, and every time I've tried to draw a conclusion that makes sense and that is reassuring I've ended up starting from the beginning all over again.

The truth is, everyone wants to believe that the answer is a good one. That someday there will be a reason for everyone's suffering. No one likes to admit that someday they aren't going to exist anymore, that they're lives are virtually pointless. You aren't going to remember your life when you're gone, all your memories, interests, friends, family, music tastes, everything will be gone.

Back to how it was before you were born. Nothingness.

Why so negative, you ask? I once believed that there was a reason for life, that when my time came I'd go to a better place. I'd never been too religious, but I had believed that everything would work out in the end. That had been until I had lost the most important person in my life.

When you loose someone that you'd die for, you loose interest in it all. You give up on everything, you don't want to be here without them. It makes you re-think everything.

When I lost him, it was unbearable. I had been a walking zombie, barely alive myself. At his funeral I had sat there in a trance, wishing it were all a dream. Thinking that maybe life in general was just a dream. I had sat there staring at where he lay, not being able to see him, but even if I had been able to, I know I wouldn't have recognised him.

You see, I had always had this vision. A dream, if you'd like. That someday, we'd grow old together, have grandchildren maybe, although he had told me he didn't want children. I'd imagined us sitting together, all old and tired, watching the world pass by us. We'd die together at a very old age, and when the time came we'd both be ready. We'd welcome it.

My dream had fallen to pieces. As I had listened to different family members go up to the front of the Church and talk about him, I hadn't heard a word. Everyone around me was in tears. I sat there in silence, accepting the fact that my life was officially over. Accepting that he was gone, and that someday I would be too.

I watched as Mikey buried his face into his mother’s chest, tears streaming down his face. A defeated man. He looked as if he’d never recover, with bags under his eyes that I was sure were unremovable, and wrinkles suddenly visible to me that I hadn’t really noticed before. His entire frame looked different to me now that I actually took a second to really see him. He was skinnier than before, and his shoulders slumped in a way that I had only seen in the elderly. His hair clearly hadn't been touched, probably not because he didn't care, but because he couldn't bring himself to even try.

I thought about what Gerard would think of that. Would he have been pissed that his brother had seemingly made no effort to look even somewhat presentable for such an occasion? I thought not, knowing Gerard he would have been compassionate and understanding. He would have given his younger brother the tightest hug he could ever manage, and would have told him that he totally understood how his brother was feeling, and that he was sorry that he was the one causing him all this pain.

I wondered if Mikey would ever recover from this. I thought he had as much chance as I had.

I watched his mother, with distaste, comforting her youngest son. She hadn't given a shit about either one of them, even when he had broken the news of her son’s cancer, and yet here she sat, tears glistening in her eyes, acting as if she actually deserved to be here. She should have paid more attention to the both of them when they were both still here. I wondered if maybe guilt had set in last minute, and she’d realised what a monumental failure she had been to them. I noticed her husband hadn’t decided to even make an appearance. Not that it mattered all that much.

I wondered if Gerard would have forgiven her as easily as Mikey had. I wondered if he’d be happy that she’d even shown up at all. What did it matter? He wasn't here. My fists clenched. Oh, how I wished I could say something to her, make her see that coming here didn't make her actions any better. She couldn't take away the years she had wasted. Again, not that it mattered.

I watched as family member after family member made their way to the front to say a few words about the man they knew. I watched them cry, I watched them laugh, somehow, at the memories they had shared with him. I learnt more than I could have ever imagined about the man that I had thought I had known so well. I stared at his coffin, wondering if they had made him look presentable enough for my standards. The decision of a closed casket had probably been for the best. Looking at it now, it didn't feel like the man I loved was lying inside of it. And he wasn’t. He was gone.

“And now, we’d like to take a few words from a very special friend of Gerard’s, Mr Frank Iero.”

I scowled at the phrasing “special friend”, and walked, with heavy feet, towards the front.

I was suddenly aware of every single person in the room, their eyes boring into my back as I approached Gerard’s coffin.

I can’t really describe how I felt in that moment. I don’t think it’s possible to describe with words. If anything, I think it was more of a numb feeling. I don’t think I really felt anything. It was like my body had shut itself down in an attempt to make things easier. For the first time in weeks, I wasn't an uncontrollable mess.

Maybe it meant I had moved on. Maybe it meant my heart couldn't take anymore.

“Gerard was an amazing person,” I began, my voice quivering as I read from the crumbled piece of paper I had written on the night before. Inspiration had hit me last minute. “He was an amazing friend, an amazing son, an amazing boyfriend, and an amazing brother.”

I caught sight of Mikey, his eyes glued to me. Funerals were for the living, not for the dead.

“Hearing all the stories you all had to share, I can see now that Gerard didn't only make my life absolutely incredible, but he touched all of yours just as much. He loved every single one of you with a great passion. We’d stay up nights in a row, just talking about how much he loved each and every one of his friends. He’d tell me how much he loved his little brother, and how much it hurt him to see his brother in pain. I’d comfort him, of course, and tell him that none of this was his fault. He didn't choose this, and he shouldn't have felt guilty about it. But he did. He was the most, honest, kind, sweet man any of you will ever know, and to be honest… I don’t think we’ll ever know anyone like him ever again.”

