my beautiful brother Chris died on February 21, 2012.
i blog here to stay sane. i howl to thee, internets.
Not coffee not alcohol
Not exercise not inertia
Not giving in to sorrow not pushing past it to activity
Not breathing not dreaming
Not hitting not yelling
Not shopping not fucking
Not medicating not crying
Not denial not distraction
Not keeping it in not letting it out
Not being a better person not giving in to base impulses
Not silence not screaming
& the decision to keep living despite the pain must be renegotiated Every. Single. Day.
14. The word obliterate comes from the Latin obliterare. Ob means against; literare means letter or script. A literal translation is being against the letters. It was impossible for you to write me a letter, so you made me a list instead. It is impossible for you to go on as you were before, so you must go on as you never have.
15. It’s wrong that this is required of you. It’s wrong that your son died. It will always be wrong.
16. The obliterated place is equal parts destruction and creation. The obliterated place is pitch black and bright light. It is water and parched earth. It is mud and it is manna. The real work of deep grief is making a home there.
17. You have the power to withstand this sorrow. We all do, though we all claim not to. We say, “I couldn’t go on,” instead of saying we hope we won’t have to.
18. More will be revealed. Your son hasn’t yet taught you everything he has to teach you. He taught you how to love like you’ve never loved before. He taught you how to suffer like you’ve never suffered before. Perhaps the next thing he has to teach you is acceptance. And the thing after that, forgiveness.
19. Forgiveness bellows from the bottom of the canoe. There are doubts, dangers, unfathomable travesties. There are stories you’ll learn if you’re strong enough to travel there. One of them might cure you.
20. When my son was six he said, “We don’t know how many years we have for our lives. People die at all ages.” He said it without anguish or remorse, without fear or desire. It has been healing to me to accept in a very simple way that my mother’s life was 45 years long, that there was nothing beyond that. There was only my expectation that there would be—my mother at 89, my mother at 63, my mother at 46. Those things don’t exist. They never did.
21. Think: my son’s life was 22 years long. Breathe in.
22. Think: my son’s life was 22 years long. Breathe out.
23. There is no 23.
My brother’s life was 26 years long. Breathe in.
My brother’s life was 26 years long. Breathe out.
There is no 27.
You have the right to move toward your grief and heal.
Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself and avoid people who are impatient and intolerant with you. Neither you nor those around you must forget that the death of someone loved changes your life forever.
i wonder if my heart will ever stop this incessant pounding.