I’ve been a bit sick recently. Not exactly the type of sick where I’m vomiting or laying in bed with a fever. It’s the type of sick that literally hurts to the bone. It’s the type of sick that leaves my skin pale, my lips chapped and my eyes weary. It’s the type of sick that makes me want to push a little bit harder sometimes, and then completely absolve into tears other times. It’s the level of illness that can not be explained, diagnosed or remedied. It’s the type of illness that cuts into my body like a knife, yet leaves no visible scar, unless you were close enough to look into my eyes and see their flint slowly going out under the brave face I’ve so often put on. It’s the type of illness that leaves dirt mixed with tears covering my face, and it’s the type of sickness that enshrouds me as I get closer, and closer to the memorial I’m headed to.
I have a dear friend whom recently passed away. He didn’t die of cancer, or the flu or rabies. He died because he wanted to. He died because he made that choice for himself. It’s the weirdest thing to write about. In fact, as I write this I feel my throat constrict and tears well behind my eyes. It’s as if there is a river in my body that comes out of my eyes, and although I don’t dam it they seem to come and go as they please.
There’s a desire in my mind, my soul, my spirit and my body to move on from this. There’s a pain that exists under my skin and in my atoms that urges me to keep going through it. To embrace it despite the tortured screams that fall from my pale lips, as if I were hugging a wooden post covered in rusty nails. It’s a pain that I can’t even believe exists. It’s an illness I can’t even fathom is happening, but yet it is. It’s happened, and it’s going to continue to happen as long as I live. I do not believe we will ever lose the illness of loss, but we can choose not to succumb to it. Grief is sickness, and illness is sorrow in perfect form.
So as his memorial draws nearer I am forced to look into myself: where do I go from here? I am utterly terrified to experience this all again. This is like a plague I never saw coming, survived, and will now be put through again. I wouldn’t change it, and I know I need to have this profound experience. I need to let that pain be inside of me, to share it with others as if it’s the greatest undertaking I’ve ever come in contact with. There is no greater pain. It’s like what a Mother must experience when she’s giving birth: the elation of gaining this incredible life anew, and with it broader (and hopefully positive) perspectives; and also realizing that this pain is a part of it, despite the end result.
I feel as though I’m rambling a bit, so excuse me if this doesn’t make complete and total sense. I guess I’m just scared. I am terrified. I am petrified into a state of confusion and tranquility at the same time, and yet I remain antsy. I remain curiously unaware of what’s to come. I’m just simply… I don’t even know. Here I am. Where am I to go, now?