river

//

joni mitchell’s song “river” keeps playing in my head, “oh i wish i had a river i could skate away on”. but there is no skating away, no really getting away from this complicated and piercing life i live day in and day out. it is full of caves and underground tunnels of sadness that have no accurate name or description, of despair and loss that can only wander around in endless circles, never finding a way out, because the ugly truth is there’s not one.

this latest version of life that was written for me must be lived here in this unfamiliar and scary place. i often pretend all is mostly well even though i’m stumbling and struggling to catch my breath. i somehow put on a good face that projects a strength that really isn’t a strength, it’s a mask. can you see past it?

the dark is so dark, and those moments when i let some truth slip out i hate the grimaces that so often show up, or the sighs and uncomfortable shifts of eyes, or the clasping of hands and looking away, because the truth seems to hurt anyone it spills out onto. people say they want to know but then when the words fall out along with the tears they seem to often wish they hadn’t asked, because now their faces appear to say they really aren’t sure they want to know after all.

so i hide the grief most of the time, in order to somehow survive.

how does one come to accept this new existence devoid of a person who felt as half their soul? accept the mystery? the lack of answers? the absence of someone so needed there is no defining that depth of need accurately, it stretches beyond the bounds of language, just as the experienced grief does. beyond telling in all its fullness. i wish i had that river to skate away on…

{zt}

(pic credit: pixababy)

nothing

//

nothing looks right,

feels right.

directions skewed.

spaces altered.

colors confused.

thoughts duplicated and running together.

words missing.

hope on the run.

love twisted in knots.

knowledge of not knowing.

of never really knowing.

caustic tugging.

ghostly echoes.

blipped sightings.

tears caught in a swollen throat.

lost so far away,

no destination plotted or conceived.

nothing feels.

no way out upside down.

an inverted heart.

it is gone.

there is no resolution.

okay doesn’t exist here.

{zt}

keep living

//

i used to think i knew what happened when people died. i comforted myself with images of heaven, of a better place, of no more crying and no more pain. the reality is i don’t know what really happens when someone dies. i can guess, but i don’t really know. the old adages don’t bring any comfort anymore. truth is brutal to swallow.

i used to think i had experienced the worst traumas i ever would. i thought i had seen enough of my share. childhood sexual abuse, the divorce of my parents, acquaintance rape in highschool, clergy abuse in highschool and college, being asked to leave a church due to said clergy abuse while they encircled the hurting pastor and his family, the stillbirth of my second child, the miscarriage of my fourth child, losing the scaffolding of the christian faith and christian god that I had built and based my entire life upon…and then the sudden disappearance of my husband and his suicide eighteen days later.

i am sitting here tonight, six and a half months later, still trying to figure out how my life turned into this. supposedly there comes a point where you figure out how to stop asking the questions, how to stop trying to figure out what the hell happened, how to keep the internal tsunami at bay that still desperately wants to save him.

i cannot imagine another man in my life, although i want it and parts of me feel guilty for wanting it now. maybe i want it this soon because of how it all ended. but the reality is that i am not a loner. i don’t do life well without close friends and without a man i love who also loves me back. there is so fucking much i want and need to be different from here on out, but before i nail down all those specifics i just want another human being to look me in the eyes and tell me they see me and that they believe i’m going to make it up and out and away from this ground zero. i want to believe that i can trust again, that i won’t let fear dictate my life from here on out because of all the staggering losses.

there have been days i have wanted to box it all up and call it quits, but really that is not an option i want deep down inside, nor is it an option i would ever pursue. giving up, throwing in the towel, no fucking way. feeling hope again? i sure as hell hope so. feeling wanted again? yes, please. i didn’t die when he left our house quietly one sunday morning. i didn’t die when he pulled the trigger to end his own life. i didn’t die. i didn’t die. i didn’t die. i am alive. i am here. i get to be here. my life is no small thing. i don’t take my own life lightly, i don’t hold it carelessly. i’m here and i want to live. i want to keep living. and i will as best i can.

i wonder sometimes what becoming a widow suddenly and traumatically is supposed to look like and feel like. i wonder if i’m anywhere within normal or if i’m just totally screwed up and can’t even tell. i just don’t know. does anybody really? i know it’s not all black, there is still color. it’s not all tears, there is still laughter. it’s not all sadness, there is still beauty and enjoyment to be found. if you had asked me a year ago what i thought life without him would be like i never would’ve guessed right. it would’ve been too far outside my lived experience. but I can tell you now. it’s hell and it’s not hell, it’s a nightmare and yet it’s not, it’s horrific and maddening, and yet on some days it’s mostly just exhausting and confusing. and every now and then some normalcy seeps in the cracks of this shattered life and you see flickers of light that tell you that you are still very much alive, and life is still very much worth breathing for.

