My truth in this moment

I’m alone tonight. This is the second evening in a row, and I’m struggling against depression. I’ve been through the most traumatic, most devastating loss of my life. No, I’m not through it yet… I’m still going through the most traumatic and devastating loss of my life… and this will be my reality, my truth for many months to come. I’m adjusting to it, accepting what is… because what choice do I have?

I’m learning a lot about who I can count on at a time like this… and who I can’t. There are people who I always knew would be there for me through thick and thin, like my mom and my big brother and my best friend. And they HAVE been there for me. They continue to offer apparently boundless support and comfort (and laughter), for which I’m deeply grateful. But aside from those few people, the abundant flow of support that I felt in the first days after Mike’s death has slowed to a trickle. The phone calls and email messages have that were overwhelming in their frequency at first… now, not so much.

And I’m learning that some people simply can’t deal with a death like this. Some people who I thought I could count on have avoided me, in order to avoid dealing with the reality of my husband’s suicide. When I need support and they aren’t there for me, it hurts. I know that everyone has their own stuff going on, and I know that what I’m going through is really heavy shit… and I try to be understanding… but I’m not going to sugar coat it. That hurts.

On the other hand, I’ve received amazing support and understanding from some unexpected places… like a woman from my theater who I barely know, who cried with me and shared about losing her mother when she was a teenager… or an online friend who offered to pay for my plane ticket so that I can join a group of amazing women who are gathering in June in Florida. Someone I’ve never even met wants to spend several hundred dollars to give me the gift of a weekend of comfort and support… while some who have known me for years and live right across town don’t take the time to meet me for coffee or even pick up the phone.

When I bare my soul in my blogs and my friends don’t/won’t/can’t read it… I feel ignored, unheard. When I try to share something that’s important to me and people don’t want to listen, I feel wrong. My automatic reaction is to curl up in a ball, stop sharing, stop pushing people’s buttons… but I CAN’T do that. For the sake of my own sanity, I can’t do that. I need to talk about what’s going on in my head and in my heart. It’s too big to keep inside me.

I have a wonderful circle of supportive friends and family… and that circle includes some people I never would have expected, and doesn’t seem to include some people that three months ago I would have sworn would be there for me through anything. I’m working on accepting things as they are and being grateful for what I have… but this is a hard and lonely path.

And this is my truth, in this moment.

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~ by hourbeforedawn on May 18, 2010.

23 Responses to “My truth in this moment”

  1. Please for the love of God and yourself, don’t ever stop sharing what you’re going through. Don’t ever feel ashamed to share. People as a whole don’t know how to deal with death, and when you combine that with poor people skills, it’s all a friggin’ mess.
    As much as this time hurts in life, I’m still in awe of how blessed you are, and how much support you are getting. Two strangers offering to help? That’s SO amazing.
    I know I wish I could do more. My goal is to keep inane and silly as long as you need it, and to be a shoulder and a hug when I’m close by.
    You are definitely loved. Please know that to be true.

  2. Love you liramay xoxox

  3. Right on! I was wondering about this very topic as I was out jogging today (yes, I jogged on my birthday!)…I was wondering how friends were traveling with you through this journey. Its hard to know how to sustain comfort and sympathy but that is no excuse. The thought of Mike leaving as you as he did scares the shit out of me…because (a) he did and (b) this could happen to anyone – we all have this ‘get out of jail’ card to play if we need it. Grief goes underground when people don’t notice it – personally or publicly. Its as if it didn’t matter – like after a while, it >seemed< nobody cared that I lost a few babies (dreams) traumatically (and remember my cousin died suddenly the weekend of your 40th bday too) and it all hurt like hell. You are right to extent some compassion to people – and right to be friggin pissed off at some people. Keep the honesty coming…and eat more dark chocolate (Willa recommends Dove mini-bars).

    • You wrote: “The thought of Mike leaving you as he did scares the shit out of me… because (a) he did and (b) this could happen to anyone.” And I think you hit the nail on the head. I think this is *exactly* why some of my friends can’t read the blog, can’t let themselves think too much about what happened. Because the thought that this could happen to them scares the shit out of them. Thank you for being brave enough to stick with me through the fear and the darkness. I love you big. (And I’m taking your advice about the dark chocolate – nibbling on some right now, in fact.)

  4. Hi Lira, I have been reading along with your blog and have really been deeply touched by it. I don’t know you well, we met a few times at parties but I am awed by the depth of your self-understanding and the bravery inherent in digging into this painful time instead of letting it shut you down. My life is awash in limbic space right now and I feel quite unsteady but I hope that knowing that I am reading and being emotionally touched is some kind of help.

  5. I don’t know what to say to this except I’m listening…

  6. Wow. Although I am going thru something completely on a different level right now, i can truly understand what you are saying.
    its amazing to be able to sit back at a time of crisis in your life and truly find out who is there for you and who is not. And, yes, you are right … It hurts like hell!
    I think of you often, even though we do not know one another.

