Don't grieve alone; 14,000 members and growing
I haven’t been writing at all recently, going back as far as Stewart asking me to share what “project” I am doing to help me move forward form my husbands death three years ago. I never got to answering him and many other things have happened in the interim. The worst of which has overshadowed and colored everything else on my daily journey is they found my yongest brother, 56 years old, dead in his bed on March 28th.
I can’t even begin to explain how another death on top of losing my husband Jan 21st 2013 has affected me. And as weird as it sounds not all in a negative way. If you are at all interested this will be somewhat long but I need to write it out.
I have felt in the last month or so I was going into/through another sort of transition sort of like I had at about the year and half point which I think was the first transition I had. Back then it was as though reality was starting to peek its head around a corner as the shock had had such a hold on me until then. Everythhing had been so surreal up until then. I was sure I would collapse any moment and that would release me from the pain. The only thing that really happened at a year and half was that I realized I was stuck in this horrendous place and there was no escaping it.
2 weeks ago when they found my brother dead I was right back on day one and was so wildly disoriented experiencing guilt and separation and trauma all over again at such depths I could not believe possible while having travelled the last three years trying to cope with my husbands death.
By the end of the week the coroners report came back and he had died of natural causes even though in his life there were exrtreme and definite extenuating circumstances I was able to somehow assauge my conscience that his death was not caused by his personal situation. I cannot tell you how much that helped me. It was like somehow the load I was carrying was lifted enough for me to breathe. For a week I was suffocating. At the point of knowing how he died someone took the plastic bag off my head.
Which leads me to one of my own personal observations. The way someone we love dies matters. No way is helpful or kind but if it is not in a way where we can say is more natural I think we struggle a lot. And we struggle endlessly. So as much as what I (and maybe we) want to end our own life after losing our love it leaves behind a much more massive load. Now I know what that felt like. Was my brother sending me a message even in his own death?
Which leads me to another personal observation. My husbands death was preceeded by a slow but not a medically recognized emergency. He was a diabetic for years and though not overweight at all and a healthy eater his early proclivities in life didn’t help. Two months before he died the so called medical help we were able to afford put him on an insulin pump and as he struggled to maintain his sugar we had no idea he was being eaten alive by cancer. Diagnosed on Dec 26th 2012 with terminal stage 4 cancer was the last thing we had anticipated. All the doctors missed reasons for the degradation of his health by light years. So much for medicine in the US. Only the rich get to live. But for me his death 27 days later was like a lightning bolt. I had less than a month to try and understand what was happening and none of it pointed to anything natural. It ponted more towards human fallibility and more a sense of unfairness. My brothers death of more natural causes although exacerbated by his situation at the time seemed more acceptable to me although knowing he lay alone for several days didn’t and doesn’t help.
So here I am now, having thought I might be transitioning into a different phase of grief having reached this milestone of three years and boom! another death. I had yet to go three full days without crying for all this time and still haven’t but somehow I feel different. Thing is the difference is not so great.
I feel completely totally gutted. Engulfed. I thought before I was tired of fighting to understand how I could be left behind. How I was supposed to manage. Clawing furiously for any scrap of knowingness. Propping myself up daily pushing through the time of each day by crying and attempting to reconstruct any vestige of reality. Crying, crying and crying my way thorugh it.
Now I think I understand only one thing. I have no control over any of it. Not death, not life, I make no choices about anything. I am but an empty vessel of change. Things occur TO me, not because of me. I am stripped down now to basically a shell. I can hardly remember what day it is not because of any sort of dementia but because there is no matter to a day or time. I share nothing with anyone other than a deep resentment of why this all appears to be real when inside I don’t even live in the universe I observe. Besides hating it (which I do) I see it all as some false representation of a much deeper level of cognitve dissonance. The whys of which we do not examine before death of love. For whatever the greater reason of our existence on this small blue dot there must be something that fills our shell (or depletes it) and that force extracts it’s pound of flesh before it lets go.
Is it awareness of some greater diety? For me that is a definite no. A spiritual power that defines chemistry, biology and our minds. Nope, not the kind we attribute to some words in a book when the earth was thought of as flat and anyone disputing such was executed. No, for me only a force of what we term nature existing at fundamental level, what we call qualia, could be a force powerful enough to bring this world of ours into being. Macroscopic percolating energetic waves that ebb and flow, a force that gives and then takes away, a force that is orderly and then devolves into chaos. There is a natural flow in the currency of the universe. Call it what you may this subject is not something we give much thought to when we feel a apart of its ordered existence. Only through the entropy do we begin to search for purpose. For an explanation. A raison d’etre. Up until then we are just happy allowing ourselves to feel the urges presented. After death we want to know why.
None of what I am writing makes any sense. It isn’t meant to. It’s only another path to where I am going and I have lost my navigation gear. I have no recognition of a pattern in my life even though at one point I thought I did. Now I am just amorphous. And my husband has become an apparition. I live in a space between living and dead wondering which way my vessel will take me and I keep waiting. And now at this point in my travels alongside the death of my love as hard as I have tried I accept nothing, question everything and feel forced to live. I regard this website as the only lifeline I have to what resembles my own truth because the people who write here, we accept each others burden of misery as our own. We are honest about how death has affected us. No sugarcoating. Just ways and means to express our deep sorrow.
Thank you is hardly adequate to those who continue to write at any phase of their journey dealing with the feelings brought about by losing love. Losing the one thing that really made living worth it. Trying to release pain into cyberspace hoping it helps ourselves and others. Thank you to each of you. You are never far from my own thoughts, those who have been here awhile and those just entering this space. As I read what you post I wish for all of us the least amount of pain. I really wish I had more energy to respond to individual posts but as time passes I have less and less. I am slowly but surely being depleted and maybe that is what happens even if we don’t know our exact time when that energy runs out and for what reason. I feel like I know each of you more intimately than my own family and friends because we inhabit the same place of mind grapplng with a way to push the mountain around in the room. Someday we won’t have to worry about that mountain. I think we all, no matter how well we do it, now look forward to that day. Again, thanks to all for helping me push it around for now. For the moment, as long as it lasts, my burden is lighter because of your understanding the depth of the pain.