How do you move on after such a massive disturbance in the force?
i have no fucking idea. But i can tell you some of the things i’ve found myself doing over the past few days…
Therapeutic Vandalism: Dropping a bottle opener into the casket at the visitation. Because he was never very good at removing the twist-off caps…
Blasphemy: As a militant atheist, he would have been unhappy about the full Catholic mass funeral. But it wasn’t for our benefit, and certainly wasn’t for his, so we sat in the back and tried to contain the snark as best we could. i made quiet hissing noises as the priest splashed drops of holy water on the box at the front of the church. When the priest said “He loved animals…” Studley muttered “… but he was acquitted!” under his breath. Mouthing the words to the “Gilligan’s Island Theme Song” as the congregation sang “Amazing Grace”. There were no lightning bolts. THAT was amazing.
Bipolarity: Smiling and crying simultaneously while seeing old photos of my dead friend. Pictures of him as a young boy shown at the memorial service. Pictures of him as a graduate engineering student. A goatee? Facial hair? Really? Whoa…
Doing puzzles: Not the cardboard variety, but fact puzzles. Locating bits of information. Sorting out what is true, versus speculation. Without stepping on the grief of others, this is a delicate operation – and patience is required. For each nugget of truth unraveled, we answer one question, but uncover five more questions. This is a losing proposition, but we can’t help it. Why, why, WHY the fuck did he do this?
“Eastwooding”*: i had a rather extensive conversation with an empty chair on my deck yesterday afternoon. Called that chair a Dumbass. Asked that chair “why?” and “how did we miss the depth of your despair?” Eventually told that chair i was really sorry he’d suffered so much. The chair remained defiantly silent. i decided i should go inside. Put some clothes on, too…
OCD-Zombie: Spent today excavating The Girl’s bedroom**, to make it habitable for The Boy when he returns between work assignments on the road. “Clear the shelves on the bookcase in the theater room. Haul the books from the bedroom to the theater room. Arrange books on shelves, tallest to shortest. Repeat. Stare at dog. Start a load of laundry. Move more books. Haul trash to dumpster. Return to laundry room to put detergent into washing machine, after cycle is nearly complete. Stare at cat…”
Get out: Studley and i both needed to get out yesterday. Went to a local Reggae festival. Danced half-heartedly. Mostly hung on each other. Got rained on. Barely noticed.
Use your passport: Preparing for a vacation with my best friend, dive buddy and lover***. Remote island in the Caribbean. Diving. Reef sharks, rays, technicolor fish. Private beach. Drinking ourselves into a benign, mind-numbed stupor. And crawl inside our heads a little bit…
* In case you missed it, Clint Eastwood was the surprise speaker at the Republican National Convention last week. An improvised monologue with an empty chair – an implied conversation with the President. Link to the video is here if you need help staying awake at night… This is some creepy shit.
** Nothing depressing about THAT, is there? She was in town for three weeks before returning to her home in Turkey. Loved having her with me, and miss her now that she’s gone. Won’t see her again until… our next Skype date.
*** No. Only one person – not three different people. Although that would be a helluva vacation, wouldn’t it?
Sounds like a plan to me. Here’s to hoping you find a measure of peace today.
It will get better. Still very raw… Thanks….
Just don’t make Mr. Eastwood’s day!
i will try very hard to remember him as Dirty Harry in “The Gauntlet”, or even that eeejit in “Every Which Way But Loose”. Hard to see him as a rambling, dottering, old man talking to a chair…
Wow, Daisy. I think I will invite you to my next funeral. We can hiss together when the holy water hits the hellion, whoever it may be. Isn’t it awful? I’ve done two funerals already this year. One was a suicide, too, so I can relate but I’m pretty sure you were closer to yours than I was to mine. I hope you find better answers than I did.
Another engineer friend and i were calculating the rpm’s he must have been doing inside the casket. The funeral was to provide comfort to the maximum number of people, primarily the family. i hope they got what they needed. we were stunned at the visitation to find ‘open casket’. All i can figure is that they wanted to see him whole and found a measure of comfort with that, too. We wanted to report the mortician, who should probably lose his license for that particular bit of work…
“There comes a time when a responsible mortician will say ‘this reconstruction just isn’t going well. How about a closed casket.'” Yeah – that.
think we could get this dickweed’s license revoked?
