I keep seeing this t-shirt advertised on Facebook “Everything Hurts And I’m Dying”. Well, not everything hurts. I’m in pretty decent shape for my age. My back hurts and my knees hurt, but that’s probably because I’m pushing my body a bit hard walking five miles a day on paved roads.
I wake up today in a particular funk. In grief there are no good days. There are bad days and there are worse days. Today is one of the worse ones. I don’t even want to get out of bed, but I know if I start laying around when I feel bad I’ll never get up. Instead of sleeping in, I get up early. Instead of cutting my walk short, I add an extra mile and a quarter.
Almost every day I interact with someone dealing with the suicide of another person and/or contemplating suicide herself. I say “herself” with a purpose. I’m in a couple of near death groups and a fear of death group. I’m also in a group for people who have had children pass. The vast majority, and I mean well over 90% of the people in these groups are women. I continue to try to encourage people to keep going on, to put one foot in front of the other. Some ask what happens to those who commit suicide. There is all kinds of conjecture and lots of advice. One woman who was talking about the possibility of cutting her time here short (we can’t kill ourselves- it’s impossible) was advised to just see a therapist and get on Zoloft. She’d be fine.
There is a fundamental misunderstanding of grief if you’ve never been through it. Grief is not just intense depression. Grief isn’t even a form of depression. Depression is to grief as a hangnail is to having your arm amputated -with no anesthesia. Depression you can get over. Depression can be treated with therapy and drugs. I’ve been depressed off an on my entire life. I think it’s pretty natural for empaths. This world is full of pain. If we’re not feeling our own, we’re feeling others’. But, grief is a pain that will never end and a wrong that will not be righted, in this lifetime. Grief is longing for what you once had and know you will have again as long as you’re in this form. Nothing can take the place of what you’ve lost. You’re trying to tell me that taking Zoloft can take the place of my daughter who is longer with me? Fuck Zoloft.
There is only one thing that can cure grief and that is hope that what we have lost will be restored. Everything on this planet fades into its proper perspective when you’ve lost the only thing here that has any real meaning. Jobs, houses, clothes, vacations, even experiences come and go. All that matters are people. And, these meatsuits we’ve chosen to express ourselves through are as temporary as everything else here. That’s the bad news when a loved one passes. But, it’s the good news knowing we won’t be trapped here forever.
I’ve been up for about three hours now. The walk is done and I’m getting into my day. One foot in front of the other. Each step is one step closer. Everything hurts and I’m dying, but that’s not all bad.