This will be a very out of the ordinary post for me.
It’s not about playing in the mountains, new gear or some exciting adventure. So readers beware.
I understand suicide about as much as the next person…which is basically nothing. No one truly understands it unless they’ve been through it – and clearly they aren’t around afterwards to get into detail with it.
It’s a complicated issue that is hard to grasp and definitely a touchy subject.
Recently I haven’t felt like myself. Irritable, sad, headaches, having difficulty completing some projects and having very littler tolerance for easy life problems.
I realized a couple days ago I may be suffering from some Inhabited and Delayed Grief.
So far I can find that Inhabited Grief is: “What happens when the grief (from a death or incident) is not processed for so long, when it has been shoved down and ignored. It comes out as physical symptoms such as nausea and frequent headaches. The longer the grief is not dealt with, the worse the physical ailments.”
And Delayed Grief: “This is the type of grief where a person tells themselves that they do not have time to grieve, that they have more important things to do, and that they do not have the time to grieve now. The grief will not come out until a short time later when they finally have time to stop what they are doing, and they will grieve as they are able. They may feel that verge of tears feeling while they are at work.” (Both quotes taken from definitions of grief at Betterhelp.com)
Now, I’ve been though more than the average Joe when I start talking about my past. Losing a brother, Dad getting Cancer and other mishaps that would force me to have several grievances. I am not referring to those issues this time around.
In January of 2013 a good friend from growing up took her own life. At the time, we weren’t talking as life had brought us down different roads. But the bond we had was very strong and impossible to explain.
It started at the end of grade 9 and continued well into life after High School. She was exactly like me in every way. She understood me sometimes better than I understood myself.
I won’t get deeper into our connection because, again, that is something I have difficulty explaining.
I find myself thinking about her daily. Thinking about what I could have done to stop her from going down the road she did. I think about if the few months before I had just reached out and ignored the differences we were experiencing at the time. If I could have put my life aside and gone to see her – would that have been enough?
I don’t tell people in my life today about her. I don’t like to think about the events surrounding her death. It’s not that I don’t want people to know – it’s that the deeper I can push it down the easier it has been to live my own life.
Shortly after I heard the news I booked a flight back home. I dropped out from work and got on the first plane out.
The town where I grew up has experienced so much loss that it seems to be accepted quickly and not grieved well. For me, a dark cloud hangs there. As the days passed I started to realize the friends I once had there didn’t consider me to still have a connection with our past friend. They were still living close to her and talking more frequently than I was. I felt I had to justify my reasons for being there – had to frequently tell her “current” friends what our relationship was and why I was around. People whom had known her for a year or less were being put under a light and I was being pushed aside.
I left town before the funeral. Not because I was being pouty or annoyed. But because I wasn’t invited to the closed funeral. My group of friends from growing up didn’t seem to be bothered by it – as long as they were still going. I was devastated – because we had lost connection for a couple months and I had moved 12 hours away, suddenly all those years before didn’t count. Her family would remember all the stories and me constantly being around but at that time they were too devastated to know who to include.
I can remember the laughing, the telling secrets and planning our futures together. I remember the late night text messaging, the tears and the mornings waking up on her bedroom floor.
I can’t tell someone how they feel connected to an individual so I understand why my other friends couldn’t see my side. After the funeral passed and I was back into my life I grew more distant from the people back home. I didn’t have support or get phone calls to see if I was doing okay from most of them. Now, 3 years later – I can’t remember the last time I spoke to any of them.
I see on Facebook posts by people that started hanging out with her as I began fading out of the picture. I see them calling her their best friend and saying how no one will have what they had. I get that. I’m sure they had a great relationship. But somewhere inside of me I am angry at all of it. I want to call my friend who passed and get her to send out a mass message explaining how she felt about our relationship. Only then would people understand. Up until now, I had pushed her death and all the events surrounding it so far down into the deepest, darkest parts of myself – that I believed they would never come back up. I never wanted them to come back up so I kept myself busy. How do you find closure from something that was never closed? When you feel guilty even thinking about your friendship?
I am taking time to work through it on my own. I don’t have the network I did to tell old stories or bring her memory back. And I am not wanting to have that anymore. If grieving is something that needs to happen I’ve just got to ride it out. And I’m ready to talk about it now.