I caught his mother’s eye, and she looked away shamefully. Good.

“Not everything in Gerard’s life was perfect, but he made sure that everything in mine was. I wish I could have taken his place, or better yet, I wish we had both lived long and happy lives.” This was when my emotions began to resurface, and I was suddenly aware just how much pain I was really in. “I want to believe that Gerard is in a better place… but what better place is there than being with the people you love the most? I… I know that he was okay in the end.. he wasn't scared anymore. That matters… he was so scared, and so was I. I still am, but Gerard… I truly believe he has found peace. Where that is, I don't know, but I know that Gerard was happy with what he had. So thank you, for being there for him. And thank you, for being here today.”

I stepped forward, placing a hand on top of the coffin. This, was what misery felt like.

I felt hands on my shoulders. Mikey.
Clearly, more time had passed than I had noticed. People were muttering to each other in the stands, looking concerned. I wondered just how bad I must look to them, a shaking blubbering mess.

“I loved him,” I cried, my voice echoing across the hall. “I loved him!”

“Sshh, I know,” Mikey hushed, his hand rubbing the top of my back. “I loved him too.”

He directed me back to my seat, next to his mother, who actually seemed concerned for me. I sat down, avoiding eye-contact, and buried my face into my hands. I felt Mikey move away from me, another hand landing on my shoulder.

“I know you must think the worst of me,” a hushed voice breathed, making me look up immediately. Gerard’s eyes stared into mine. I froze. “I loved him too you know. It may not seem like it, but I did.”

She looked away, and a felt a pang in my stomach. Her eyes.

“I don’t really know what to say,” I heard Mikey practically whisper into the microphone at the front. “I’ve never really understood funerals. You know someone their whole life, and in the end, you just say a few words, usually pre-rehearsed and probably similar to every other eulogy that’s ever been written. You stand up here, force yourself to look as though you actually want to be here, and you force yourself to say words that will never be heard for the person they’re intended for. Nevertheless, I’m going to say them anyway. Gerard, I fucking love you, man. I miss you so much. I always will, and I am so sorry that this had to happen to such an incredible human being. I can only hope to be half the man you were when I die. I never got to say goodbye… and it kills me.”

“I never got to say goodbye either,” I heard the feminine voice next to me whisper. “This is what I deserve.”

Yes. Yes, it is.

“Gerard… I hope that I wake up tomorrow and this is just a dream. I hope that this is all a sick joke that I don't really understand. I can’t imagine a world without you, but I know you’d want me to go on. So, I’ll try. I can’t make any promises, but I’ll try my hardest to make you proud.”

“He has made me so proud,” whispered the voice again. “They seem to have had the strongest bond.”

“They did,” I meant for it to sound harsh, but it came out as more of a croak.

“I regret everything I put them through,” Gerard’s mother whispered back, tears falling freely. “Please, I would like to explain everything to you, once this is all over.”

It took me a moment to find my voice. I couldn't believe she was trying to defend herself, right here, right now.


“Thank you,” she replied, turning her attention back to her son, he seemed to be in a state that I had been in seconds before. I made to stand up and grab him, but she pushed me back gently.

“Allow me.”

I watched as she stood up, making her way toward’s Mikey. She grabbed his hand, leading him back to his seat.

The room was suddenly silent, not a single word uttered, or a sniffle heard.

She made her way to the front, her chin held high as she ignored the few whispers now echoing across the hall. I looked around at everyone’s faces. Most people seemed intrigued, others confused, and a few outraged.

“I know that this will be hard for many of you to believe, but I love my sons more than anything in this world. Please, know that. Know that I have not slept in years, knowing that I have not been by their sides. Know that I feel the deepest pain knowing that I never got to say goodbye to my eldest, and know that it is a mother’s worst nightmare to be standing where I am today. Know that I will do everything in my power to make sure my youngest does not fall. He is a broken man, and I, a broken woman. Gerard, my son, I am so sorry. I accept you completely for who you are… were.”

I felt just as enraged as everyone else looked. Nothing this woman was saying made any sense to me. Was she being sincere, or was she simply trying to ease Mikey’s pain? Did she care for both her sons? Could it be possible?

“Frank,” I looked up, shocked to have heard her utter my name. “Thank you for being there for him when I couldn't be. I’m sure he loved you completely. I can tell that you loved him. I hope that you can heal from this, but I know that every person here today is going to have a hard time healing.”

“This is all so unfair,” Mikey sniffed, taking hold of my hand. I squeezed, unable to speak.

“Thank you to everyone that helped my son get through this. I miss him so very much.”

She walked back towards us, her head lowered.

That was it? That was all she had to say?

“I do hope you take me up on that talk,” she whispered to me, sitting back down. “I promise you, I am being sincere.”


There is nothing worse than burying someone that you love.

Not a single thing in this world.