Posts Tagged ‘ grieving ’

Silver linings feel pretty transparent…

So, Tuesday afternoon I returned from spending six days in Seattle, Washington. The place I’m looking to move to next fall. Being there and looking at the different areas with my friend Chris, who I’ll be getting a place with, really helped it sink in. We looked at a fair few apartment complexes, some way out of our price range, some more affordable. The leasing offices all suggested we call them in Mid-July to see what will be opening up, Chris and I discussed what we did and didn’t like about what we were seeing inside the apartments we were looking at, and I even applied for a job, cause it was one I was qualified for and the due date was Monday so why not.

It finally feels real. And for the most part that’s great. Really, really great. There are so many things I could blab on and on about that are so great and the idea of them makes me feel happy. But some apprehensions reared their heads while I was there too, that I don’t think I really knew how to put into words until I got home and went to counseling yesterday.

I’m scared to do something that I feel like will change my life for the better so much, something that may not have happened for an extremely long time if at all, if Ross hadn’t died. Right now, I’d give anything to have my brother back, I’d gladly stay miserable and in school for years if it meant that Ross hadn’t died and I therefore hadn’t had the epiphany that I was so unhappy there, or because we were all too raw and too scared of not being honest with one another that I confessed to my parents that I hadn’t paid fall’s tuition yet in the hopes that I’d find a way to withdraw before I did. And that I had withdrawn at the last minute the semester before and essentially spent all spring wasting their money.

I hadn’t ever planned to tell my parents yet. If Ross hadn’t died, I don’t know that I would have.

I guess I’m scared of moving to Seattle and being happier and moving on with my life because I don’t want to ever get to the point where I look back and say that I wouldn’t change anything. I’d be unhappy my whole life if it meant I had Ross back and he could live his. And maybe I was seriously considering withdrawing and working for a year in River Falls and then moving out to Seattle anyway. In fact, I logged back on to to update my profile and saw that the last I’d logged was October 8th. That is literally what I was doing when I got my mom’s text: looking for jobs that would let me take time off school. But then I think about stuff like meeting someone I want to marry, or getting a dream job – stuff that is supposed to be so good that you wouldn’t change your life at risk of not getting to that point, and I just don’t want it.

I think that’s why I have trouble when people still try to talk about the good that’s come from it. It’s nothing against the good that I’ve found amongst all of it – it’s still precious to me and I’m more grateful than I can ever say for the way my friends have supported me and I’ve felt closer to all of them than I have in a long time. I’ve made some new friends, I’ve gotten closer to my parents, I’ve started to turn my life in a direction I feel like I’m okay with…

But I just can’t quite look at it that way yet. I’m not offended when anyone suggests thinking of the good things, but… it feels hypocritical for me to turn around and tell others the same, so I don’t. Like the boy who lost his brother last week, or the people who lost loved ones on Monday. They deserve their time to be so bitter and so angry and so hurt…

Maybe I’ll get there eventually. And the bitterness has ebbed a lot, for the most part, for which I’m glad. Problem is I’m just as scared of actually reaching to that point of ‘acceptance’ as I am of forever feeling so awful every day.


6 Months…

And another Monday the 8th, too. 6 months exactly.

I woke up naturally at 10am for the first time in weeks this morning, because I got no sleep Saturday night and managed to crash immediately after Game of Thrones last night. I think my parents suspected I needed it, because they left me there on our huge couch, only nudging me once to tell me they were going up to bed, whenever that was.

I just got back from the Bradshaw funeral home. Because the universe is fucking ridiculous like that, one of Ross’s high school friends lost his twin brother last Friday after a motorcycle accident. I didn’t know this friend before Ross’s own death, but he came to the service and had so many nice things to say about my brother, both there and on Facebook – in fact, he wrote on Ross’s wall just a couple weeks ago. I sent him a note, offering to talk if he ever needed it. I doubt he’ll take me up on it, since we don’t know one another, and that’s okay. I was there. I know the offer is enough a lot of the time, and that there’s no way in hell you can or will actually take everyone up on them, because there’s too many, it’s too much, and it’s just too hard.

