It appears we’ve collectively reached an era that sucks. Last year was filled with celebrity heroes passing on, followed by what is now an onslaught of friend’s family members.
This is not cool, all the sadness. We were warmed up with the passing of our sports, music, political and entertainment idols and heroes, but none of that truly prepares anyone for the death of their parent. It’s isolating and terrifying, whether the death is slow and inevitable or surprising and overnight. Whether you’re surrounded by support or are strong enough to lend a shoulder to others, there’s still a feeling of emptiness and loneliness that can be crushing.
I’m “lucky” enough that I’ve always had distance with family; my grandparents passed years ago and we had not been close in ages. That’s not an ideal situation for most, but it works for me. My friends, however, are facing loss after loss and my heart (which I actually do have) aches for them.
Awhile back I wrote about the passing of an exes grandmother and how I felt in a position where I couldn’t express grief for the loss as the ex and I were no longer close. Sadly the same is true today. Another ex has lost a family member (her mother) and while the daughter is one of the toughest people I’ve ever known I wish I could do something – anything – more than write a shorthanded blog post.
“Jill,” I’m in no position to understand what you’re going through, and saying I feel for you means nothing in reality, but I do indeed feel and I do indeed care. I’ll be generally silent (outside of typing in this empty space), but if you ever come across this post I hope you’ll read it and understand the gravity that is felt over your loss.
This era sucks, y’all. We have reached the age where we must face mortality more often. The small bullshit around jobs and orange idiots seems insignificant to family and the stories we can share. Share stories instead.
I have a general rule when it comes to talking about past relationships: “it’s unkind to speak ill of the dead.”
That can be taken darkly (sometimes it’s a subtle jab, sure), but most often it’s just a reuse of a classic phrase that to me means “for better or worse, the past got me here and I’m not going to dig up stories.” Speaking to someone in a new relationship about a previous one will never, ever end well. So I don’t do it.
Most of the time I don’t do it.
I’ve been in California for a few months now, just starting to settle in and of course my mind wanders to people of my past. How are they in general (regardless of how a relationship ended I still care about people), as my life has changed how has theirs? I’m anxious in my new home so how’s the life of the ones that sometimes brought comfort?
I won’t reach out to everyone, others I will (or have). It all depends on appropriateness. Just know, gentle reader, that regardless of whether you’re in the “dead” list or not, I hope you’re doing well.
And to Jill, I hope (I so, so hope) you can see that you’re damn strong. I won’t be silly enough to say “it’ll get better” or any of that nonsense. Instead I’ll take the stance that you’re strong because you’ve already made it this far. If your headaches and heartaches and struggles span back for decades then my god you are stronger than most for sticking it out thus far. Selfishly I, and everyone else, would hope you’ll stick it out longer, but that’s purely up to you. Last thing anyone feeling internal pressure needs is more stupid external pressure.
Silently still waving a flag for you, you inspiring battle worn yet standing rockstar.
Goodbye Seattle. You’ve been the longest running home of mine for 14+ years. A welcome land of incredible friends, crushing heartbreaks, successes and massive folly.
I’m off to my next adventure but know I take you all in my heart and in my memory.
California has the tallest of orders in even attempting partial comparison to what all of you have brought to my life.
I’m humbled by all your kindness, your sharp barbs of humor and insult, and hell even the three-legged-rabbits among you.
To quote one of my favorite artists: “you’ll say goodnight, I’ll say goodbye and then we must part.”
This is a photo of dirty laundry. I found it on Google using an image search because I don’t have it in me to show my own.
Some things are just too personal to put out there.