20 years ago today the most important person in my life, my friend Staci, committed suicide. In two days it will be the 6th anniversary of the death of my friend Shane, Maggie's first husband and Cole's Daddy. I get especially sensitive to Cole during this time, because I go back to the promise I made Shane that I would always look after and take care of him and of Maggie. This whole month is always a wierd, haunted thing for me, especially this year given the fact that it was just last summer around this time that I lost two cousins I grew up with and lived childhood through. My cousin Lynn died last summer after a life-long, excruciating battle with Hemophilia and a valiant 10 year fight against AIDS. My cousin Robb died when the car he was driving was run over and subsequently crushed by a tractor trailer at 70 MPH on a highway, killing him instantly or so they say. From the look of the car, I cannot imagine how he could have lived longer than that after the impact. Their deaths, as well as that of my oldest Aunt, were all within the space of a month and a half.
I've been thinking a lot about all of them lately, and this year instead of the usual melancholiness that comes I am also feeling a lot of bitterness and anger. Mostly because I feel cheated and ripped off. They should all be here, they should all be here to know and love D and support him as much as they supported me. They should be here for when I'm going through something and go through it with me. We should all be spending Sunday dinner together and sharing bottles of good red wine, we should be watching the kids all playing together and experiencing them being like we used to be. We should have had more time together.
I'm sure that all of this stuff weighing on me right now is playing part into why I feel so edgy and out of sorts. I didn't really think about it until just now, but it makes perfect sense. Actually, I always do this. I start being a cranky, grizzled bastard and before I even know it BOOM! - I remember what's around the corner. I'll want to be with my family and friends, and then in the blink of an eye I want to be completely alone. I want to go somewhere and do something, then a second later I don't want to do anything at all. Things that normally just roll right off of me are setting me off and getting under my skin in a bad way. Part of that is not having my pictures. I have pictures of Shane and of Robb, Mama has pictures of Lynn but I have no pictures of Staci. There is a picture of her (my favorite picture of her, as a matter of fact - I dressed her for it) on her grave marker. I might go to the cemetery and take a picture of it and see if I cannot Photoshop it or something.
All of these things put me in a frame of mind where I just miss the people I've lost (and there are many more I haven't even mentioned) and it makes me difficult to suffer I'm sure. This is the only time of the year that I really allow the part of me that feels especially empty to be indulged and given attention. Because if I allowed it to be open for very long, I'd be swallowed by the sadnesses that come home to roost in me during the summer and I'd stop being me. I like being me, I don't want to be anyone else and I certainly don't want to be the self destructive mess I used to be. It works for me to allot a particular time to feel things I can only stand to feel in small doses. At least that way I can compartmentalize it later and continue on doing the things I have to do to get by. You cannot be down all of the time, at a certain point you have to be responsible for owning your feelings and deciding that even though you may not want to, you may not feel like it, you have to get your ass up and get moving.
This weekend the family leaves for vacation and I go to spend the majority of the week with D. Tomorrow I'm tuning the bikes up and getting them ready for a bike trip on the riverwalk this weekend. I'm going to be very meditative and I'm going to do some yoga and sit quietly by the river. I'm going to wake up and have coffee and remind myself that in spite of everything I feel weighing on me, I have a fantastic life full of love and acceptance and respect, honor and support and laughter, and I'll change the things I miss into the things I don't have to miss because they're all around me, all the time, and they need me to be a better and whole me.
I am about to take Avery and put her down for a nap, then I'm going to make myself a very indulgent cup of Sweet Dreams with lavender honey and get my shit together for today. Maggie called to inform me that in lieu of cooking dinner, we're going to eat sushi until we go blind, which is always the best of antidepressants.
June 30, 2006
I want to feel better tomorrow, somehow unburdened by all of this. I've felt completely introverted and disconnected all day long. Vacation begins tomorrow, it's been a long time coming. Much unproductive late sleeping and napping will occur.