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Friday, February 18, 2005

Because the night 

Before I go out and have a good night with weird and zany people tonight, I wanted to get all the jittery-ness out. So blogging seemed like a good option. It's just that anytime I sit down in front of a keyboard with my blog open I lose whatever it is that I want to say. I know the general idea, but I lose the angle at which I want to approach the whole thing. Things just swirl in my head and I can't quite get into my own skin anymore to sit and write like I used to. Not that it's interesting at all, but I used to be able to write about anything. Without pause. Without the backspace. Without thinking or planning or rewording things. I used to have the flow of the blog entry. The starting point and the point where I wanted it to end.

I've been a little off lately. And I haven't explained why. And I find it hard to explain why. Not because I don't know. Not because I can't understand it myself. Merely for the fact that I can't find the words. I'm speechless, but only for lack of ability to put a sentence together in an understandable format. I write entries, entire blocks of text that I can't possibly put on my blog because at the point of rereading it, or reading it, I suppose, it's bullshit. It's confusion. It's nothing that says anything. At least in the past with all of my cryptic behavior, and all of my sly comments, I had a point. And I knew that should I ever reread any of the cryptic entries that I've already written that I would know just exactly what it was that I was talking about. And lately, I just can't do that. It's all on the surface and not going anywhere below. It doesn't touch me, it doesn't have anything to do with me. It's just fodder that means nothing to anyone.

I never made the time for blogging, I just happened upon it regularly. It was always just something I stumbled upon. I had something to say, something to write about, something to remind myself about at some later point. My audience drifted for a while, and I started writing for people that read this tiny little thing. I hated it, and I preemptively apologized for going back to writing for me. It bothered me that I did that. But what bothered me most is that my writing audience changed in what I wanted, but not what I wrote. It's part of the reason I've been so sparse lately - but trust me it's not the main reason. Working 12 hour days or 10 hour days since December hasn't done much for my energy levels outside the office.

A couple of people that I know are having a hard time. And not that it's anyone's business here, but I'm going to talk about it anyways. A friend of mine is going through a really tough time. For fun, I'll call him Frank. Frank's past is coming back to him. And god how I wish I could say something to make it easier. To make it better. To make it somehow bearable. Suicide isn't something that I have any experience with, but I'm no stranger to losing someone that you love.

I was chronicling this the other night - how distasteful, I know. Starting from the age of 1, I've regularly lost people in my life. Some due to accidents, some to cruel fates and some to just plain piss poor luck. I think most about my dad. I remember what it was like to watch him after a chemotherapy session. I wouldn't have missed it for the world, not because it was so great or fabulous or so awe-inspiring and magical. But because it was real. It was him. It was me. And honestly, I just couldn't do it again. I couldn't deal with it all over again. I hurt enough for one father.

Since he died, I've had a number of situations with friends, acquaintances or family members that want to know things about "how it was". And here it is. Here's how it was. This is what I'd say if I had the heart.

It was the worst thing in my entire life. It was everyday aching pain. It was every single moment of my life for one and a half years heart wrenchingly scared. Scared I'd come home and he'd be dead in his chair. Scared I'd go with him to dinner and he'd just pass away there. Frightened out of my mind that I would have to do deal with it alone. It was the saddest time of my life. Sad, not for the fact that I learned more about my dad in one and a half years than in 15 and a half, but sad for the fact that I could have learned those things later, or earlier, or never at all. Sad because I didn't need to know how he handled pain or fear. It was anguish and lonely. It was solitude in a room full of people. It was avoidance of the pity and the saddened looks of the onlookers that couldn't relate but tried to empathize in the best way they could. It was running away from the people that faked the empathy. It was frustration. It was anger. Why did it have to be him? It was tears and heartache. It's been a lump in my throat for the past 13 years. It's torture. And he didn't do it on purpose. So it's worse that you've no one to blame. No one to angle your finger at and say "You fucking jerk, why this? Why now?" And I think the worst part is that it's not over. All of those things - the pain, the fear, the sadness, the depression, the anguish, the loneliness, the running away, the frustration, the anger, the tears and heartache, the lump in my throat, the torture - it's not faded. It's still there. Every single thing is still there to its fullest extent. Time doesn't heal. Time doesn't make you forget.

But it does go on. No matter what you do.

I've been stuggling to post lately too. Not because I have nothing to say.. but by the time I get the kid in bed, sit down and start... the idea, the perfect wording has died a slow painful, day to day life. It happens.
Oh, Kirsten.

"how distasteful"? That's bullshit. Don't deride yourself or your experience, and don't you dare apologise for having feelings.

There is nothing I can say to you, or you to Frank, to make your/his discomfort less; but there are things you could say to yourself. That's what therapy does, it gives you a context in which you can listen to yourself, and the permission to say all the things that the every-day you "doesn't have the heart" to say. Because the difficulty is actually in the hearing, not the saying: You said it very well.

In one of the first scenes of "Truly, Madly, Deeply", Juliet is on the therapist's couch having a quiet cry, mourning her dead husband, and suddenly bursts out "I hate him, I can't forgive him for leaving me." It would be very natural if some part of you did want to blame your father for what you experienced. This horrible and shocking thing was happening to you as well as to him. Nobody should have to go through that, at any age. (How lucky for him, that you were there. My fear is that I will die alone, and nobody will know.)

The word "forgiveness" has been hijacked by the Jesus freaks, it's hard to use it these days without sounding like a slimy TV evangelist, but that is what it's about. Forgive him for dying. Forgive yourself, for what you felt then and still feel now.

That was a fine piece of writing. Why do you think we wouldn't want to hear that? What do you imagine you might write, that would interest or move or touch us more deeply?
Kirsten, I'm here via Udge. Thank you for being brave to post something about the death of a loved one. Being a "woman of a certain age" I am confronting my own mortality, and reviewing a lifetime of losses myself. The only thing that has helped me to is remember the person through actions. It could be lighting a candle, it could be praying, it could be talking about him/her to someone who did or didn't know him/her, it could be dedicating some creation or donation. I don't know whether this will help you or Frank, but I want you to know that you have helped me through your memories of your father.
Can I be speechless too? I felt that lump in my throat again today...but this time it was for a good reason--I somehow feel "un"alone.
Red, I know, it's just been happening for so long these days that I am starting to feel a little desperate. Sad, but true.

Udge, Thanks for all the kind words - every comment from you has always been kind. Thanks. There's a lot of things that are difficult to swallow and difficult to wrap my head around. I'm somehow fearful that writing it out will bring some kind of criticism. I know no matter how decent the writing might be, the entirety of the feeling is missing in it. No matter how well it's written, it's not all encompassingly explanatory. The whole thing is tough to write about. It's tough to think about. It's tough to understand it well enough to express it. But it's easier to take your comments than the ones that I say to myself in response to these kinds of entries. So thanks. :)

Savtadotty, thanks for the kind words. I haven't been able to get enough of talking about my dad lately, but I'm being reserved in it in a way. The blog helps. :)

Anon, join the speechless club. It's not so bad around here, but I do have to say it's a smidge hypocritical, as I've not commented this much on my own blog in ages which contradicts my speechlessness entirely. Can't win 'em all. ;)
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