The Loss of Your Confidant

z and me

Grief is a solitary journey. No one but you knows how great the hurt is.  No one but you can know the gaping hole left in your life when someone you know has died.  And no one but you can mourn the silence that was once filled with laughter and song. It is the nature of love and death to touch every person in a totally unique way   ~~ Unknown

Zach,

I use this space to tell you what is going on, what I’m struggling with, things I wish I could actually tell you.  Maybe it is stupid or pointless because it is a poor replacement for the real thing, but I do draw some comfort from being able to “talk” to you.  Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to share my secrets with my childhood imaginary friend; my invisible, untouchable, and out-of-reach confidant.

When you lose your confidant, it becomes a one-sided conversation.  I still think all of these things; they don’t just go away.  I still want to say them and quite often I do still say them out loud to you.  I can’t tell you the amount of times I have gotten strange looks from people as I say things out loud to you.  So how do you shut off all of the things you are used to talking about?  You can’t.  This just means I have a lot of one-sided, empty, unfulfilling, and tragically lonely conversations with myself.

Zach, we talked about anything and everything all day long.  I see something funny and I still reach for my phone to text you.  I am annoyed at work and I want to pick up the phone and call you.  I want to hear about your lunch break, about your funny students making you laugh, the female teacher drama you so desperately tried to avoid at work.  I want to tell you when I’m sad, hear you encourage me when I am overwhelmed, to be told everything will be OK one day.  I want to listen to you talk about our future, excitedly dream about getting your Ph.D., passionately drone on about History I could never understand the way you do.  I want to people watch and make sarcastic comments quietly to each other, talk about the family property and our big plans for it, strategize our next travelling adventure.

When you lose your confidant even the monotony of daily life, the trivial things, the insignificant things become something you desperately wish you could say.  It isn’t just the big things that you want to talk about, discuss, and analyze.  The small things become huge when you are faced with the reality of not being able to say it to the one person you want to.  Of course I have my family, friends, and coworkers that I can talk to, but it isn’t the same.

You are the one I am used to sharing everything with: the mundane, the important, the major, the minor.  And now I don’t have that.  The silence is excruciating and it constantly reminds me of how alone I am.  I want my partner, my confidant, my best friend.

I’ve been brutally reminded of this inability to talk to you this week because I want to tell you both the good and bad news I got.  They say everything gets easier with time, but it doesn’t feel that way.  Every day it seems to feel worse.  Every day I am slapped in the face with the reality that I can never tell you anything again.

The silence is deafening.

The Man and His Dog

zach and lusie

Dogs’ lives are too short.  Their only fault, really ~~ Agnes Sligh Turnbull

Zach,

I feel like I am writing this on your behalf.  Either that or just to tell you what is going on.  I can’t really decide which it is, but either way it is sad.

Weekends with your family are the only sense of comfort I typically feel during my weeks of insane scheduling.  I am truly blessed to have them and they are the most wonderful in-laws one could ever ask for.  Your family is my family and I love each of them as if they were my own…… but I digress and that is not what I set out to write tonight so I’ll start over.

Weekends with your family are the only sense of comfort I typically feel, but this weekend was inundated with a profound sense of sadness.  I walked in the door on Friday after a long day at work followed by a two hour drive to start catching up with your mom after three weeks of being unable to come home when I laid eyes on two green plastic bottles on the counter.  Noticing me notice them, your mom hesitantly informed me they were Lusie’s.

I should mention that this is a really strange sensation for me right now because I feel like I am having to break the news to you knowing how upset you will be.  Obviously strange because you are not here, but I hope that anyone reading this would understand how horribly you would take this news and how hesitantly I would approach this.  No matter what has happened and how death has tragically separated us, I still feel it is my place and my responsibility to tell you.

Zach, Lusie is sick.  Your beloved little basset hound that you picked out so many years ago to surprise your mom and sister is not doing well.  Your parents noticed two weeks ago that she was breathing heavy and not eating much.  They only told me this weekend because they know how brutal my last couple weeks have been and they were waiting for me to be able to come home, but now that I know…. I am just so sad.  The vet showed your mom the x-rays and Lusie’s lungs are full of cancer which they say is common for basset hounds, but it doesn’t make our sadness any less.

I sit here contemplating how I would actually break the news to you if you were here.  I already feel such a sense of loss with knowing she is so sick, but I know you would be that much more upset.  A man and his dog.  It is a relationship that cannot truly be defined.  A dog is a man’s best friend; what more is there to say?

