I taught my parents how to grieve.

a few weeks ago my grandmother died. And last June my grandfather died too. Both of my dads parents. He’s is not having a good time with it. Obviously, because who would? Even if you hated your parents. You’re still going to grieve anyway.

 

my dad told me tonight after a few Mai tais that he felt alone after his mother died. That I should’ve taken a leave from work to stay home and support him. That I didn’t do enough. Well when he was drunk crying after she died I was there when he finally opened up. I asked him how he was everyday. I was there. I did what I was supposed to do. I supported him when he was crying about not giving his mother what she wanted for her funeral when his wife started to berate him and tell him to “knock it off”.

I was there for my father.

he told me tonight that I didn’t do enough for him. None of us did.

but I sat there and defended myself. I explained to him what I did.

he interrupts and said “it’s partially my fault” I asked why. He said “I never taught you kids how to grieve the right way. We never really had to deal with this kind of close tragedy”

 

“I have. I dealt with it before any of you. And don’t tell me you grieved like this before because I know you hadn’t. I am telling you that I dealt with a real tragedy and I know what happens. Everything everyone else does will NEVER be good enough. I know I did what I had to. And you’ll look back and Know I did too. But right now you’re going to start pushing people away and blame them for how you’re feeling. Blame them for not doing enough. But nothing they do will take away the pain. There is no right way to grieve. But I will tel you please don’t push anyone away.”

 

and he said “you’re right”

 

I taught my parents something today about life. About adulting. What does that mean? Am I a true adult now?

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Second Chances. Twice Failed.

I’ve been trying to write this post for a few days now. Just staring at the screen, closing and re-opening this page. To write these words.

Talking about the more difficult emotional things in my life has been a bigger struggle these days. I’m not entirely sure why. I used to talk my problems to death and now i barely want them to be brought up. I just want to continue being happy. I’m doing the one thing I really don’t like: ignoring my problems. I’m ignoring them with music and work. Is this what being an adult is? Surviving in this world financially is more important to me thanmy emotional struggles?  I have even more to say on this subject but I’ve reached my emotional threshold essentially. Which is so unbelievably pathetic.

Is this strength? or weakness?

Am I hiding? Or rising above?

Story:

Started talking to my ex a few months ago. The ex I broke up with after jeff died in order to build myself back up.

I wanted to try again, now that we’ve grown up a bit.

He did too, eventually. But he was scared. He didnt trust me because i broke his heart.

He got back with his ex.

Im heartbroken.

Thats it.  My heart hurts because I never stopped loving him.

He’s over me.

It’s over. Theres nothing left to say.

Out of the darkness. Into the sun.

For months I hadn’t cried. But that changed last night. I had been feeling defeated for weeks and I finally let it all go. After a night like last night I always remember why it’s good to cry sometimes. I used to cry all of the time, every night. It’s a great stress reliever and it allows you to let it go. I sat in my room, listened to some sad songs and thought about Jeff and just cried. I was able to take my time to remember him . I think about him everyday, but I never actually get to sit and remember him. When I woke up the next morning I felt good, I had a great day and I had a new outlook. I need to remember to cry more often.

I haven’t been to therapy in a while. I miss it. But I have such a crazy schedule it’s hard to get a time to go and see her. But the gym has been its own kind of therapy for me. I try to go 4-5 days a week. I’m training for a 7 mile road race in August.  I’m only at 1.25 miles but I started training only about a month and a half ago and I could only do .25 miles. PROGRESS. It comes in all sizes.

 

Out of the darkness and into the sun.

I am also getting a better understanding of my perfect tattoo. I’ll be saving up again soon.

 

Life is good. I know I can make it.

New Chapter?

It’s been hard these past 3 years. I have been stuck in this grief. Drowning in the longing for my best friend. For the love of my life. I want to close this chapter of my life and swim out of the darkness he left me in. I want to walk on the shore of new life. I want to take this and put it aside. I don’t want Jeff’s death to paralyze my life and my view of my future life.

My whole life, or for however long I can remember, I wanted to grow old and marry Jeff. I wanted to have a family with him. We wanted so many things together when we spoke of our future: kids, a big wedding, a front porch, suburbs, love, so much love. But I need to let these things go in order to stop drowning in this grief. I have been so strong in the face of recent events in my life but I am just so paralyzed by his absence. I don’t know how to get out of the depth of this ocean. I think I am in the clear and suddenly an unexpected wave comes over me and I’m left without knowing which way is up.

I am trying so hard to turn the page and start a new chapter. I just don’t know what I need to do. I’ve been told that the blog and the book I have been writing on Jeff’s death should help, which it has, but here I am. I’m still a mess. I’m caught between wanting to let go and holding on for dear life. I feel like maybe I’m comforted by the grief sometimes, maybe its because it’s familiar? Maybe because I dealt with him almost dying for a great deal of my life. I dealt with him breaking my heart, I dealt with him trying to die on me. I cried myself to sleep almost every night for 4.5 years. So how do I make this uncomfortable? I dont know if I enjoy it or not. How do I know? Maybe it makes me feel close to him? Maybe it makes me feel less guilt? I don’t know.

