I’ve Got No Choice

Joel Kaskinen
2 min readMay 24, 2022


I still think of you, because I’ve got no choice.

You’re not just a figment of my imagination. You’re not just a daydream. You’re not just a memory. You’re part of me. My soul. My entire being. I can’t let go, nor do I know that I want to. I’ll never let you go.

The artist, Anna Clendening, sings “when I hold your hand, do you wanna hold my heart?” and I can’t help but wonder if it’s the same with you. It’s creeping up on two years since you took your life. I simply cannot believe that it’s possible. I remember distinctly the moment you left this earth, and it feels like literally yesterday. It feels like I just got that phone call. It feels like I was just administering first aid. It feels like no time has passed and yet it feels like I’m an entirely different person.

I’ve moved. Cities. States. Far away. Halfway across the country. But the distance doesn’t seem to make a difference like I thought it would. It still feels like yesterday. But I’ve got to move on. I’ve got no choice.

I need to forgive and forget and move forward. I’ve got no choice. But I still think of you. I probably will always think of you. I’ve got no choice. I mean, how can I possibly not think of you? You changed my entire life. You rewired my brain. You changed me personally, professionally, behaviorally. You changed everything I knew about myself. I don’t even know who I am anymore, but I’ve got no choice other than to familiarize myself with the new version of me. With the version of you that I never got to know. With the ghosts of the past and the spirits of the future.

I just ask that you take good care of me and my loved ones. I’ve got no choice but to ask that of you. I believe you owe me that at least.