Walking the tightrope

After 2017, it’s difficult for me to think about what the next year will bring. It will be the first year I’ll begin without my brother. There are still so many “firsts” our family has to live through without him: the Oscars (last year I watched it with him in the hospital), his niece and nephews’ birthdays, Mother’s and Father’s Day, our shared birthday party (his birthday was 6 days after mine). Thanksgiving was sad and weird. Christmas was fucking horrible. The family Christmas get-together was nearly as bad. We’re all faking it until we make it, but not one of us is doing a very good job. We’re lost and haven’t figured out where to go.

When I started to think about resolutions for the coming year, I thought maybe I could try to climb out of this darkness. Maybe this journey could be something I work towards. But what I’ve come to realize is that this pain and darkness I feel? It is now a part of who I am. It won’t always feel so intense, but losing someone you’re close to can only change you.

I know I’m still going through the grief process and I’m certainly at the angry stage now (and have been for a while) but my grief feels double or maybe even triple-fold. Having Mom live with us has been unbelievably stressful in many ways. I grieve for what our lives were before she came here. I’m angry about certain situations that we’ve had to endure. That probably sounds really shitty and selfish, and maybe it is, but I realized that I was spending more time taking care of and spending time with my mother than with my son. And that, my friends, is not ok.  I have apologized to my boy and promised things will change. And I’m working on that now. But that promise will bring more grief for my mother and for me and for what her life used to be.

So what will 2018 bring? I just don’t know. I don’t have a whole lot of hope for much right now. I do *wish* for peace for our entire world, for my friends and family, and for me. But right now the only peace I am able to find is either in a candy bar or a glass of wine or in a pipe. And that isn’t really peace or contentment or anything real. Yet it’s how I have to survive at the moment. Maybe in another month or so I’ll be able to find some balance so I can throw all of these crutches away.


Balance. Balance is what I long for. Sanity would be good, too, but I won’t push it.

Good luck to you all, my friends, in the new year and may your dreams, not nightmares, come true.

2 thoughts on “Walking the tightrope

  1. You are taking on more than I and most of us could handle at once. I learned and am still learning how to take each day as it comes. The recipe changes from day to day, some days call for more sugar to the mix, some days more salt or flour, to make the recipe (day) more palatable.
    Nobody comes with life instructions. You’re just shot out of a loving place , into a foreign country and for a while you put up with the weird noises people make, the things your body does, the things being done to your body and mind, and then you take that first step, and you feel like the king of the Universe, or I suppose that’s what it felt like if I could remember. But you kept falling down, it would make you cry some times, and angry at other times , but you kept at it until you mastered walking. Then someone told you, you have to learn to spell what you’ve been taught to say. Why, you think, can’t they hear what I’m saying? Then you’re introduced or use to be , to paper and pencil and just holding it correctly and making the shapes were a chore. And you had to know more. Things you didn’t care about, but had to learn. But the things you weren’t forced to do, or didn’t need to know, or nurtured to develop were coping skills.
    We all remember the first pet we lost, but as a kid, you cried, moved on, and your parents got you a new one. Then you lose your first boy or girlfriend and you think you’ll never survive, and nobody tells you how to stop the hurting, the only words of wisdom, “There are more where they came from and someone else will feel the same way about you again, just wait and see.” And there are and they do. At a young age a schoolmate is killed in a car accident and you are sent home from school after being told, to cry and try to wonder why young people have to die. Wasn’t it just for the old? Then you grow up you, get a partner, and it’s the world to you, you have siblings that you are proud of , share things with, do things with and it’s the world to you, you finally understand your parents and become closer for years, and they become your friend, and it’s the world to you, you have a child and think, nothing in the world can make you feel this powerful, this blessed, and it’s the world to you. Then you lose someone in your immediate family, and it was the world to you, but you feel a big chunk of the ground you walk on was sucked out from under you. This you have to learn on your own,
    There is no plan, no blue print, no book (though many on the subject, some helpful), no teachings to prepare you how to deal with death and grieving. You didn’t have to get good grades in it, you didn’t study it until you fell asleep on the book, is wasn’t required to take , like a language in High School. Mainly, because, there is no right way or wrong way to deal with it. It affects everybody differently, and everybody has their own way of dealing with it, ignoring it and hoping it will just eventually be gone , or trying to drink it away the pain, or blame God for taking him or her, when God gave you this wonderful miracle that was the world to you. The mind and body have to feel it, you can’t help but feel like you’ve sponged every bit of pain of the world into your body, but you haven’t,…just your pain. How do you get through it, how will you ever survive it. Will things ever seem normal again, These are the coping skills only you can teach yourself. You try things, you experiment , you test your limits, you falter, you make a stride only to feel guilty for having done so. But in your own way, in your own time, the right ways for you will find you, the ways you make the days work will be different every day, because it’s like walking through a bomb field, of thoughts , memories, smells, touches, sounds, music, life stills, and making it across the field every day, with a few less wounds, a few less scars, a few less tears, until the bombs no longer are set to go off, and you can just walk across like you use to, the triggers having turned to an internal movie of that loved one, that you can turn on when something reminds you of them and you smile or laugh fondly, with a bit of sadness, but with a feeling you still have with you just as much as you’ve lost. They can’t take knowing away from you, they can’t erase having experienced from you, and it’s yours forever. I love you. Don’t try so hard. Let the answers find you.

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