Warning: This is probably my most poorly written and confusing posts. I’m not good at evaluating others writing. That, and my head is completely out of sorts this morning. To continue the fluidity of the blog, this post is optional and unnecessary.
As I previously mentioned, I’m using writing to express my emotions; to find them where ever I’ve kept them hidden. I find some sense and understanding in typing the words, re reading them to make sure they make sense and check any errors, then again to just read the words and see what emotion has crept out of the wood works.
I tried something else today, reading other peoples words. They were about death, grieving, somewhat similar to what I’m trying to write about. But so different, so scary, so pessimistic, so unwelcome.
These were all essays considered as some of the best 2014 has to offer. The first one talked of death as a taboo subject, as how most avoid it out of fear which is a silly and unproductive way of living. It was a good read, I enjoyed it. However I didn’t like how the author went out of her way to say there’s nothing wrong about death, it was a completely natural thing. Mountains crumble away blah blah blah… Killing however…
Mountains wear down from jagged peaks to flatness. Even planets decay. That natural process is death. Killing is the obscene intervention of violence, the violation which prevents a human being or any other animal from reaching death as it should be reached.
Beautifully written, but that’s where she lost me. That’s when her tale became redundant to what I needed and I clicked next.
The next one, however, was probably more detrimental. It was about a mother losing her daughter in her mid 20s to a driver under the influence. There were some valid points, ones I didn’t like but I took on board…
I searched for “yearning” and “grief” on the Internet and found a Harvard Medical School study that concluded yearning after a loss is far more debilitating than sadness or depression. The study included people who had lost a husband or wife, a parent, or a brother or sister.
She then continued how it didn’t include a parent losing a child, and this is because the pain is so much more unbearable that it was a different level all together and couldn’t meaningfully be compared to the rest. That’s where she lost me.
That is also where I gave up on others. Because everyone has their own opinion, their own loss, and goes through their own little nightmares. I lost my father, possibly being killed, does that give me license to mourn with similar magnitude because my loss includes a bit from column A, a bit from column B?
She also said some things which didn’t annoy me as much, as annoyingly relate to me.
I didn’t shed a tear at Kate’s funeral. I was back in my journalism classroom at Indiana University a week later. For months, I felt encased in a giant invisible bubble. I could see and hear what people did and said and respond in a way that was mostly appropriate. But I wasn’t part of their world.
Then she spoke of the friends she lost, the close ones that became distant, and the distant ones that became close. She spoke of her subsequent future breakdowns, at the most random and inappropriate times. How when she didn’t snap back to her old self, people grew bored of her. Expecting her to regain her bubbly personality, at least, for their sake. When that didn’t happen, then they would slowly fade out of the picture. Again, I read her words, I accepted them. I felt them sweep over me like a negative brush of foreshadowing, “This is what you have to look forward to…”
At that moment I decided I don’t want to read other peoples words. I’ve always been a black sheep of a person, I react to situations in ways when most would do something completely different.
Last night as I went to bed early, after deciding I didn’t want to stay out and socialize on a Saturday night, that I preferred aimlessly walking up and down halogen lit supermarket aisles for close to an hour. Because no one judges at supermarkets, no one questions why you’re there, what you’re doing. You’re left to your own device to gather what ever you ‘need’, and its always considered something productive. Again – this is why I feel like a black sheep. Because I preferred staring at various pasta sauces (even though I don’t even eat pasta) not only instead of staying out drinking, but also instead of being home with my family. I don’t like feeling like a burden among people, they talk to me, but strategically phrase questions as not to bring up a socially awkward moment. I go home, only to be among the people that I love the most, the only people that understand how I feel. But I don’t want their support, not because I find it redundant in any way. Because I have trouble giving it.
I know that is wrong. I know because that’s how I felt the first time I tried to distract myself from the truth. I also know it’s wrong because of last night. When I got home, only to say that I was too tired to stay up and watch the movie my sister got so we could all watch it together. Instead I had a shower, went to bed. But as my eye lids started to grow heavier, my mind started to scatter as it was preparing itself to fall in to the subconscious realm of sleep, I got a knock on my door.
It was my mum. She asked if it was okay that she sat on the end of my bed, as I mumbled in the positive, ignoring eye contact because I usually didn’t like these abrupt confrontations with reality. It was out of character for her, but so is life right now. It makes these little unusual interactions valid, and upsettingly necessary.
She sat at the end of my bed, to tell me of how I had to stop running away. Last night, the night of my dads funeral. I went out. My logic; I didn’t like being around mourning people, my sisters with their boyfriends and their friends. It’s not like the people at my house weren’t my friends, that they didn’t care for me and it’s not like I didn’t have support. But I didn’t feel comforted. I didn’t like the option of getting drunk at my house around sad people, when I could get drunk around people who were happy.
“Your twin sister was in hysterics when you left that night. She said she needs you, she said she needs her older sister. She was crying all night, and I know this is hard for you. This is and will be the most difficult time in your life. But you have to try, you’ve have to be here. She needs you, we need you. I love you so so so much. Good night sweetie.” She said this all with a tremor in her voice and tears in her eyes. I without a soul, still couldn’t make eye contact, I said I’ll try harder, good night, and that I loved her too.
As shit as everything is right now, I know. I know it’s going to get worse, but I’m going to get better. Not specifically in the way of healing, but in the way of dealing with it. For being there for others. For reacting and coping in a better way. I think the ending epiphany to this textual therapy session isn’t that the situation gets better, but the individual just gets better at coping. Get’s stronger among the weakness, wiser among the confusion and more loving among the heart break.
Until next time x
***Further reading for the curious
1st blog: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/sep/23/-sp-diana-athill-its-silly-frightened-being-dead?src=longreads
2nd blog: http://www.indianapolismonthly.com/news-opinion/dear-kate-living-with-grief/?src=longreads