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My Lost Loves 
30th-May-2007 09:38 am
This past Saturday was my baby boy Cole's 10th birthday party. It occurred on what would have been Shane's 33rd birthday had he lived. For those new to this blog, Shane was my best friend who died suddenly in 2000 and Cole is his only son, who was 3 years old at the time of his death. It's been very hard trying to carry on with our lives and we meet that challenge with the usual successes and failures, and sometimes extraordinary failures and marginal successes.

I miss him every day of my life. Each summer as the date of his death approaches, I start thinking about what was, what could have been, and what never will be. In part this is also because I've lost many people - family and friends - around this same time of year. My childhood best friend was raped and murdered when we were six years old. My best friend when I was a teenager committed suicide when we were 14, and then Shane so unexpectedly on the year I turned 30. As if this all isn't enough, I have stockpiled my grief because there is not just so much of it I cannot even get to, but so many people I mourn the loss of. Confound this by the fact that I have had to weather the loss of multiple family members in succession more than once. Five years ago I lost 3 in the space of 2 months (Granny, my Uncle Kelly, and my Grammert), and two years ago it happened all over again - three more (my oldest aunt, my cousin Lynn, and my cousin Robb) in less than 2 months. Three years ago we lost Lynn, the mother of dimpledoo and the woman that daisy_down and myself viewed as a surrogate mother.

To be perfectly honest, I cannot process all of this grief so I do the best I can with it. Sometimes - most times - I am pretty okay in the grand scheme. I've learned ways to live with all of this, and I do the best I can with what I have. I've learned how to ebb and flow with all of this, I know when it is time to cast out my emotions and when to reel them back in so they don't overwhelm me to the point of no return. I've done that already many times before, and it's almost too difficult to recover from, which I believe is the same desperation that invariably led me to heroin so many years ago. I'm sure that sounds odd to many, but it was the first thing I found that allowed me to get by and simultaneously take all of my feelings down to zero. I don't think much about my involvement with drugs because I've made that lifetimes ago in my mind and I just cannot bring myself to revisit that time for too long before I start feeling the urges and the desperation that compelled me to make that choice in the first place, and besides - that is just not a part of my life anymore, so I leave it where it deserves to be - far, far behind me.

Sunday D and I were grocery shopping when I came around the corner of the baking aisle and saw a little old lady walking toward me that looked amazingly like my Grammert, who is one of the people I lost two years ago. Those of you who know me well know and understand that I don't cry in the presence of others unless you're a lifetime friend of mine or unless I absolutely cannot help myself, but as soon as I saw this woman and it struck me how much she looked like Grammert, I burst into tears. Right there in front of all kinds of people and during a busy shopping weekend, I came unglued for a few minutes and had to collect myself. I've also been thinking about how in a few short months, it will be a year ago that Elissa & her father died. That was the catalyst for me being where I am right now - back in mourning and alternating between being very sad, very hurt, and VERY angry. Yesterday I cried so much I gave myself a headache. Today I'm tuning up my bike for the first big ride of the year, which I'm taking before too long. I need to get out in the air and sunshine and ride along the river and make peace with what I can.

hanukkahmonica sent me an email yesterday telling me that today is the birthday of another special Shane, 7 year old Shane Bernier. He has had leukemia for two years now. He hasn’t asked for money or toys or anything like that for his birthday today - instead, he would like to break the world record for the most birthday cards ever received. He has received over a million so far, but his goal is 350 million. That is Shane's wish. It doesn't matter if he gets a card after his birthday, he still wants one from all of us. Make one or buy one, but send it to him.

I'm going to explore downtown and Linwood on my bike and go picture taking, so I'm off. Be well, everyone. Make sure the people you love know that you do.
30th-May-2007 01:44 pm (UTC)
Be well, enjoy the ride.
30th-May-2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
Though we've yet to meet in person, I know I love you, and I hope you know it too. Three more weeks until we get to meet. HUGZZ will have to hold over until then.
30th-May-2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
It's hard to share thoughts knowing people you don't know are reading them. I don't want to get all cheezy and tell you how touched I am with the thoughts you share everyday but....

Thank you.
30th-May-2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
Losing the people you love is the hardest part of life for me. You never "get over it", you move on, but sometimes it still haunts you. Losing my mother was the hardest thing I have ever been through. Remember the laughs, the smiles, and the funny jokes you had. I try not to dwell on what could have been if it hadn't happened, when I do, I feel like I am watching the world fall around and I am overwhelmed with sadness.

I hope you have a nice ride today.
30th-May-2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
Well, shit, no wonder you're angry.

If what doesn't kill us makes us stronger you must be one of the toughest guys on the planet. Hang in there.
30th-May-2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
Just a cyber-hug and a thank you for your honesty.
30th-May-2007 06:23 pm (UTC) - On this note and an OFF TOPIC!
Sry to read all the unhappiness in your life, as i have had, in the terrible decade of the 90's! Ugh! Tears will come of course, now and then, and sometimes hit you unexpectedly out of the blue! You're only human and it's a good release of pent up feelings! I am hoping for happier days for you now!! :) -- on another note.. i just read this following journal and wonder if you've heard or have any thoughts on the topic! I'm hoping i don't get a suspension.. ugh! http://catrinella.livejournal.com/151812.html?style=mine ::hugs:: Randy
30th-May-2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
Health, hearth and healing, good sir. May gentler winds be at your back today, and going forward.
31st-May-2007 12:35 am (UTC)
Nothing anyone says can make grieving go any faster, be easier or be just plain *over*... If I could, though, I'd say those words for you, and all you'd have left is the memories and the love...the hurt wouldn't have to be there anymore. [[snuggs]]
31st-May-2007 04:26 am (UTC)
"Make sure the people you love know that you do."

Therein, lies one of the deepests act(s) of meaning to human existence...one of the few "truths" there really is.

My thoughts are with you.
31st-May-2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
I SO Love you.

Our experiences are with different people yet, you already know I can relate to every word of this.

"I cannot process all of this grief so I do the best I can with it. Sometimes - most times - I am pretty okay in the grand scheme. I've learned ways to live with all of this, and I do the best I can with what I have".

Those words should be my disclaimer.

I remember when you posted the postcard of Shane earlier this year. I sat here with tears streaming down my face. I, also knew the pain of loosing my best friend suddenly.

It's been 26 years today since my father died in front of me. This day starts the on-slide of a lot of major loss for me.

Like you, I too am doing the best I can with all of this. I can not tell you enough that I love you for your courage, being able to share these things and the example you are.

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