The Art of Drowning

You’ll bury your sorrow
Deep in the sea,
But sea tides aren’t tamed
That easily–
There will come a tomorrow
When you weep for me

The breaking of waves on a long shore,
In the grey morning the slow fall of rain,
Oh love remember, remember me.
~”Rachel’s Song” by Guy Gavriel Kay, from “The Summer Tree”

If the last few months have taught me anything, it’s the futility of dodging memory.

I had hoped that I was finally beginning to heal, that the wounds were stitching shut. That I had become, in a sudden burst of optimism, possibly capable of finding a way through to something new, of being open to new blossoming in my life. That I still had the courage that Dustin had inspired in me. That I could move on.

What a load of bullshit. There are no shortcuts. There are no easy ways out, no early parole.

The first anniversary of Dustin’s death is bearing down on me, coming next month on May 26. Already I can feel the tides of grief pulling at me, winding tendrils cutting like wire as they wrap around bone. It’s a water torture exorcism as I’m wracked by the ghosts of the past, the could haves and should haves, our lost future as suffocating as dense fog.

I need you like I need air to breathe.

I can’t breathe around it. My lungs are full of sand-again-the burning pressure has returned.

I’ve had offers of help. Tell me what you need. I don’t know!

I have no idea how to make this hurt less. I have no idea how to ask for help, because I don’t know what will help. All I have are gritted teeth and burning lungs and so very far to go. I can’t outrun it, I don’t even want to try. All I know how to do is to just be in it, to give myself up to it. To drown in the short term so there might be a chance that I’ll be whole in the long.

This is a very solitary process, heartbreakingly so. I can talk about it until my limited air runs out, but in the end, I’m the one left alone in the dark, staring down the void. Asking someone to keep me company in the dark…I don’t know how to deal with that. I’m afraid it would be a distraction. I know it would be, because it requires a witnessing, a physical presence. All other forms of communication require words, and there are no words for this.

Grief cannot be rationalized. I can’t think my way through this, or around it. Grief is an experience both visceral and emotional; it is not a thought process. Which means, of course, the only way over it is to experience it. To sit in it like a stone in the river. To dissolve into it, to flow.

To be like water.

“Be Like Water” From “A Pefect Dream” by Sarah Fimm


If the Fates Allow

“There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.”

One step forward, two steps back.

I went back to the website where Dustin and I met tonight. It is a good place to meet not only potential dates but friends as well. In fact, I have probably made more friends from there than I have met boyfriends. So although I am not ready to date, I thought I could find some interesting new people, new friends, and at least try to restart my social life, such as it was.

I did not expect Dustin’s profile to still be up and available, unused since April, over a month before his death. We had used the site as a kind of back door communication when phone service was not always reliable. I had written the site administrators with news of Dustin’s passing, even gave them the link to his obituary. And they have apparently ignored it, leaving his profile up for me to stumble upon.

God, how that hurts. My stomach is still knotted, my abdomen still sore, hugging myself around the middle, reminding myself to breathe, just breathe – carefully, slowly.

So even though I thought I’d been making some progress, thought I was moving forward, I have been forcibly shown just how fragile that progress was as I watched it blown to dust around me.

Son of a bitch.

I am not angry. This is more a of type of hopeless kind of sadness and deep, throbbing ache. It will last through tonight and maybe into tomorrow. Eventually the sun will come up on 2013 and I’ll drag myself into the new year because, dammit, there has to be something better, something worth the struggle, around that corner. Because the Fates can’t be so cruel.

Can they?

Three Fates, by Sampo Kaikkonen, Finland

Three Fates, by Sampo Kaikkonen, Finland