Lusie is like your doggie child, the same as Dakota (my husky who lives in Canada with my mom) is mine.  This is the pooch who howled in excitement anytime you came home and would do so louder than for any other family member.  This is the pup you trained, hunted with, rode with, explored with.  Man’s best friend.

This is the dog who grieved with us after we lost you.  They say dogs can grieve themselves to death if their master dies suddenly and we were so afraid this would happen to Lusie.  The first day or so that I was in Eastman, she kept sniffing me in way that made us all realize she was associating my scent with you and that she was confused why you weren’t there.  Literally any time the door would open and someone would walk in, she would limp over to the door (she had been hit by a car the week before and was quite injured at the time) and once realizing it wasn’t you, she would come over and sniff me again.  She wouldn’t eat, she didn’t sleep much, she constantly paced searching for you, and she kept coming to me to either just lay with me or to roll around on my lap asking to be pet like only you could.

I found it really strange how Lusie responded to me after we lost you.  She is such a beautiful little pup and such a sweet girl, but after you were gone she really started coming to me more and looking for some loving.  Is that because I was willing to give it or because she associated me with you?  I’m not sure, but I have adopted Lusie as my own just the same as I have adopted your whole family.

Zach, I’m so sad to tell you that she is sick.  I know you would be heartbroken.  I know you wouldn’t take the news well.  You might not be here with us anymore, but I’m still sad to tell you about her.  I am just so sad about her.  The vet has given her some medicine to make her more comfortable and we hope she won’t be hurting/struggling as much, but it doesn’t look good and I’m not sure how long she has before she is up there roaming with you….. if that is how it works.

I love you, Zach, and even if you aren’t here it still breaks my heart to tell you something that would cause you pain and sadness.  Like my opening quote says, dogs are amazing and become a part of the family, but their lives are too short.

Poor Lusie has had a hard year and five months with getting hit by the car, loosing you, and now this.  Poor little girl has been so strong, but maybe it is time for her to be with you.  Maybe she has missed you long enough.

But we aren’t ready to say goodbye yet 😦

 

A Lusie and Krista snuggle moment.

me and lusie

The Times When You Actually Have Too Much to Say

how grief works

 

There is no grief like the grief that does not speak ~~ Henry Wordsworth

 

Zach,

I feel like this is my life right now.  Clearly my life is no longer on a straight progressive line through life, but instead it has become a clusterf**k of a disastrous rollercoaster ride.  Spinning, swirling, confusing, overwhelming, excruciating.  I have said it so many times before, but between work, teaching, and my own university classes I barely have time to think.  Every single day, from 8 AM until 2-3 AM, I alternate between working in the office, attending class, teaching, studying, doing homework, making lesson plans, grading, etc. that I barely have time to even sleep.  Since January I have not felt like I can catch a break.  And I am so tired.

The worst part about it is that I have so much I want to say.  Things I need to say, to get off my chest, to get out of my mind.  I have so much I want to say to you, to write about, to process.  I just don’t have time.  I need to make more time because there is so much more I feel like I need to do.  My every intention behind starting this blog was to one day help somebody in some way with their own grief.  To show them that they are not alone.  So many people have shared their very personal experiences with grief with me and they tell me that my words have helped, but I know there is more I could probably do.  I have ideas, I have the words…. I just don’t have the time.

And for a writer?  Not having time to do what we love, to do what is our biggest outlet, to do what helps us process so much?  Having so much to say but no time to get it written down? Zach, having no time to write is excruciating for a writer.  All of these words are just piling up in my head and I want to sit down and dedicate a whole day to writing.  But I can’t.

I don’t know if you are actually watching over all of us or if you can see how we are struggling.  But more than ever I need you to show me that I am doing the right thing, that I am on the right path.  Because right now I feel so lost that none of it seems worthwhile and I don’t know why I’m still doing it.  Especially school.  School is hard, I can never get caught up.  I am just so tired.  There are not enough hours in the day.  I don’t know if you are watching, but I need something to show me that this total lack of time is worth it.

The Big 3-Oh my God, Where the F**K Did My Life Go?

February 2011

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.  ~ ~ Douglas MacArthur

Zach,

Well the day you always teased me about has come and gone.  Yesterday I turned 30.  Where the hell did that come from?  Age is just a number and I really haven’t had the same freak-out most women do when they turn 30, but still!  What a strange thing to say.  What a strange thing to be out of your twenties.  What a strange thing to have no idea where my life has gone….. especially not the last few years.

