Relentless

November 05, 2005

The thing about grief is that it is relentless. People talk about things being 24x7, meaning all the time, but until you have lived with the constant pressure of grief pulling at you every second of every minute of every hour of every day, until then you don't know what relentless really means.

You can't escape it for more than a few minutes here or there. You try to absorb yourself in a book only to find that you've read the same page over and over and still don't know what it says. Television is mindless crap and so it doesn't impact you deeply enough to provide any shelter from the onslaught of emotions pouring through you. Anger, pain, sorrow, rage, tears, physical exhaustion, helplessness, mania, and so on.

The slightest things set you off - this afternoon I was unable to dice an onion finely. I flew into a rage, stabbing again and again at the onion and cutting board until I broke the tip of the knife off in the wood. I was sobbing uncontrollably, mucus and tears streaming down my face. With the initial spurt of anger spent I crumpled to the floor and cried and cried. After a brief attempt to clean the bits of onion from the walls and floor I gave up and stumbled to our bed where I laid and bawled. Clutching at one of her favorite dresses I cried and cried until I was spent.

I am so mad at her for leaving me behind to pick up all the pieces. I am sick and tied of answering questions, dealing with paperwork, and trying to carry on meaningful conversations with people. It is so unfair that I have to deal with all of the bureaucratic bullshit. I hate having to call banks, and utilities and explain that my wife is dead can I get our names changed to just mine. I have leaned to hate the question, "How are you?" I'm FUCKING miserable, okay? I will continue to be miserable for the foreseeable future. Eventually I'll just be unhappy. Until then don't ask if you don't want to know.

I have lost the one place where I could sort this out. Michele and I spent so much time talking about our deepest truths and fears, dreams and worries, that we knew what each other was thinking and feeling almost before they did. I didn't have to explain everything to her in order to talk about my stuff. Now I am forced to explain references and half completed thoughts because I only know how to communicate with Michele. I am lost and adrift in the sea of other people. I loved Michele for many reasons, including her ability to intuit me. I hate that I now am cutoff from the expression of feelings and thought we shared.

Depression dogs my every step, and hounds me when ever I stop to catch my breath. I feel as if I am forced to keep moving or lose myself to the demon dog behind me. I feel like I must take care of the people around me so that they will think I am okay. I would have felt safe exposing my inner most feelings about this to Michele, but I feel very unsafe exposing them to most people. (I realize that expressing them here may be the height of irony. I don't give a shit.)

I have thought about pursuing a grief group, or a survivors of suicide group. And I suspect it would do me good. But I am so out of sorts with myself now that I can't bring myself to try something "new." I want my friends to call me so I can talk, but then I feel guilty for dumping my grief into their lives. All I know tonight is that I feel like I am just going through the motions, and that the only emotions I have are ones of sadness, depression, and anger.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.