Monday, August 09, 2010

Thank you for my shelter

I am amazed. I am in awe. I am humbled.

Mostly, though, I am comforted by the support and love that has poured out through phone calls, text messages and e-mails.

Although I have seen none of you in person, I feel tightly held. That is calming, and reassuring, and incredible. It gives me strength and courage to do things I might not otherwise do.

I sat at the hospital Saturday, listening to my father and my aunt make plans to help my other aunt, who sat there shell-shocked and dazed. I struggled to find a way to contribute. I struggled with those feelings of contribution: how much can I give? How much should I give? How involved should I become? What happens if I give, again, and get hurt, again.

I have worked hard to separate myself from all that. The dysfunction and pain and grief. The loss of family, of a mentor, of a planned future. The loss of trust. How do I open my arms and walk right back into that?

I wrote his obituary. It was all I could think to offer. Writing and photography are easy for me, easy to give. Since there is no need for image-making, all I can do is write. Writing here on the blog helps no one but me, but maybe writing the obit helps ease some of the burden for my family in a small way.

I'm becoming quite adept at writing obituaries. Which is unfortunate.

I figured out that this week is easy, relatively speaking. Other than dealing with the raw grief that comes when someone dies. It's what comes after this week that scares the hell out of me. Do we all go back to fighting and not talking to each other? It's the great unknown: what's next? How do we move forward? Or, a better question would be, can we move forward?

I feel like saying, "Hey, let's make a deal. You quit making up crap and saying stupid shit about me, and quit hurting people I love, and I'll stop resenting you and being pissed at you."

What is the etiquette in this situation? In days of old, women wore a black veil for a designated period of time after a loss. It was all tied up with a nice, neat bow. You are to grieve for X days, after which you can wear prints again. But what is the timeframe for calling someone on their shit? I really don't want to move forward wondering when the next bomb will go off, waiting for something to happen, only to lash out, again, and defend myself, again, and feel hurt and furious, again. I really don't want to move forward with people I love being hurt again and again, only this time it's cloaked in acceptability labeled "grief" and "loss."

We will see, I suppose. In the meantime, I will keep forging ahead knowing that my safety net is not only intact, it is gorgeous and loving and supports me so much that I don't need to work to support myself at all.

Love will hold us together
Make us a shelter to weather the storm
And I'll be my brother's keeper
So the whole world will know that we're not alone.
-Matt Maher


Post a Comment

<< Home