You always loved it because I was two years older.  You didn’t care about my age, we never noticed an age difference, but every so often you really enjoyed rubbing it in that you would have two extra years before you hit this big 30 marker.  Why is it so significant to all of us?  I guess because it used to mean that you needed to have a career, a husband, 2.5 kids, and a house with a white picket fence by this point otherwise you may as well throw in the damn towel and give in to being an old maid.  It used to mean all that, but I really don’t think it does anymore.

So why is this birthday so hard for me?  If I don’t care about the socially implied meaning behind the birthday then why did I have such an impossibly hard time at dinner with friends on Saturday where it was agonizingly difficult to keep a smile on my face?  Why did I spend yesterday, my actual birthday, laying in bed under the covers with the TV on for background noise while I laid there and sobbed?

Zach, I don’t think it is that I feel as though my life is ruined because I haven’t accomplished certain things by now.  Is it constantly aggravating that I am still in school at my age?  Of course it is, but I did that to myself by only choosing to go back to school now.  Is it exhausting to run around being a full-time student plus teaching plus lesson plans plus grading plus the very time consuming job that I have in my office when none of it adds up to being an actual career at the age I am?  Absolutely.  It is absolutely disheartening.  But I know in my heart it is a step towards any future job.  So then what is it about 30 that has crushed absolutely all sense of joy out of me?

It isn’t that I should have reached a certain point by now and done certain things.  Well it is, but it isn’t.  Zach, it is not that I haven’t been able to attain these things in my life that everyone else has been lucky enough to.  It is that it was all stolen from me.  The life I wanted, the life I had worked towards, the life we had together, the life we were planning for our future was all taken.  It isn’t that I have failed in achieving these things.  It is that I wasn’t deserving enough to keep it.

I didn’t get to keep you.  I didn’t get to keep that true love you gave me.  I didn’t get to keep the life we had together which was so amazing it was one for the history books.  So what is there from here?  There isn’t anything.

So call me over the hill, call me grandma, or call me old lady like I can hear you doing right now in your overly exaggerated Southern drawl.  Age is just a number, but all I feel is that I’ve already hit the high points and there isn’t much more to go from here.  I have such high doubts that anything can beat what I’ve already had so I will just be grateful for what i have had….. even if I lost it all.

Not many people can say that they have had the number of amazing jobs I’ve had (and there have been a lot) or the experiences I’ve had.  Not many people can talk about the different countries they have lived in, the travels they have done, or even been able to understand the love that we had.  I consider myself truly lucky for everything I have managed to do up until this point regardless of whatever curveballs life has thrown at me along the way.  I consider myself truly blessed for having known you, loved you, and for having been lucky enough to have had a life with you even if it wasn’t nearly enough.  Maybe I just hit all those high points earlier in life than most and now it is just time to ride it out.

Zach, I understand why they call it over the hill now.  There is no more uphill climb.  All I envision are the monotonous steps in front of me which I will continue to take.  You would want me to and I know I need to, but I don’ t know where it has all gone.  I don’t have any idea how time has passed so quickly to leave me where I am now.  So I’ll ask it again….. where the F**K has my life gone?

It has been but a blink of the eye.

The Toliet Paper Roll

toilet-paper-roll

 

“When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.”
~~ John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany 

 

Zach,

I should be used to this by now considering how long you have been gone, but the smallest things still catch me off guard, slap me in the face, dissolve me into a sobbing mess, and then leave me shocked of where it came from.  Sometimes they are expected things like a song on the radio that we played at your funeral.  Sometimes it is obvious things like coming across a picture of us that I hadn’t seen in awhile.  But other times it is the most minute ridiculous things that set me off.  Minute things like a toilet paper roll.

You were hilarious about the toilet paper roll.  It was almost as if you were allergic to actually changing it.  It became a joke between us of how you would manage to avoid this 2.5 second task.  Either the current roll would just be empty, there would be a new roll put on top of the toilet tank, or the new roll would be precariously perched on top of the empty roll.  So much effort put into retrieving a fresh roll from the hall closet without any follow-through.  I can’t even begin to count how many times I would have to holler from the bathroom for you to get me some or come out and toss the empty roll jokingly at your head.  It was almost as though you got more satisfaction and enjoyment from how you could not change the toilet paper roll than just actually doing it.

