Saturday, November 22, 2008

My counselor called a few days ago to let me know that today is National Survivors of Suicide Day, in case I wanted to go to Redmond or Tacoma and talk to strangers about my dead ex boyfriend. (I didn't.) In a little over a month it'll be a year since Dream killed himself, and I can say without hesitation that it has been the hardest year of my life.

I am a girl with the arrogant trait of taking blame for things that no one has offered blame for, for seizing burdens that no one has given up. This year has been a constant fight to get not just over but past that, because it would have destroyed me this time. It was a fight to stop feeling guilty for ending a bad relationship with a good person, and to stop feeling guilty for needing to cut off communication with him in the couple of weeks between our breakup and his suicide. I didn't kill Dream, Dream killed himself, and even today I have to remind myself of that regularly.

Even still I often feel like poison.

In any case, I am spectacularly lucky to have the people in my life that I do, that all of those friends and family and strangers rallied around me and kept up a constant stream of support. Not a single person ever let me feel like I was burdening them with my grieving and recovery, up to and including the night that my next door neighbor heard me crying through the wall and came over at 2 am to make sure everything was ok. In January I quoted Love is a Mixtape where he says, "You lose a certain kind of innocence when you experience this type of kindness. You lose your right to be a jaded cynic. [...] People kept showing me unreasonable kindness, inexplicable kindness, indefensible kindness. People were kind when they knew that nobody would ever notice, much less praise them for it...I had no idea how to live up to that kindness." And that has never stopped being true. I don't know how I ever deserved such kindness, but this is not a gift horse whose mouth I am going to open.

Although I have dated a little bit since Dream I haven't yet had another relationship, and I am constantly rehearsing that conversation in my head, the past relationships conversation, where I have to admit that my last boyfriend committed suicide just after we broke up. This is always going to be a part of who I am, now, and it has shaded my color just a little. It will never go away, no matter how far into the background it fades.

It always gets easier as life moves on, and I've tried to use the experience as a reason to grow deeper, to try harder to live with deliberation and kindness, to not waste this time that I have here. Henry Miller said, "What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such." I think that's the only way to make getting through this worthwhile, to not have wasted the lessons of this terrible year.

(PS, Jon Madison also has a SOS post up.)

No comments: