Thistle & Weeds

“Spare me your judgments and spare me your dreams, Cause recently mine have been tearing my seams, I sit alone in this winter clarity which clouds my mind, Alone in the wind and the rain you left me, It’s getting dark darling, too dark to see, And I’m on my knees, and your faith in shreds, it seems.”

It is funny how after the death of a loved one things change. Not so much the routine of quotidian life, but the reaction to your environment is different. It’s almost unperceivable how your circumstances have altered, but you’re left teetering on an invisible brink. Here are a few things I’ve noticed:

1. Precaution—Not to say that I’m not cautious anyway, but I’m more aware of the multitude of steps that I take to avoid any unnecessary hazards. While driving, while out in public, while at parties… the carefree fluidity of youth has disappeared. Now I spend time making sure I have enough life insurance. That my beneficiaries are in order. That if I needed to be buried tomorrow, no one would have to scramble to make me an urn out of the affordable products at Michaels. I’m meticulous about my filing, so anyone would be able to find my life insurance, 401(k), bills, etc. I was never a heavy drinker, but now I don’t even chance it. I worry about my liver, I worry about driving home, I worry about car wrecks. Hell I just worry all the bloody time. Death brings this sense of awareness of your own mortality.

2. Fascination with death—With this newfound awareness that I’m going to die, I’m fascinated with the ‘How’ of death. My dreams are disturbed by thoughts of death: family members, friends, but more frequently of my own death. I have these vivid and horrific dreams of attacks by intruders, trying to fight them off, the inevitable assault, followed by being strangled to death. I wake up repeatedly throughout the night suffocated by blankets, drowned in pillows, hanging lopsided off the bed. It takes me a few moments to set myself to rights, clear my head of the images, and fall back to sleep. If only the next dream was milder… eventually I just get up. My whole day is spent in a tired daze, masked by ounce after ounce of coffee.

3. The lack of care—My tolerance level is so low, it’s almost non-existent. For real though, don’t tell me about the paltry problems of your feeble existence, because I could care less. I want to scream: Do you still have your life? Then let me alone. The truth is that pain and problems are all relative. I’ll listen, offer a solution, but come back with the dilemma and I’ll walk away. Life is the sum of action resulting in consequences; if you’re still breathing you still have a chance to change.

4. Rushed—Every day I feel rushed. Rushed to stop grieving. Rushed to get back to normal. Rushed to have a reason for my attitude. I had almost 24 years of life with my brother, rest assured that these few months are not enough to “get over” his loss. It feels completely foreign that he’s gone. Someone took an eraser to my penciled life and extracted a vital chapter of my history. The wrongness of this situation feels disrespectful.

5. Isolationism is real—Not sure what response I was looking for in the month succeeding my brother’s death, but I can tell you I didn’t get it. My life stopped, but everyone else’s kept going. Understandable, definitely. But you can fuck off if you think I don’t resent it. I really only want to talk to my siblings. Like I want to sit on the phone and just hear them breathing. Even though I don’t say a word, I find sublime comfort in the fact that they are accounted for. Even in my silence I feel like they get me, even when they don’t.

Most days I don’t have enough words. Not enough descriptive sentences. My hands remain empty, grip loose. Bereft of all happiness that’s how I feel. Who knew life could be so tiring…


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michele
    May 14, 2012 @ 19:47:20

    You find the coolest songs. I get where you are coming from in the silence of my car without the kids is usually when I become unglued.


  2. jwoodny
    May 15, 2012 @ 01:29:07

    “Someone took an eraser to my penciled life and extracted a vital chapter of my history.”

    That’s precisely how I felt/still feel when I lost my dad and my younger sister in the same year. It’s like a huge chunk of my life that’s just dangling in mid-air. I don’t know what to do w/ it yet I can’t ignore it. So this post hits me on mad levels. Thanks for sharing!


    • justlissen
      May 15, 2012 @ 08:38:29

      Losing my brother was hard… Still is hard. I can’t imagine losing my dad and sister in the same year. I don’t know how you keep going, but it’s admirable. Thanks for sharing


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