Wednesday, September 18, 2013

20 things : what to do with the dead

1. My mom's death day (like the opposite of birthday) is coming up on Saturday.
2. I am looking for distractions.
3. The first person whom I asked an opinion about distractions said that I should think how I can memorialize or honor her instead.
4. I don't know if I'm ready to do that.
5. Maybe I will take her ashes out of seclusion and find a place in the house for them.
6. On Thursday, that is TOMORROW, I am joining a support group called Survivors of Suicide. It is the first session.
7. I am grateful for this opportunity to talk about what happened, because I don't really talk about it with anyone, except Mike or therapist N sometimes.
8. Not with friends, certainly not with family.
9. I don't know how to begin the conversation or what I would say.
10. I do envy other people's ability to talk about the dead.
11. Perhaps I am imagining this ability.
12. I think the not-talking-about-it has kept me corralled in a certain area of my mind, so to speak.
13. I don't even feel comfortable blogging about it.
14. Like : that time has passed. Like : no one wants to read that.
15. My favorite cactus died last week.
16. I couldn't tell if it was b/c of over- or under-watering.
17. I think it was under- but the internet says to under-water a cactus is much less common than overwatering. I conducted obsessive internet research but found no good answer.
18. I wanted to conduct an autopsy, but instead I had Mike take it out to the faraway trash, pot and all. I couldn't bear it.
19. My anxiety and OCD started to get so extreme on Tuesday that I only went out of the house to take down the used cat litter, and that made me so paranoid I was hyperventilating by the time I got back. 20. This morning I have already predicted my own death in five ways. The OCD is an unwelcome divination.

EDIT: After having gotten some unexpected responses to this entry, I want to clarify #20. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder leads the individual to have compulsive, uncontrollable thoughts--obsessions. It is common for those thoughts to be troubling, even violent, in their content. The person with OCD deals with the stress elicited by those thoughts by acting out compulsions or tics. Stereotypical compulsions would be hand-washing, checking 20 times to see if one has locked the door, etc. My OCD is torturing me with death thoughts this week b/c of the anniversary and b/c I am joining the support group. It does not mean I am acting violently toward myself or anyone else. Deep breaths.


  1. They say "the ones we love never truly leave us" and I've come to believe that is true, but not always in the gentle way it is meant. sometimes they leave us eternal questions, ongoing horrible thoughts, grief like a thousand thousand splinters under our fingernails.

    Almost two years ago, I was talking to J, the son of a family friend; his father -- who I had known and loved my whole life -- died by his own hand when I was 20, still in college. J's wife was pregnant, and we were talking about how we still both missed J's dad and how J wanted to discuss being a father with his dad and couldn't, and how sometimes things like this brought every horrible moment of losing him back, all the grief and the questions.

    There sometimes isn't any peace. There is only going on, because not going on means leaving oneself like splinters under the nails of loved ones.

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