Wish you were here

“How I wish, how I wish you were here. We’re just two lost souls, Swimming in a fish bowl, Year after year, Running over the same old ground. And how we found, the same old fears. Wish you were here.”

I heard of another death this morning; blinking scripts announcing the passing of another too soon. Seems like the world is ailed by a personalized vendetta against life, a virus that keeps on affecting its environment.

Wonder how much a person can handle before the caulked cracks become permanent fissures.

Three things happen when you’re faced with death:

1. You ask the why and the how (constantly)—as if it will help you understand

I don’t think the brain is programmed to comprehend the magnitude of death. You start playing 20 questions with the ones closest to you; at the same time throwing 20 accusations at your Maker for disturbing your equilibrium. There’s never a solid answer. No firm footing. No solution. You’re continually left off-balance.

The Ping-Pong of phrases with question mark ends leave you more confused than when you first learned the news.

2. You’re called to action

When I learned of my brother’s hospitalization I immediately went to work. Making plans, making arrangements, making calls, making busy work to keep me moving. When Daddy told me of his death an hour later, the movement kept me from crying. Action keeps the grief at bay because you focus on what needs your immediate attention.

You can’t stop the moments of debilitation as a memory flashes through your fog of work. The breathless sensations as you tell someone else that death has visited your doorstep. The reminder that every upcoming holiday, event, celebration is tinged with sorrow, overshadowed by grief, intermingled with the ache of missing because that person who is supposed to be here… isn’t.

It takes you to a dark place as you have to rewrite the images of your future because it’s no longer how you have dreamed it.

3. You become reckless (or maybe it’s just me)

The realization that no matter how controlled, good, dutiful, prayerful of a life you live, something so earth shatteringly bad can creep in and disrupt your balance… you start not caring.

Grounded by rules and boundaries of what’s right, what’s pleasing, compounded by the greater good… Frankly I don’t give two flying hockey sticks about superintending my actions.

I border between a careless discord and adding more regulatory minutiae to my life. There’s no balance. Not sure if it’s a type of fear, but the idea that something so valuable and longstanding can be taken within finger snaps agitates an inner maniac.

Prison doors with the keys in the lock, silent cries turned into deafening shouts of “let loose”, “break free”. I don’t think being irresponsible of your personal welfare is part of the 7 stages of grief. Despair, loneliness, reflection… yes I understand these steps. A brash and foolhardy existence? Not so much… but it is a path I’m heading down, no blinders or speed bumps or road shoulders , just a slickly greased slope of rash behavior.

Readers: Have you ever experienced something in your life (death or otherwise) that has shaken your core? Can you identify with any of the three trapeze acts outlined above? Feel free to overshare in the comments.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. De
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 17:44:48

    Well, you already know what shook me to my core. Still does if I sit still long enough for the magnitude of it to hit me. I know I went through/am going through the 3 things you mentioned. I was going to say except #2, but looking back…in a way, it seems like my life didn’t stop. I went back to school, graduated, spent the summer working & looking for a FT job, worked, applied to grad school, am now here in school. At the time, I was asked if I wanted to take time off from school, but staying home wasn’t an option. Being there reminded/reminds me that she isn’t and I didn’t want to do that. Didn’t think I could take it. Even over break it didn’t seem that bad at first, but at night…I was left alone with my thoughts. I stayed up too late and then my sister has a big picture of my mother on the mantle…#1..If it makes any sense, I have given up hoping to understand while at the same time wanting to understand. I think I told you before, I don’t blame God for causing it, but I blame(d) Him for not stopping it. That I don’t understand. Doesn’t make sense for me to be here without my mother. & #3, the recklessness..it isn’t just you. Not long after everything happened, I stopped caring about a lot of things. It just didn’t matter as much. To an extent it still doesn’t. Everything reminds me of her. Bad things/times are made that much worse because she isn’t here. & good things/times are made bad because she isn’t here for me to share them with. Any milestone in my life seems tainted with this. Even other people’s grief, while I hurt for them, reminds me of/awakens my own. I replay the day(s) over in my head sometimes or slam my consciousness with the reality that she is no longer here. Time goes on, but I also feel frozen. It has been almost 2.5 years, but it may as well have been yesterday. Time doesn’t exist.


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