One of the beauties of having your own blog is you can say whatever you damn please. Thank you google for the blogger medium and thank you to all other self publishing sites that allow people like me a means to send thoughts into the world--someone recently wrote (I wish I could find the source) that blogging is very much like sending a paper airplane out the window. You don't know who will read it or what they will make of it or even if it catches their interest.
I've been using my blog these last two weeks to process my brother's suicide. I have my grief and I have the observation of my grief as well as the experience and observation of the grief of my closest loved ones.
I'm tired. I "know" all the things about "taking my time" and "no way of grieving being wrong" and all sorts of other comforting crap. I also know to not be hard on myself, be extra kind, take time blah blah blah blah BLAH.
The fact is this shit just hurts in a visceral inescapable way. And the world doesn't stop. My instinct on Saturday was to consider going back to work. I did. I found the world didn't stop. And I saw that my work had suffered under the strain of the last month, as well as my newness to the job. And when when someone pointed out the real holes, all eyes were squarely on me.
You know, you can't really wave a flag around and say "oh, I'm sorry, your priority suffered because of my family issue and also I don't know what I'm doing yet." And no one else is pointing that out so you soldier on. You try to fix things and fall forward.
Also being referred to as a rock kind of cements that into people's expectations of being an infinite pool of strength--one you can always dip into to solve whatever. And I know I'm not and I'm taught that I'm not. And yet here we are.
This morning I went to my usual work out with my trainer. She asked me how I was and I said "dead tired" and she asked "tired or sad". I put on my sunglasses and hid my face and had a half-assed work out. Its too much to say I'm sad when I'm about to do inchwork crawls up and down the b-ball court.
I'm sticking to my routines if only in a half assed way because ultimately they support me. More than one time in the last week I thought to myself "hey, why don't I put a straw in this bottle of bourbon". See, the problem is I know better. Drinking myself into numbness won't fix anything (it never did before but hey, awareness now) and I hate knowing that.
Fuck knowing better.
I feel my emotions are very close to the surface and I cannot
bear to have people see the face of my pain. But the energy needed to
project a mask of normalcy is costly and I may have run out of coin to
keep it up.
Despite all that, the world hasn't stopped.
My wife and I plan to foster my brother's little aged dog who may or may not have issues with using the potty. It seemed like a kind thing we could do that was also manageable (and how much chaos can 7 lbs of dog cause?).
My mother is cycling her grief daily. The most intense pain comes as she wakes up and remembers reality. That pain is tempered through the day by routine and our presence. My sister will most likely return home next week. Mom will have my other brother with her. I will continue to come by for dinner or morning coffee depending what I can work out.
We have seen my brother's body. It brought up uncomfortable questions about what really happened at the moment he pulled the trigger. He was a marksman yet the wound he had could be concealed by a hat. No matter what "experts" say about people using guns to end their lives, there is something kind of tentative about a shot not taken in a more decisive location. Did he want to be rescued? Was this an accident?
I really wish that thought would leave me alone because it can't be answered. Not even by experts.
I know these words aren't nice or comfortable. I know some people reading them will be put off. I too wish I could make this sound like I have it together but I'm not together.
This writing is a balm to salve the part of me that wants to scream in the faces of people who don't know or understand. People don't know what to say--I know. And in this moment is the recognition of every time someone brought their grief to me and I came up empty of words or even the proper attention. I also know in the future I will come up empty but hopefully a little less.