After suddenly losing a loved one, there is nothing anyone can say that will make the situation better. There are no words to describe the feeling of a life being taken away. Life cannot be measured in syllables or theories, it can’t even be measured in tears.
Sometimes when you are told that someone you love is no longer living, you begin to question them (this is how I have reacted in the past). The initial shock doesn’t allow you to prepare for the emotions that will eventually hit you. If you walk outside on a cold winter day, with no hat or coat on, you eventually become numb to the cold. This is a lot like the process of mourning.You’re hit with a feeling you don’t want to believe exists and it alters everything within you. When I got news of my Aunt’s sudden death (two years ago, today), I was in denial. I had seen her only weeks before and she had been perfectly healthy.
I was in the middle of watching ‘The Riches’ on Netflix during a week of sickness and essay writing, and I happened to be staying at my dad’s house. My mother walked in, which was very unusual, and told me about the news. I didn’t know how to react and my only thought was a defiant “no,” I wasn’t ready for it to happen. I wanted to stay curled up in bed with my computer, and I wanted to erase the knowledge I had just received. But I knew I couldn’t stay, even though I didn’t want to believe that what was happening was real.
The sadness I saw in my family members shocked me. I was so close to my Aunt Marilyn that I reacted to her death very unusually. The loss I felt often hit me in waves. One moment I wasn’t able to feel a thing, and the next moment I felt awkward around my own grieving family. I was on and off like a light-switch. I was constantly worried I wasn’t doing it right, mourning that is.
Mourning is different for everyone. I tend to keep things bottled up so I mourned in silence, and sometimes lashed out at people. That summer, I became deeply depressed. I wanted to quit school. (At one point I seriously emailed a private detective college in Toronto because I couldn’t see my university career working out.) I felt like I was insane and the only thing I could do was write about it. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I would stay up until 6am and then sleep the entire day. I was living with my dad and his girlfriend and when they got home from work every day, I was confronted with the dread of having to wake up.
I started to go running, and that is what I would do with my day. Then I started a blog of poetry and I met a few new friends online, as I had no friends in the city I was living (I hadn’t grown up there). I got a job at the factory my dad was working at and I tried anxiety medication. The job only worked out for about three months and I decided to quit the medication only after a week of use, because I read online that it was easy to become addicted, and I was worried about getting brain zaps. But I mainly stopped taking it because I felt like I couldn’t use my brain. I learned that although my emotions are painful at times, they are also incredibly beautiful. And I can’t write shit without them. (I owe all of my writing to my Aunt, it’s weird to say, but her death gave me a reason to write. I would have never taken up writing if it wasn’t for the legacy of inspiration she left behind. It’s all dedicated to her and only her.)
-some more thoughts on guilt and being triggered by death are coming tomorrow and the day after. Sorry if this post was boring. I need to get these feelings out, and tomorrows post will be more interesting, and with pictures.