  7. Lira, Gerry and I hear the same comments made at our grief counseling sessions. People who are not in our situation don’t seem to know how to respond to us. We have also noticed that some of our close friends have backed away. During our model ship meeting this last Sunday there was a lap top computer sitting out on a table for general use and I logged into You Tube and played some of Mike’s music and videos. A number of people gathered around to see and hear his work, never having met him before, they all commented about his talent and agreed that he was a good musician and was surely missed by everyone who knew him. That is one way in which I sustain myself after our personal loss. I remember our son, Michael, and all the joy he gave during his travels here on Earth. I remember the happy child, full of life and constantly creating new ideas. One common sentiment that is mentioned by people who knew him was his friendliness and compassion. I consider that alone as a great tribute to the gentle soul we all knew and loved. Faith, Hope and Love will prevail for all of us!

    • Thanks, Dad. And big thanks and love to you and Gerry-Mom for being two of the people I know I can count on, no matter how dark this gets. I’m so glad that you’re a part of my life, and I love you both.

  8. I don’t have any great words of comfort…although what you are going through and saying resonate with me and match my experience grieving these days as well. For me what hurts most and what I get to after I’m done being angry at all the people and friends in my life who aren’t supporting me as much as I think I need or who aren’t’ available as much as I want them to be….I realize that the one person that always was there 24 hours a day 7 days a week will never pick up the phone again and no measure of support from anyone else can ever take that away. I have to fill in the hole in my heart one lonely long day at a time. It may take years. But there is grace and unexpected blessings all along this path and I’ve already run into a few of them. I trust you will too. Sending you so very much love.

    • Yeah… I know you get it. I wish with all my heart that you didn’t, that you never had to know what this feels like. And the worst part, as you said, is realizing that the one person who was ALWAYS there 24/7 will never be there again. I’ve said many times over the last couple of months, “only Mike would know how to comfort and support me through this.”

  9. Lira, I so wish that we were closer so I could spend time with you. I have no idea what to say to you to help you through this but just being with you I could do. A movie, cup of coffee, lunch, or dinner… I know that just these little things would probably help so you didn’t have to spend time alone. The words don’t come easily for me but I am supporting you from afar even when you can’t hear me.

  10. Oh Lira, I’m so truly sorry. I wish I could take all the pain away. I really do. I wonder if some of the people you are talking about simply feel helpless. I know in a way you understand that some people just can’t handle this type of heaviness. But you are finding your way, or so it seems, and creating resources and tools for yourself – a la support groups. I’m praying for you. I love you. K

    • I think you’re right about feeling helpless, Karen… and nobody likes to feel that way, so some people try to avoid it at all costs. The thing is, there’s nothing *anyone* can do to take the pain away. In the face of something like this, we’re ALL helpless. I don’t expect anyone to fix it. All I want is for my friends to be there to spend time with me, give me hugs, share smiles and laughter, let me cry when I need to. Thank you for being one of the people who has given me that. I love you, too.

  11. I second what Dad mentioned above. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. I, too, have found a few new friends since our family tragedy. They seem to be more understanding of my dark moods and don’t make me feel like I should “get over it and get on with things”. Nothing will ever be the same, but I still want to talk about our son and the things he accomplished. I’m so glad for modern technology (You Tube in particular) where I can still play “Childhood Montage” and even “Happy Songs for Funerals”. Michael will always be in my heart and I am still searching for the “new normal” that I hear folks talk about in our support group. Hugs to you always and we look for to seeing you in a few weeks.

  12. Hi Lira,

    What you are going through is something so many of us experience. It is real, and it hurts. Before reading this I was reading an email from a friend back east. She said that I likely had lots of friends here in SF to help me coordinate this move of mine. I wrote her back to say that it may have looked that way, judging by the people who came to the memorial, but that it can be weeks that go by and no friend calls my phone. Like you my family has been supportive, but only a few take the time to reach out. People are uncomfortable with all of this. And like you say, people move on. I have learned that I need to rely on these blogs and facebook for support. It’s kind of sad. Like you say, someone you have never met is willing to reach out when someone so close can’t or won’t. I think it is because we all feel this darkness where we are.

    The other part of this is people don’t know what to say when someone commits suicide. It touches on their own fears of mortality, and fears of their own dark places. When I wrote about feeling suicidal several friends wanted me to say that I wasn’t “really suicidal” or that I didn’t have a plan. Too many people do their best to not acknowledge these types of feelings.

    Keep writing. It will keep you afloat.

  13. Dearest Lira,
    I have been following every one of your blogs, and you are always in my thoughts. I hope you continue to put your thoughts and feelings into words. I don’t want you to shut down. I just wish we lived near each other, so I could have coffee with you. And give you a shoulder to cry on. I hope you know you can call me anytime you need someone. You are such a dear cousin to me and I hate that we drifted apart as we got older. I love you and I am listening to you.

  14. entire message erased

    went something like:

    you know you are more than welsome in my home for as long as you like, and that I would be honored to host.
    I put minutes on my phone two nights ago after a month without it, out of a deeply sorrowful need to talk to A N Y O N E.
    And I haven’t lost someone like Mike, so I can’t even begin to understand the depths of your sadness. I question even letting a person close to my heart now.
    We may not be close like others, but your pain is very real to me.
    I wish I could lighten your load, ease your burden.

    I hope that somehow, some way your path will begin to ease.

    WE LOVE YOU.

  15. Dearest Lira – I am just now catching up on your blog after being out of commission for seveal days. It hink of you every day – good days, bad days and all the inbetween days. I love you, Cristy

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