The funny thing about it, Zach, is that you weren’t lazy.  Not at all.  You were the most hardworking, dedicated, busybody I’ve ever known.  Always busy, always moving, always fixing things.  But this one small thing?  The toilet paper roll?  It was never changed.

This morning at work, I ran into the bathroom to blow my nose and froze on the spot.  Someone had left a new roll of toilet paper sitting perched on top of an essentially empty roll with one pathetic little half of a square hanging off of it.  Someone took the effort to walk through our new spacious office (an old house), through two rooms to the hall closet, and back again just to not change it.  As I stood there staring at it, the tears came.  A simple quick run into the bathroom to blow my nose resulted in a 15 minute sob session which ironically required much more nose blowing.

I was taken aback by this small stupid thing, someone else’s moment of laziness, and how much it reminded me of you.  Reminded me that you’re gone.  Reminded me that I will never see that in our home again unless I do that myself.  Crying over toilet paper, Zach.  I was horrified at myself, but once those tears start coming they can’t be stopped.

It was just another piece of you that I have lost, that is gone, that is irreplaceable.  Another thing to miss.  Another thing to grieve over.

The Concept of “Saudade”

saudade

Zach,

Last week when Lauren sent me a picture with this word, I was a little confused. Where had this random word come from? But she had come across it and felt it was something I needed to know. At the very least she knew it was something I could relate to. And man, do I ever.

Saudade. An untranslatable concept from Portueguese to English. There are vague interpretations of it but, as far as I can see online, it isn’t an exact translation. The word nerd in me even talked to my Brazilian co-worker to see what she thought about this word and everything she said affirmed how I feel.

Saudade. “A deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.” If that doesn’t apply to grieving people everywhere, I don’t know what does. Longing for something that will never return. What an excruciating concept.

Zach, this word is my life. I live it, breathe it, endure it, survive it. The concept of saudade permeates my every being. It inundates my every moment and has poisoned all aspects of the life I used to have. I long for you, I long for our life together, I long for a time where things just made sense. Your absence has filled me with such a ridiculous sense of longing that there is almost nothing else left in my day.

Saudade. The undeniable truth that you are constantly wishing for something you can never have again. The reality that everything has been stolen from you. The ugly truth that you will never be the same. Ever. It won’t return, can’t return. I love you so truly and deeply that this concept of saudade is my new existence.

Saudade. Zach, I will forever long for you and forever feel your absence.

A Brief Thought from the Ramblings of Brenner’s Mind ~~ Part Three

It has been awhile since I have posted a brief rambling of what is going through this rollercoaster brain of mine, but tonight while reading my average 300 pages a night for my four various university classes something jumped out and practically slapped me in the face for my to pay attention to it.

Believe it or not, this comes from a sociological theorist, Emile Durkheim (1858-1917).  This was a man who shared some similiar beliefs with Karl Marx, but otherwise had his own concepts of society and the relationships/structures within it.  This was a man who wrote this prior to losing his son in 1915 in the war and then died only two years later at 59 years old.  I find myself believing that when he wrote these words, he had no idea what was to come and how utterly unequipped he was to deal with grief no matter what wisdom we may get from his words.

Reading these words showed me how long the concept of grief has been around and that no matter what I am (or any of us) are struggling through, there are those who have been battling it long before us.  It is a daunting thought to think no matter how severe and overwhelming our grief is, there are those who will suffer just like we are and maybe even worse than us one day.  Grief is a never ending cycle that will continue to collect victims from now until eternity without letting up.  But maybe these words are meant to serve as a reminder that we are all unified in it together.

“When an individual dies, the family group to which he belongs feels diminished, and in order to react against this diminishment, it assembles.  A common misfortune has the same effects as the arrival of a happy event: it awakens collective feelings that impel individuals to seek each other out and come together.  We have even seen this need affirmed with special energy – people kiss, embrace, and press against one another as much as possible.

But the emotional state in which the group finds itself reflects the immediate circumstances.  Not only do the relatives most directly affected bring their personal pain to the gathering, but society exerts a moral pressure on its members to put their feelings in harmony with the situation.  To allow them to remain indifferent to the blow that strikes and diminishes them would be to proclaim that society does not hold its rightful place in their hearts, and this would be to deny itslef.