~hugs~ I had no idea about ANY of it. I’m so so sorry, and so bewildered. I can’t even begin to imagine what it feels like when you’re even closer to the person. If you ever need to rant a little or vent, and you need that neutral place, you know where you can find me. I can’t put the pieces of the puzzle together, but I can listen really well. xx
Sor sorry for you to find out here – hadn’t realized you still read the blog. He was a regular at your place… We’ll never really know why. Figure he must have been in unbearable pain. Will try to stop by for a hug soon… Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
right now, sugar, i’m just gonna be sam to your ric, ok? hugs, sister! xoxoxoxox
thank you! does that mean i get to be the “big spoon”? xoxoxo
Good Lord! What the hell has been happening while I was out? Gotta’ go back a few posts.
Yeah. i was on hiatus. Ran out of words about a month ago. Thought i was done. Oops… Thanks for stopping by…
Sounds like it’ll be a hell of a vacation anyway – have a great one…
Yes saw a very short clip of the Eastwood thing… Oh My God!!! Who in thier right mind thought that was a vote winner?!
Haven’t had a proper week-long vacation yet this year. Timing is good for this one… and there is the ‘zen’ of diving. This will be a week of deep dives, gorgeous reefs, and plentiful aquatic critters. Very therapeutic…
Mr. Eastwood was just doing what he thought helpful. It’s his handlers who should be taken to task for the failure. But then again, the politicos and talking heads are spinning this as a “Great Job!”….almost before he was finished with the monologue. Whatever…
The vacation sounds perfect. It sounds like something we could/should all aspire to, with all three of the wonderful people you mentioned.
And I adored your vandalism and your blasphemy. BiPolarity is the thinking woman’s response to situations like that.
You rock. Now and always.
Thanks! Looking forward to putting a few more stamps on the passport. A little crashing surf won’t hurt, either…Lucky to be surrounded by good humans – in real life, and out here in the ether. Very much appreciating my bloggy-mates this week….
I belive that Eastwooding will become the verb of choice for 2012. This is just so sad to read. I’m sorry, dear. Are you really going away for a spell? That’s the best balm.
Yeah. Will have to see if it makes it in the dictionary. At least the Urban Dictionary. Social media/memes are already at tsunami levels… Going to a very tiny island in a warm place for a bit. With someone who shares this particurlar disruption in the force. Good balm indeed…
I was so shocked when you told me it was our travelling companion from the Chicago holiday. Still reeling, even though I only knew him for a few days. You and Studley were such good friends to him, remember the happiness you contributed to his life when the dark days are upon you. xx
He adored your blog and was thrilled to have a chance to spend time with you in Chicago… well, except for the Bananagrams thing…. 🙂 We’re off to dive for a week. To say that this island is small is an understatement. Not much to do but eat, sleep, drink, dive and screw…. Perhaps the perfect vacation. Hugs to you, my darlin’ nurse….
Diving in the Caribbean sounds awesomely therapeutic. Autopeutic and Metapuetic too. Just don’t drink too much or you’ll get peutic all over. You sound like fun at a funeral. Personally, I’ve been thinking about having my body frozen, so if they decide to go open casket at my funeral, I’m going to request they use a blow up sex doll in its place.
All kinds of ‘peutic’… i like that. Can’t say that we had fun at the funeral, but when the catholic mass runs over an hour? you’ve pretty much got to do something to keep your parts from falling asleep — although that ‘stand up, sit down, fight, fight fight’ stuff they do at mass helps keep you awake… helium in the inflateable doll? that’ll get some attention!
“How did I miss the depth of your despair?” is the one that never seems to quite go away, at least for me. I know that people on the edge are very good at hiding their pain, but it doesn’t completely cancel the niggling sense of failure. Also, a couple of years ago I read about someone arranging their books by color. I’ve not been quite the same since.
i’m coming to believe it’s important to acknowledge the depth and degree of the despair, even if i can’t fully comprehend checking out early because of it. physical pain is easier to understand for those of us who have been lucky enough to have only suffered the more ‘garden variety’ emotional pain…
i started trying to arrange books by height AND color, but it was too much. would have taken me hours… i had to get the room done so i could wander off and scratch my bits in a different room for awhile.
My dear, Chris really hit the nail on the head when he said people are very good at hiding their pain. There have been long nights in the past where I contemplated offing myself, but ultimately what kept me from it is that I just couldn’t do something like that to the people who loved me. Plus the deep inner sanity that told me clearly that if I was dead there was no way the situation could ever improve.