But even so, I got into the car with my parents and quietly rode to the funeral home with them. I got out of the car, and suddenly I was looking down this long parking lot full of cars where I remember standing on a similarly gloomy afternoon with my five best friends surrounding me, asking me if I was okay as I tried to prepare myself to go to Jacob’s visitation the day before my own brother’s service at the same location. That day, I was able to do it, because that family and mine – we were in this together as much as any two families could be. And I’d steeled myself for that entire weekend, I was numb that whole week, I was able to take the calming breath and nod and grip all the strength I could muster in my fists and walk through those doors.

Not today. I wanted to, so badly. But I immediately felt my chin crumple, and the muscles that contort my mouth into something ugly whenever I cry began to ache because they’ve been worked to their limit and beyond for the past six months and my parents noticed, immediately asking me if this was too much and before I could figure it out for myself they were handing me the car keys and telling me it was okay, I could stay here, they’d tell Ross’s friend I sent my thoughts with them. “She didn’t want come,” I heard dad telling mom, and that wasn’t the truth, but he’d heard how long I hesitated earlier when he asked me if I’d been joining them. Wanting to, and being able to haven’t lined up with each other in my brain and body for a long time.

So I sat in the car and waited, cursing my phone for having a fairly defunct battery, and feeling like a tool for not being able to show the same courtesy to Ross’s friend that he had for us. I knew he’d probably understand, but it’s frustrating to feel this way.

6 months. Monday the 8th. And then I found out that they tore down the apartment today. I’d gotten word that it was going to happen a few weeks ago, I was upset, but I’d assumed it had already happened by now. No, apparently they just had to do it on the six month day exactly. So much of his stuff was there. We’ve gotten most salvageable things out of it – though that’s not a lot, it’s more than it could have been had his room not been in the back of the house. But still, it makes my stomach turn at it just all being gone. Practically erased. And for his friends still in Eau Claire, it’s got to feel even worse.

I felt bad telling my parents that when they got back in the car and we started driving home. It’s a short drive and all, but driving and crying don’t go together well. We’ve all found that out the hard way a lot. A lot.

Just another thing that makes it over when everything in me says it shouldn’t be.

I’m in the middle of another entry about LucasArts closing and what that means to me and why it’s hitting me hard but also all the fun memories I have involving those games and my brother, but I’ll finish it another time when my head’s not throbbing. It’s a more fun kind of entry anyway. And I’m going to Seattle on Wednesday – which I don’t think I’ll absorb until I’m literally packing Wednesday morning because traveling anywhere by myself seems so dauntingly impossible right now, but I know I’ll be so, so glad to spend some time with Kevin and Chris, even if half of it looks like it’ll be taken up by helping one or both of them work on moving in some fashion.

But for now I really just want to go back to sleep, which is sort of annoying on the day I finally managed to have a regular person’s sleep schedule.

Ends of March…

So today is Easter, and it’s been a long time since my last post. Things are… busy…ish? Like I’m still spending the majority of my daily hours in front of a computer screen, gaming or watching shows, but enough other stuff has been happening that the weeks seem to end much faster. It’s the last day of March, and I don’t know where the hell that month went.

Suddenly the counselors are chosen for the summer at camp, I go to Seattle to look at potential neighborhoods in about 10 days, I have an online First Responder course to get going on, and then I’m due up at my summer job on the 29th of April. Somewhere in there I’m supposed to appeal for tuition. Suddenly these things that I thought I had time for need to happen RIGHT NOW and some days that feels good, and some days it feels like I’m desperately wanting to press pause and tell the world WAIT wait wait – hold on – I’m still absorbing yesterday, I’m still absorbing this morning, I’m still dealing with 6 months ago stop stop STOP. I’m not ready! I’m okay with this having things to do every week but deadlines… christ, I was terrible with deadlines before, let alone now.

