Thursday, July 07, 2016

If the thunder cloud passes rain, so let it rain

I didn't think this one would freak me out so much.

As I said in my prior post, it's so awful for her family. But I barely knew Sarah, so her death wasn't really a personal loss to me.

And yet.

I'm so weary of one tragic death after another.  Of people whose lives are ending way, way too early. Emma was 17.  Lori was 45. Sarah was in her late 30s or maybe 40.  I'm weary of people in my life being devastated by loss, over and over again.

I consider myself a really tough person. But right now, I am a total fucking mess. I'm not sleeping except to have brutal dreams. I'm in a constant state of anxiety and exhaustion - I'm so tired, and my chest feels constricted, like I need to keep taking really deep breaths but I can still never get enough oxygen. Everything is making me weepy.  I feel gripped by tension, and nothing seems to ease it.

Over the past couple of years, I've discovered that when I'm supremely exhausted, my sense of taste is thrown off. Things that would ordinarily be delicious to me taste wrong and unpleasant.  And last night, in an effort to try to distract myself, I cooked a complicated dish that should have been yummy. But it tasted awful to me, and I ended up throwing it away and going to bed at 7:15.

I also feel very alone right now, like I have no one to comfort me.  The friends who I would normally look to to help prop me up are far away, or out of town, or dealing with their own shit.  My family is far away. My children are on a two week vacation with their dad.  I have an overwhelming desire to be enveloped in a warm hug, to have someone say, "it's ok, everything's going to be ok." But for the next week and a half, I come home to an empty house, and it feels very lonely.

I have things to look forward to, thank goodness.  In a week and a half a bunch of my dearest friends from India will be visiting, and we will have a joyous time catching up.  Y'all know how much I love my India peeps.

And then a week after that, the kids and I are leaving for the Outer Banks for two weeks at the beach. As ever, it will be a welcome respite, a time to relax and swim and read books and eat ice cream and bask in the love of family.  Y'all know how much I love the Outer Banks.

Looking ahead is keeping me going.  I can grit my teeth and gut it out until my children come home and my friends get here.  I can exercise to the point of exhaustion and get some Ambien to help me sleep at night. I can go for long walks and look up at the sky.

It will pass.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

What next?

Every time I get news about a death in the family (or in this case, extended family-in-law), I think, "ok, this really has to be it.  No more."  With Emma it was shock and horror and bottomless sadness.  With Lori it was shock and anger and a feeling of exhaustion, with some despair for my brother and his girls thrown in.

This time, with the news that Lori's younger sister Sarah died today, after years of ravaging her body because of personal demons, my reaction was just shock.  But not even very much - quite honestly, the shock stems not from the fact that it happened, but that it happened now, a mere 4 1/2 months after Lori died.  That within a less than two year span, her parents have lost two daughters and a granddaughter.

I don't know how a person deals with that.  I can't wrap my head around it.

To be clear, I don't consider this a personal loss. I didn't have any kind of relationship with her, nor did Josh.  I don't need any personal condolences.  Rather, my sadness stems from the fact that it's such a tragic waste of a life, and so desperately, unfathomably awful for the family she left behind - parents, brothers, and a grandmother.

It's too much death. Too many funerals. Just too much. This is Greek tragedy level shit.

Weird things pop into my head. First was that I received the call from my mother rather than my father.  Her vocal inflection for announcing death and destruction is different from his.

Second was that I felt genuine pity for someone I've been rather severe with, in terms of my assessment of her culpability in her other daughter's demise.  But whatever failings she had or has, nobody deserves this.

I was talking to Josh, and we both remarked on how yet another death reinforces, once again, the importance of finding joy and purpose and beauty in every day.

As Josh put it, it's time for full-on zero-fucks-given mode.  Not irresponsibility or foolishness, but casting aside all of the silly fears and self-doubts that so often keep us from going after what we want.  Climb mountains, seek out love and adventure, travel, get laid, bask in the joy of friendships.

Just fucking live.