One thing you have left off your list of things you should be doing to help yourself heal is that you should be taking some quiet time to truly breathe as deeply as you can, expelling all stale old air and allowing your lungs to fill with the life force that is oxygen. This does not take a long time but would be a good adjunct to the “eastwooding” of an empty chair, and probably more productive in the long run….
Stay well and I hope you really love using your passport. Only one lover? sheesh. I am disillusioned….
glad you decided to stick around. i’m finding many folks who are sharing glimpses of such dark times….and coming to realize that i’ve been fortunate to avoid that. at least so far.
the beauty of scuba? breathing is EVERYTHING. the near meditative state that i get to underwater is as close to mediation as i will likely ever come… and combined with the physical exhaustion of strenuous activity for so many hours at at time? i sleep. i sleep deeply on dive trips.
only one lover on this particular trip, my dear… don’t think i’ve gotten all conventional on you or anything… 😉
Daisyfae, I hope you have a wonderful vacation where you can forget the pain. I’m jealous you’ll be diving. Stay away from sharks!
thank you, sweet lady… deep diving. mostly wall dives on the lee side of the island, which means no rough seas. >80F water temps, too… it will be good… and good for me!
Friends keep us sane. I am so sorry you lost one. The change of geography is a good plan, just let the stream of consciousness continue to run, and you will gradually escape the fog of pain surrounding your thoughts.
It sucks. Stream of consciousness is ‘process du jour’. Which makes packing pretty entertaining…. usually i’m a “night before” packer. Even on long trips. This time, due to the gear and electronics required? Already close to finished… clothing? not much required. 3 bathing suits, flip flops, sunscreen, bug spray and a good hat.
A warm, tiny island with drinks, diving and *ahem* extra-curricular activities sounds like a good place to start the healing.
Even if it is with only one lover! 😉 (lol)
As you know, loss never fully mends itself …. it just heals over enough so that it’s not a constant pain.
I hope you find some peace.
Be safe sweet lady …..
i don’t have a therapist. i have a passport, a dive computer and a regulator… over a lifetime? probably costs the same amount of money. the process of vacation prep has helped provide focus. saltwater and whisky will do most of the rest… as always, glad you stopped by!
Holy crap, Daisyfae, my heart goes out to you! So very sorry for the inexplicable loss of your friend. You did make me smile, though, with the “loved animals…but was acquitted” remark.
I remember a Catholic service I attended where my daughter asked about the little box with the curtains that was on the altar. I didn’t know what it was, so I said the priest was going to put on a puppet show. We both barely stifled our laughter and nearly peed our pants.
Have a fun vacation, dearie. You deserve it.
we were like a row of fidgety, 10 year old boys in the back of the church… even played the “…Between the Sheets” game with songs in the hymnal… There were quite a few moments where we had to feign being overcome by tears to cover the eruption of giggles and near snorts. i suppose life would be a lot less fun as an adult. i expect i’ll never know….
thank you for visiting. loves my readers, i do…
Farting in church can be fun, especially when timed with the satanic organ that pipes out more stress than the actual bereavement itself.
Hang on in there hen, remember your pal for the good times, never the bad. There is no more pain for him to experience now after the closing of the lid. To some of us, that could well be the paradise that we hear so much about.
Never lose sight of the fact that he knew exactly who his real pals were.
Thank you. The lid is closed. i’m in an airport, headed somewhere sunny and warm. Your suggestion of ‘surf therapy’ is perhaps all there is to do… We made him laugh. We made him smile. What else is there to give?
i tried to comment back in Jan 2011 when you posted about the suicide of a 16 y.o. but i couldn’t because of dealing with the suicide of a co-worker/friend who left behind 15 and 10 y.o old sons and feelings were just too raw. Now some time has passed and my acceptance that some questions will never be answered. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so eloquently with us.
So very sorry for your loss, cew… far too common an experience. About 10 days out for me, and it’s still open, raw and painful. But there really is nothing to do. Only can care for those left behind. Hoping that the children your friend left behind are moving onward, getting support, and not still roiling in those unanswered questions… Take care. And thanks for stopping by….
I imagine you’ll be pondering the “why” for years to come–but in the meantime, the holiday sounds like it’s come at the best possible time.
we will. and it did. now, back to the salt mines… personal and professional.