Still, it’s a bit different. The things that are happening are things I want. Things I’m motivated about: preparing for this summer’s camp season, preparing to move to Seattle, preparing for… some sort of fresh start. It’s much easier to reign in the panic when it’s things that will inevitably make me smile rather than the misery I was putting myself through with school, slogging through anxiety day after day, only to feel like a failure come finals and wanting to give everything up.

It has purpose. A degree technically would have had purpose too, but, well, I was too buried to see what it could possibly be at the time. I do better with something tangible, and while that’s near-sighted of me in the grand scheme of things, right now I need things to have direct results. I need to be able to do something, and see the difference I make – however minor – to give me more reasons to get up every morning and keep doing that thing.

You know, I thought this blog was going to have a lot more gaming nonsense on it than it has so far. I’ve got ideas for posts in my head but it’s hard to get myself to sit down and type. I used to have trouble because I always felt like as much as I wanted to journal, I wanted to talk to people or have fun or sleep (priorities, I has them) more. Now I know journaling is probably one of the more productive or healthy things I can do with my time – I mean, do I really need to watch the latest Project Runway right now? [If Michelle doesn’t win this season, I will curse Heidi Klum to break a stiletto.]

I want to talk about March, but it would be long involved so I will bullet-point the highlights: Continue reading

Obsession with the details…

One thing I’ve noticed since Ross died is my obsession with wanting to record everything. Not for personal gain or youtube or whatnot, but I’ve been pouring every bit of media Ross saved or created outside of things that might be too personal. But I have these moments with my friends and I want to save them somehow. I used to be the person with the camera back in college for similar reasons – to me there’s never enough pictures. But since I lost Ross that compulsion is 50 times greater. What if I lost someone else? I want as much to remember them by as possible. What if they lost me? Memories are great, but I like details and I like to talk about them and remember them and argue about whether or not that car was orange or red (RED, DAD) and whether or not someone spoke to me first when we met or if it was the other way around.

My mom and dad’s group therapist said they should journal – something neither of them ever really do. But he said to focus on feelings, not details.

My gut reaction was immediately: what’s so bad about details? I know the emotions are there, the meaning of a memory doesn’t change if you can’t remember exactly how something was worded, but it’s been so satisfying, if emotional to go through recordings, or documented conversation. Some people – cough, my dad, cough – hate how so much of our lives (especially those of us in the ‘younger’ generation) are out there for the world to see and pick apart, but I’ve never been so grateful that some conversations with my brother are there, preserved for me to go look at and laugh at, and I canremember a tidbit I’d completely forgotten before. The fact that I can look up a dumb three sentence conversation he and I had on facebook over some ridiculous photo he shared, or that I can delve into the WoW armory and find out that he named the little Moonkin hatchling pet I bought him for his birthday one year “Humpy” makes things a little easier.

So lately this has manifested itself in me looking into recording software for games, for skype, for video, for my xbox. I have this dinky laptop that has issues overheating and here I am learning how to clean up noise on old skype DnD conversations I recorded in the spring, and dusting off the external terabyte hard drive Dad bought me a fair few years ago because it’s the only drive big enough to attempt any video storage. And I download game streaming software on the off-chance that my roomie from college wants to spend a night in watching me play The Sims of us all the way from New York like we did once in October. It’s giving me something to tinker with, if nothing else.

I just worry about the day that I’ll run out of things to find of Ross’s. Maybe I won’t. But it’s a scary enough thought that I hope my friends are okay with me being a creeper and recording Skype convos so I can listen later and just remember and laugh at us being idiots like I do whenever I find one of the little memories of Ross buried within the aether of the net.  And maybe it’s just a phase I need to go through, but the fact that I have always liked to do things like just leave a cheap videocamera on to record my friends and I while we do something like playing Cranium for an hour – something anyone else would find completely dull or tedious – even before Ross’s death, makes me think if I’m lucky enough to live a good long time, I’ll enjoy the details, even if no one else cares. And lately if I enjoy it? Then I’m doing it.