A family that tolerates a death among its members without weeping bears witness that it lacks moral unity and cohesion.  it abdicates, it reounces its being.”

~~~ Emile Durkheim in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (296-297)

The Blur of Life

life-in-a-blur

“I start to feel like I can’t maintain the facade any longer, that I may just start to show through. And I wish I knew what was wrong. Maybe something about how stupid my whole life is. I don’t know. Why does the rest of the world put up with the hypocrisy, the need to put a happy face on sorrow, the need to keep on keeping on?… I don’t know the answer, I know only that I can’t. I don’t want any more vicissitudes, I don’t want any more of this try, try again stuff. I just want out. I’ve had it. I am so tired. I am twenty and I am already exhausted.”
~~ Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

Zach,

I honestly cannot tell you where the last two months has gone.  December was a flash and January has already been a blur.  When I see how little I have been able to sit and write, how few posts there have been, and think about how much has piled up in my mind without being able to write it down it shocks me.  It is growing to be too much to handle so here I am.  Do I have 50 other things I should be doing right now?  Yes.  But writing is the only semi-sense of solace that I have in my life right now so I am setting aside time to do something for me.

I miss you so much, Zach.  My heart seems to grow heavier every single day.  My soul hurts, my mind is shattered, and my heart is just broken.  Life may have me running right now, but there still isn’t one single moment that I don’t miss you.

First the flash of December.  December brought the end of a hectic semester, writing finals, preparing my house to be empty for a month, and wrapping up everything at the office that comes with the end of a term for my own students.  All this before flying to Canada for three weeks with my family.  Your sister came with me for one of the weeks and I am so glad your parents and I were able to do this for her.  She has never been anywhere except Florida and you and I had always promised her that when she turned 19 we would take her to Canada.  I finally was able to follow through on that promise.

Jamie Michael and I had a great time together and it was amazing to be able to share your Canadian life with her.  It is so easy to forget that we had dual lives, an American one and a Canadian one, so I am just so pleased I was able to share this with her.  It meant so much to me to be able to show her how many lives you affected back in Canada, for her to see how many people miss you and love you, and for her to know how large of an impact you had on everyone.  It made for a hectic vacation back home, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I wish you could see how cold we were, especially your sister who has never left south Georgia. I hope you could see us, big sis and lil sis, having a great time and that you are proud of us looking out for each other.  I can never fill your shoes nor would I ever dream to try, but I’m doing my best to look out for her just like you would.

Niagara Falls 2012

jm and i

Then came the blur of January.  My return to Georgia, celebrating a belated Christmas with your family, back to work on the 3rd, getting my own classes and textbooks situated, getting the office ready for not only another term of students but for the addition of 70 new students, and preparing for teaching, lesson planning, and grading.  Zach, you would be horrified how many nights I have been the last one to leave the office at 7pm then headed home to do 5-6 hours of homework.  I’ve said it before that it is so hard to be back in school without you by my side, but I think this semester will be the hardest of all.  I already feel overwhelmed and behind.  I’m so lost without you and I am so tired.

Zach, my life lost focus when I lost you.  I feel like I am constantly in a haze searching for a way to just make it through another day.  Make it through another repetitive cycle of waking up, going to the office, going to class, going to teach, back to the office, going home, and doing homework.  Sleep, wake up, and repeat.  There is no focus.  Only repetition.  I am so grateful for everything that does keep me so busy and keeps me going, but it does nothing to lessen the pain I constantly feel.  It may somewhat distract me, but it is never enough.  Nothing will ever be enough.

This blurred life of mine is one I fear I will always live in.  Lost in a blur of grief, loneliness, sadness. Life goes on, but how blurred it truly is.

**I share this quote because of how true it is.  Not writing recently doesn’t mean I am not always thinking about writing.  It is my hope that I will have more time to write what I need to write sometime soon.  **

IMG_0718[1]

The “Happy New Year” Wishes

New Years 2010

Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it’s midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year!

~~
Ogden Nash, from Collected verse from 1929

Zach,

Let me just start by saying this: if one more person wishes me a happy new years I will most likely scream.  What is so happy about it?  This year has not been any type of crowning accomplishment, there has been no change in the torture that is my life, and I have not stopped missing you for even one second of it.  But here we are finally at the end of the holiday season and all of the wishes for good tidings have just about driven me mad.  I know it’s just what people say, but each and every time someone says “Merry Christmas”, “Happy New Years”, or even asks “Did you have a good Christmas?” I want to slap them because they clearly must be blissfully ignorant people who have never experienced grief before because if they had they would never ask such a damn stupid question.