{zt}

everywhere yet nowhere

//

you are everywhere yet nowhere

upon waking you are on my mind

falling asleep filled with images of you

our wedding picture in the living room

family picture in the dining

grief is like food coloring into water

there is no chance of remaining untouched

it colors everything, every space

nothing left alone or unchanged

even when I make my coffee thoughts of you come in

simple things, complicated things, you are in them all

and yet I cannot find you

I cannot hear you or see you

I wonder where you really are right now

are you here in the streaks of sunlight?

the warmth of the light on my skin even when the air is so cold?

or are you actually nowhere? 

I hope you still exist somehow, someway, somewhere

I’ve begged to hear from you in my dreams but nothing comes

no secret signs or magical assurances

your absence is more present than you

everywhere yet nowhere

{zt}

hello suicide

//

I’m scratching and clawing my way to you right now in this very moment just to be here, to show up and tell you what a horrible mindfuck 2017 turned out to be. My amazing and beautiful husband of close to thirteen years died by suicide in August. It has been the horror of horrors. He went missing in July and we tried desperately to find him for about three weeks. I am almost five months out now from the two police officers coming to my door and telling me what I never dreamed in my worst dreams I would ever ever hear. I’ve missing writing here, and I’ve shared some on select places on social media, so this may not be a shock to some of you. Even now as I sit in a new state, in a new house, after a hellacious Christmas that at least my children enjoyed, I want to scream as loud as I can and run across the world to search everywhere for him, to find him, to save him, to bring him back.

On one hand I’m ready for 2017 to go the hell away, but on the other hand I’m not ready to enter a new year he will never experience, where he will not be here to make memories with. Life has not become all darkness, but the darkness touches everything on every level. I’m a fighter and I will keep fighting, but I never thought in my worst moments that life would become what it has become, that his life would come to such a traumatic end, when he was such an incredible beautiful soul.

I’m stopping now, it’s too painful and costs too much right now to say more. I leave you with an Everyone’s Agnostic podcast interview follow-up I did about two months ago where I’m able to talk about what happened to my husband.

Please for fucks sake if you are reading this and feeling suicidal, reach out for help, don’t go it alone. Please. Stay. Stay alive.

{zt}


grief as water

wp-1490149811272.jpg

//

Grief is ever-changing like the moving water in a river or ocean, never stagnant or completely still. There is always something happening, something stirring under the surface or above, or both. Sometimes grief is a like a river in how it winds and twists and turns. Sometimes grief is like an ocean with its strong currents, undertows, and merciless waves coming again and again and again. Sometimes grief is like a ferocious hurricane over the waters, gathering force and spinning out of control, bent on destruction of some sort or another, affecting whatever is in its path. Sometimes grief is like the constant drip drip drip of a leaky faucet, always there and annoying in an innocent dutiful naive manner. Sometimes grief is like a rainstorm on a tin roof that sings a comforting song with its melody.

I hate grief. And yet. It is cleansing and clarifying, and altogether terrible and sweet and relentess, all rolled up into a world of its own. Like water can be, at times it is comforting and warm; but it can also be jarring and dangerous, even life-threatening. It is a world I never feel I belong in, yet when I visit I no longer feel a stranger there, I feel like it is a place I have been before and know well, yet wish I never had to visit again. And yet. I often feel connected in ways in the throes of grief that somehow feel solid, that allow me to feel close to what and who I have lost. That closeness seems at times to fade or go in and out of focus, like a tether to that long lost loved one, or a camera that just cannot seem to find its sweet focus spot anymore, the connection changes as the grief changes. Some days it is undeniably strong and unavoidable like the pain of a fresh burn; others it is a faded other-world-ness dream of a life lived in an alternate space, a space that often seems just out of reach if I try to touch it. Grief crashes, drowns, tricks, surprises, contorts, burns and cracks, and yet it also envelopes, hugs, clears, strengthens, and straightens. Grief is ever-changing.

