Friday, March 9, 2012

To mark another passing.

My ex girlfriend's brother just committed suicide. What a bizarre sentence. Maybe I'll scribble it down somewhere for the start of a poem once I've unpacked my grief.

My ex girlfriend's brother just committed suicide. I didn't know him well. In fact, we met only once on an ill fated visit to her parent's house while we were both in a contentious coming out process. Nor do I really keep in touch with my ex very much. With nearly a continent and 13 years between us, good intentions and warm feelings are not enough to keep our lives from drifting apart. So while I am sad, my feelings  are not from any direct connection to any of the parties directly involved.

Rather I feel like I have passed through a spectre I thought myself long rid of. As someone who lives with depression, who built a support group out of similarly suffering friends, who went to an undergraduate institution with a high suicide rate, I relate too well with the person who does not see the point of tomorrow.

I have sat with a friend on his ex girlfriend's grave, on the anniversary of her death. He pats the grass, says his goodbyes. The entire ritual is necessary, but somehow anticlimactic due to his inability to fully express his love and his anger. Driving back to town, he explains his irrational anger at the windows that open on high rises. ... We both remember the nights, years prior, when I had called him, full of self destruction; the nights he took me away for a few hours in his car, and sat with me on my bed until I fell asleep. Those midnight drives lie heavy in car, heading back to the city. We both know that, but for fortune, he could have also done this for me.

This experience does not help me find words to comfort my ex girlfriend. Maybe, if we lived closer, I could bring over a few board games and Xena reruns, and we could reminisce, or not, as she felt she needs to do. But we don't.

I remember walking along a riverbank during spring break with my room mate. The trees were in bloom; pink and white petals fluttered to the ground. A friend of hers had killed herself a month prior. My room mate looked up at the trees and said "If she'd just waited, she could have had this. If you end your life at a low, you never get to experience the good things that will come after." There is wisdom in those words, both for those considering death, and those they leave behind. I just wish I could filter it and pass it on.

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