I am taking the steps toward figuring this out. But there are 20 years of life and love between him and I to talk about. This process is going to take time.

Class of 2015.

Jeff was supposed to graduate this May. He was supposed to have his degree and be on his way to become a doctor. I realized this just a few hours ago. I realized that he was supposed to celebrate another accomplishment that, yet again, he will not. The death of someone so young makes it hard to be completely happy on those days that you’re supposed to celebrate; like graduating from college. Part of you feels pain and sadness from the lack of someone special you’re supposed to share it with, from the fact that they were supposed to have it too.

On my wedding day, what is supposed to be the happiest day of my life,  I’ll know that for a long time I wanted to marry a man that is dead. I’ll know that he was supposed to be there. I’ll know that he’ll never get married or have kids. He loved kids. He’ll never know what it’s like to land your dream job. He was supposed to have all these things too, just like me and Olivia and Stephen, all of his friends. It makes it hard to celebrate because there is that fraction of you that is thinking he can’t have this.

I loved him. All I ever wanted was for him to be happy. He never got that.

He was supposed to help people. He did help people. He helped me. He helped me love myself, in a twisted way, but nonetheless, I loved myself a little more because of him. He helped me find my soul mate best friend. I just wish he was here to witness it. To see how happy her and I are.

I’m just ranting. I am sad because this is yet another monumental moment he is missing, and we miss celebrating with him.

Words can inspire. Words can destroy.

I love words. I love the way they can be strung together and picked apart so beautifully and so tragically. I love the way they flow and sound so elegant and smooth. The different ways you can say the same thing. I love the power new words have. The power to make someone question what you are saying if they don’t understand, or the slight fraction of more understanding a person has for what you’ve said because of your diction. I am an English major because I love words. I wanted to study them, and read as much as possible of beautiful sentences. I studied devices to create literature and other mediums of beautiful language: metaphor and simile, a way to compare a feeling to nature. Personification, a way to take something non-human and humanize it. Words distinguish us from every other organism in the universe. Words can make you feel on top of the world.

“Lisa, I love you, too.”

These words gave me a sense of absolution, adoration, and relief. I had waited so long for someone, especially him, to love me back. I wished on all of my birthday candles for him to finally love me back. When I heard those words, I flew. I rose and soared into a future that I had immediately dreamed of upon hearing those words.  I admire words, but they are also so terrifying. to hear one simple sentence from someone can tear your entire world apart.

Jeff is dead. “

Three simple words and they destroyed so much of me. They obliterated every hope and dream I ever had about falling in love and a future. They took so much happiness out of my life for three years. I was deconstructed and I had to rebuild. So many of his words swim around in my head like guppies in a pond, wandering scattered without purpose. What is their significance if there none of it matters anymore, if he is no longer here to continue his love. I’m here left loving him; someone who no longer exists.


I was watching one of my favorite shows, One Tree Hill, which revels in the use of words and literature. I love listening to the raw nature of the characters and the words they use when they give their impassioned speeches. Then there is a band that I enjoy, The Spill Canvas, who writes with the same raw and blunt form as the speeches in OTH. I adore the stoic diction and syntax they capture. I like books that are this way. But there is a beauty in the enigma or words too, they make you think about what exactly the speaker means; Fall Out Boy does this. The bewilderment that you are left with after just a few lines of a song get you thinking and you realize how beautiful they actually are.


Language. Words. I studied it because I love it.

Sometimes words fail you. They fail because our minds cannot fathom a word to express the exact amount of sorrow or despair we are feeling. Unfortunately. words do come up short on occasion. I grew up with a lot of feelings I could not communicate. When I finally was able to channel my angst into a poem or blog post, there was relief. Words alleviate the pressure sometimes.


I’ll write my heart out for Jeff until the day I die. There will never be enough words to completely show someone how I felt and still feel toward him. I can say he was everything, because he was. But no one will ever fully comprehend what that means to me.

Some days it’s hard.

Some days it’s hard. Hard to breathe, to open your eyes, to put your feet on the cold floor, stand up and take in the sun. I miss my best friend. Three years and two months ago he hung himself. He meant the world to me and now he is gone. Now that it has been three years, I find myself not thinking about him one day at a time. That, to me, is tragic. Three years ago it was impossible to get him off my mind. What terrifies me is three more years from now how will it be?How often will I think about him, about how we fell in love and how we fell apart?

I do still have a million questions just like I did when he died. So maybe that will never change because none of them will get answered. I just don’t want to forget. That terrifies me. I never want to forget the way he smelled. The way he smiled at me. The way he lit up any room. Forgetting those things terrify me. I wont forget how I found out he was dead, or the wake, or the funeral. I just dont want those memories to replace the great ones.

Some days it is hard to remember the way he breathed. The way his eyes would stare into mine. The way he walked and the sun shone on his tan skin. Some days it’s hard.