//

No man ever steps in the same river twice. For it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

{Heraclitus}

//

It is Good Friday, my third one since I knew there was no real personal Jesus or God in the sky watching over me or in my heart as close as my own breath. I wonder if some people think I am no longer a Christian because life just didn’t work out how I wanted, because my baby died, because people were so cruel to me, but no, it isn’t those things at all. It is because noone showed up. It is because of the silence and the lack, the nothingness, the non-existent. The empty space unfilled by a God who was begged to sit down and pull up a chair. I was met by noone but myself in that most deepest of places, then I knew.

I am angry today. I am crushed. I am gutted. None of it is true. Why am I fighting this dead horse that has been beaten to death with no life left in it? This is the strange odd way of grief. It has swooped in and stolen my breath away again. I am choking on my own silence, I find words hard to speak, hard to write, hard to find. The grief is burning today, it is flooding, and I am screaming silent screams as I thrash to find a limb to grab ahold of in this terrible awful place. Will I ever get over this loss of God? How long will I grieve Him? How does one let go of something that let go of you, of someone such as He? I wonder if I am slowly losing my mind sometimes, the grief is a bit maddening at times. I don’t want to be here, I want to be over this, over him, beyond all of it, in the peace and freedom that I have only tasted drops of. I don’t know where to turn, who to say anything to, isn’t everyone tired of hearing this? I will survive these tortourous waves, I will not be pulled under, I will keep fighting for myself and my life, there is much to live for, I know this, I deeply know this. But today is not a good day, this good friday, and yet, I am still here, and that in and of itself is a very good, a beautiful thing. I am where I am. I feel what I feel. Even now I fight internally to allow myself to just be where I am. To know what I know. To have lost what I have lost. Grief is allowed. It is necessary.

{zt}

**If you read this will you find a way in the big crazy world we live in to let me know? Just a very small hello across the cyber-lands? I need to know someone out there hears me and is just simply there, in my corner, cheering me on. Anyone there?

 

 

limbo

wp-1477937554594.jpg

//

standing on the edge of a precipice

looking all around me, trying to find my way

everything looks different again

this is another kind of hard

another kind of pain

a pain laced with freedom in its edges

it feels as though an unknown reality is beckoning me forward

telling me this is the way finally

the wall I was bearing against but yet it was always too high to climb

it was because it was unclimb-able no matter how hard I tried

all the beating, black and blue from all the trying

i finally saw the insanity of it all

the dust is beginning to settle

the fog is starting to dissipate

the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and closer

i’m no longer on the opposite end of it all desperately seeking

now i’m at the end of the tunnel

i’ve left everything i once knew

or i found myself simply gone from it, like a curtain lifted at the end of a play

my reality became fiction

caught in the crossfire

here but not there

no longer standing

i jumped because i had no choice

i caught myself

now suspended

hanging on with all i have

waiting for the fingers to tire of their grip

to become just actually unable to keep holding on any longer

i am hanging here

but what is underneath me?

when i fall, because I will, what will there be?

i know i don’t belong where i have just come out of,

yet i don’t know what the darkness around me holds for me

what is there, who is there, what will it be like?

better, worse, different, all the above

will i survive the falling, the letting go

this in-between place of dangling between two lives

the no of i will not live there anymore

and the no i cannot yet go anywhere else place

the i know this isn’t real

but i don’t know what is real beyond here

the i know he isn’t real

but i don’t know who or what is

this experiential angst of a being caught between death and life

hanging in the balance of terror and freedom

between doubts given credence and the just not knowing

like a rat out of its cage for the very first time

terrified of the unknown, longing for the comfort of the bondage

the horror of what was, the horror of what is to come

the trepidity and bewilderment of a life lived in chains

and the fear and dread of then and now and what is up ahead

frozen in midair, hanging on for dear life

living in oblivion

learning to exist in a space of nothingness

nowhere to go back to and nowhere to run

haunted by a life that is over and scared to death of a life yet to live

when i let go what will happen?