Sad News II

It was very strange to be at work. To see his desk with his coat, but not him. To have his keys in my hand, but not have asked him for them. To go in the spaces he went. To do the things he would have done. 


He wasn’t there. Nor would he ever be again. 


The rest of my day was an overwhelming combination of anger and sorrow. Angry that he had been so selfish. Angry that he left us all here to deal with his mess. Sad that he just wasn’t there anymore. That he felt so broken and desperate that he had to take his own life. 


It was too much for one day. 

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Fond Sadness

I had found it in the deep dark depths of my closet. Hidden away in the bottom of a cardboard box, where the rest of my life was being kept. I pulled it out upon recognition and decided to throw it in my car. Maybe one day I would go through it and pick out one of those discs and try to remember who gave it to me and why as I listened.

Just yesterday I pulled out my first CD. I hadn’t recalled who gave it to me. I still can’t. A combination of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Blue October, some songs from the August Rush Sound Track, and a little Chris Rice. I recalled the summer, in Chicago working for my aunts wife at her “boutique” store…which consisted of several multi-purpose rooms for rent, a nursery for child care, a large art gallery, and an even larger retail space. I had worked that summer to my utmost loneliness. Both my aunt and her wife work…a lot. So I spent a great deal of time alone. I quit working a week early. My boss didn’t like it. The I had to go back to their house, and still deal with the drama that should have been left at work. It was infuriating.

Music got me through that summer. It was all that kept me going. Perhaps that is where the CD came from? Perhaps it was a gift to myself? I still didn’t recall. All I knew was it helped me survive…and that was enough to evoke a fond sadness.

I know I talk about sadness a great deal, and I’m sure you’re all sick of it by now, but I do have a deep fondness to sadness. You can become addicted to it, but only the ones that were a combination of nostalgic sorrow. The sadness of missing someone long lost to you. The sadness of remembering a bitter sweet memory. The kind of sadness that has beauty to it. It’s not traumatic, just poetic and lovely. A warm kind of sorrow that fills your soul with the kind of emotional release humans often need and deprive themselves. Not the kind that drives people to drink, but the kind that makes them take long walks after a glass of wine. We focus so much on happiness, we often forget to allow ourselves to mourn things. To miss things. We tell ourselves good riddance, but the riddance isn’t without it’s own pain.

Music often brings me back to those moments.

Good Bye Friend Part 2

As I sat next to him, it became more and more obvious that something was terribly wrong. It was until he fell off the bed gasping for air, that I was aware it was worse than I feared. I called the vet immediately, and less than a half hour later we were looking at x-rays.

It didn’t look good.

Oliver, over a short period of time, had developed fluid that completely filled one lung, and a mass that was filling half of the other. As the vet told me this my heart sank into my stomach and tears flooded from my eyes. I was ready for it. I knew the moment he had nearly died in my bedroom that this was coming. It was just difficult to grasp.

However, the decision was not hard to make.

I have learned through relationships with humans and pets, that sometimes for the health of either party, you have to let that relationship go. It became obvious to me how badly my Oliver was suffering. It was easy to know that there was no saving him. He had stopped eating as much recently, and that was clear to me that he was ready to go. He was already trying.

I stayed for the procedure. It took seconds really. I pet him and said sweet things to him the whole time. Tearing up as I recalled the moment he came into my life, and now had to face him leaving it. In a half minute from my decision to put him down he was gone. He fell asleep never to wake up again. It was abrupt, the moment the syringe was empty he was gone. My heart felt wrung out, but not crushed. My eyes burned with tears and remain burning as I hold them back to write this now.

We had a good run. Twelve years was a good life for him, all things considered. I was glad to have been able to be his home in his time of need, and glad I was able to help assist him in his end…when he needed it.

I’m terribly sad about the whole thing still. The ability to nurture a living being and care for it all it’s life is a beautiful thing. I still have my dear Shelby, my lady kitty. But Oliver had been my first. My baby boy. He had been my tear catcher and comfort though some of my roughest moments.

Now he is just gone.

Dangerous Questions

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“Wanna ride with me to the gas station?”

“Sure.”

Instantly I began regretting asking.

As she talked at me (because lately she has conversations at me and not with me), I began to realize something about getting older. You are limited in your conversations the older you get. At least in subject matter. I could almost trace the pattern from health issues, to stuff they own, stuff they want to own, to nostalgia back to health issues. It was very circular. Very narrow. Very annoying.

Not once in her whole conversation (which was very one sided I case you didn’t figure it out), did she ever ask me how I was doing. Never was my opinion asked for. Never was the fact that I was even listening a factor. I began to wonder if she even cared if I was listening or just wanted to hear herself talk. So I sat and daydreamed offering affirmation of my attention in soft hums. Just in case she actually did want me to listen. I zoned out as I drove. Just trying to get to the gas station.

A pause in conversation to get gas. Return to car. Instant assault of my exhausted ears and she began to talk again. I began to have a conversation in my own head. One completely honest and open. No tact. No filter. Wondering what it would be like if she had asked how I was doing.

How are you?

Not that well.

Why?

Because I’m very depressed.

Why are you depressed?

Oh well, no particular reason, which makes it even more painful and upsetting.

Well, what’s been going through your mind lately?

How painful life is. How much it hurts. How inadequate I feel lately and under appreciated I feel. How tired I am. How much it takes out of me working as much as I do, even though I know it isn’t a lot. How I feel like, in most things I do, I am a failure. How I feel like all I do is hurt people and let them down, because lately it seems all anyone wants to point out to me is everything I am doing wrong. I feel super misunderstood, and often I don’t want to wake up in the morning.

I’m sorry. I wish there was more I could do. You are loved and appreciated, and we support you no matter what.

*insert me feeling a little less overwhelmed with my emotions and a small smile on my face*

Thanks.

That isn’t even close to how the conversation would actually go. By the time I would finish saying I was depressed she would have listed off all the things I should be doing to feel better. Telling me it’s my diabetes fault because I’m so out of whack. Probably a comment about how I should exercise more for the endorphins with a “that’s what I should be doing” thus turning the conversation back to herself and her health.

I pulled in the driveway. She got out calling to him about an idea apparently I had helped her come to about something in the yard. Part of me was glad she never asked me how I was doing. It would have filtered down to my default response “I’m tired.”

Give Up

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In painful memory
Our eyes burn
With the salt water
Filled oceans
And our hearts ache
With the pain
Of a thousand
Scars
Reopened
We fear
When we lose everything
Not because we have
Nothing left to lose
But because
We have
Only ourselves left
To give up

Fly Away

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The plane ride was much faster for some reason on the way home. I dreaded touch down. I dreaded stepping off the gateway that made me feel closer to him. The moment I got my bags and stepped into the parking garage ever ounce of me hated the Midwest. It was flat. It was cold. He wasn’t here. It just wasn’t my place. It never has been. For so long we argued about living in the Midwest. Now I was there. Now I am here. There is no comparison. There was better for me.

When I was waiting in San Francesco, every heartache I had ever felt seemed to collapse on me all at once. I didn’t want to cry at the gate. I didn’t even want to cry in the car, he just seemed so optimistic. On the plane I didn’t either, since there were just too many witnesses. So I festered anger in my sorrow, and when I got home and closed my bedroom door behind me…I cried on and off for a good long time.

I had for once in my life felt happy. Now it was so far away. So now, I plan to fly away…just need the funds.