Obviously that is my gut reaction talking there.  The one that wants to snap at people for the brutal things they unknowingly say.  The one that chokes back hostility every time people look at me with such high expectations like this will be the holiday, the moment, the dinner, the outing to change it all.  Zach, the reality is that I know they mean well.  I know they do truly wish it for me.  I know they mean nothing by it.  I know I am not the only person to have experienced loss and that everyone will lose someone at some point even if they haven’t already.  I know this.  And I have gotten better at taking a step back, taking a breath, and hearing you say to me “PBEB, its OK.  Just let them say it and move on.”  I know.  I know all this.  But all of these hopeful greetings catch me off-guard every single time and I fear I may scream at the next person.

Over the last year or so, I have had to encounter the most impossible of situations, endure the most torturing of circumstances, survive the overwhelming and excruciating loneliness of grief, and to simply put one foot in front of the other simply because I have to.  Strong emphasis on “have to”.  I don’t want to.  But I have to.  I have had to go through all of these things alone, have had to do them without you, and have had to shrug on a decently composed demeanor every time I leave the house.  And now this horrible year has accumulated into one big festive holiday season to cap this miserable year off with an even more wretched ending.  Feel free to call me Scrooge because I want none of this holiday season.

December 31st.  Another year gone by that everyone seems to be celebrating.  Celebrating what?  Should I celebrate the fact that 365 days have just flown by without me even feeling their existence?  Seasons have passed, time has gone by, semesters of school have finished, kids have gotten older, but I still feel frozen in place and as though no time has passed.  But its New Years and I am supposed to feel what?  Hopeful for the next one?  2012 was hell without you and the arrival of 2013 isn’t going to change the fact that I will still be without you.  It isn’t going to change the fact that my life has been so truly altered that I still don’t know which way is up.

Zach, I look back on this picture of us from New Years 2010 and I almost don’t even recognize my own life.  How could it all have changed so much?  It isn’t fair and I don’t think it ever will be.  I think about two people so hopeful for the future that we could have never imagined it all coming crashing down.  Who would?  So is it wrong that the thought of celebrating Christmas and even pretending to be the right amount of socially acceptable happy makes me nauseous?  All I can say is thank God it is over.

“Duck! Here comes another year!”  I think the quote says it perfectly.  Duck and run for cover because another year without you is coming whether I like it or not.

The Natural Progression of Life

grief progression

Zach,

With new responsiblities at work, the end of an intensely hard semester at school, and now with the holidays requiring a brief return to Canada to be with my family, I have had not a spare moment to sit down and write.  But seeing this picture stuck with me so profoundly, I couldn’t resist taking a moment to share it.

I came across this picture the other day and I cannot even begin to describe how much it stuck with me.  The simplistic beauty of the progression through life: childhood innocence to tragic loneliness.  I have never claimed to be special or different or even the only one to ever experience loss.  But this picture shows the natural progression through life and that is how it should be.  That is what I was robbed of.  This is what has been taken from me.

I am angry because we never got the chance to grow old together.  This is what our life should have looked like.  I have been told it is OK to feel this way but it still feels wrong to feel this resentful and angry.  Zach, you and I should have had the opportunity to become withered, wrinkled, old, and needing a cane together.  We should have been able to experience a full life together, but now all I can do is watch as life passes me by.  A numb observer of my own life.

Right now one of my best friends is going through something I would never wish upon her and I can only try to send her as much love as possible because I know I can’t take the hurt away.  It hurts my heart because although our situations are different, I completely understand the anger she feels looking in on other people’s lives, happiness, and joy.  Its hard.  It is so damn hard.  The bitterness you unwillingly feel knowing you don’t have the same thing everyone else does is an unmerciful master which threatens to consume you.

So what is the answer?  What do you do when you resent what others have?  Do you hide away, distance yourself from friends because you don’t have what they do, avoid Facebook so you don’t become hostile seeing pictures of their happy lives?  I think that answer lies within each of us because each of us will feel better doing different things, but I know what has worked for me even if it is only a slight help.

I know I am not the only one to feel this way so I wanted to take a moment today to remind everyone of the same thing I am trying to teach myself.  It is OK to feel resentful that your life doesn’t look like everyone elses.  It is even OK if you find yourself withdrawing like I have because it lessens the anger you feel even if only remotely.  It is OK to be angry that you will never have everything you always dreamt of.  I know its OK.  I remind myself of that.  But how to fix it?  Your guess is as good as mine.