I remember the last night. I remember Dad leading me outside to where Chelsea lay in the grass. I remember petting his soft body.
And when the morning came, I remember running down the hall from my room into Mom and Dad’s. I remember sobbing, sobbing, knowing he was dead. He was gone. That memory spins, it’s strange. It slides around and around in my head, ending with my three-year old eyes seeing the ceiling from where I was laying on their bed.
That was my first experience with grief. It certainly wasn’t my last, but maybe animalian grief doesn’t translate to the grief of human loss.
Is human loss just like any other loss? Is all loss inherently the same?
I’ve never lost someone close to me.
I’ve been to many funerals; I’ve seen people throughout the stages of grief. I’ve attended the funerals of the old, very old, and the young, middle aged. And I won’t lie, I’ve never felt anything.
One day, I’ll have to give someone I love to the afterlife. I know it’ll be painful.
My biggest fear, the most pervasive, the one that strikes me at the most unexpected moments, is the loss of my mother. That loss hopefully won’t come for a long time, but even when it does, I won’t be ready.
Lise is readying herself for the loss of her husband; it’s been a drawn-out process. I’ve been unable to figure out how to properly comfort. I feel helpless, even though I’m so removed from the situation. I’ve decided to listen, asking a few questions here and there and then offering support. Support, hardly, just a few words promising strength and future. It’s hard for me to know what to do. I’m caught with the web of life. My life-giver is losing a life partner and I’m unfamiliar with the procedure. It shouldn’t be procedural though.
Death is death, it comes swiftly or slowly but never not at all. It is the single commonality for our race, for everything living. To have life, there must be death.
I’m not afraid to die, but I’m afraid to live through the deaths of the people I love. I’m afraid of the things left unsaid, of the moments redirected, spent elsewhere instead of there. Loss from which there can be no gain. Peace after time. It’s all so simple but so unknown.
Grief is fragile, a beautiful reminder of life. It’s both necessary and humbling, human and sublime.
*This was a weird post. It didn’t go at all like I had planned it.
I re-read it and went back. This is from a moment that nearly mirrored Chelsea’s death for me. Sixteen years passed between the two, but when I heard the news from Mom, I hung up on her. I threw the phone down and broke down, choking on my own tears.
Oh I’ll never forget that day. I took the call in my room, staring at my dark blue sheets and wooden bed. The carpet. Brown carpet. Desk against the wall. Her voice in my ear. Silver phone. Hurt squeezing my heart. Rage.
Here, a bit of grief. My loss of words is evident, my shock and pain masked.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
You never can keep the beautiful feeling for too long.
News this morning broke my heart.
I’ll be back home soon to take care of things.
If things get bad enough, I’ll stay for longer.
I don’t even know what to do.
There is nothing to do, but wait.
He was brokenhearted too at the news.
I made her promise everything would be okay.
She did, but it took her too long.
I cried for too long.
I couldn’t breathe. It was one of those.
Make it okay, please.
I don’t pray, but I might start.
I told Katie, and she cried
*I don’t edit things. I don’t ever look over anything. I just do it and then it’s done. But tonight, for some reason, I’m re-reading. I must have left something unsaid.
But not wanting to end on such a miserable note (not even sure why I made this a miserable post, I’m in a good mood), I wanted to include my favorite blog entry ever. And when I say ever, I mean it. Grief is one thing, but nostalgia can be nearly pure bliss. A fond memory, then.
Friday, December 14, 2007
There they were, sitting at the bottom of a box left over from freshman year. The stamps.