New Year’s

Today is the first day of a year without my oldest nephew in it. That’s been coming for six months. He was 23. He should be 24 now. In June he killed himself. One is reluctant to say that. One feels they are doing a violence to the listener to even say it.

Yes, the initial shock diminishes.

You can’t really think about it all at once. You think about it for five minutes, and as you comprehend the reality, your brain kind of shuts down. Then you take your body to the next thing. Wash dishes or read an email or something.

A lot of my friends had a year marked by losses. People keep saying how they hope 2015 will be better. But why should it get “better”? “Better” would be if he had his life still and his life improved some – even a little. “Better” is not time passing. “Better” is not what we graduate to. There is no better. There is only dumb persistence.

If I seem to be silent on this topic, it’s not because I’m better or anything is better. It’s because I lack the words to describe despair.

Maybe it’s like walking through a desert. There’s water, there’s food. There are, often, beautiful things in the desert. You’re not in danger of dying from the desert, but you also know you’ll never come out of it. The light is harsh and too bright and ceaseless.

I am angry at time for passing. It seems to me the world should have halted on June 16. That time should not keep moving forward without my nephew’s existence. It should have just stuttered to a stop. Thanksgiving comes along and I think, What are you doing here? I didn’t ask for you. You’re missing something. Go away. Then Christmas shows up and I think, Didn’t you talk to Thanksgiving as you passed in the hall? Now New Year’s. They never seem to get the message. They have no grace.

I wake up and I don’t move. It’s hard to surface from the feeling of dread. I don’t remember my dreams. I wish I would. But coming to wakefulness is such a long shoal. By the time I get there, those pieces have washed out to sea.

Maybe comprehending suicide is like an asymptote. The line that gets closer and closer to a horizon it never touches.




3 thoughts on “New Year’s

  1. I thought about ‘liking’ this, but that’s not quite the right word. Tomorrow, when I figure out what my password is, or get a new one, I’ll make an entry under Like. It’s quite powerful, like all your writing. Thank you for expressing it.

  2. I love how you expressed your thoughts about this. My brother experienced the same event. And though he is not a writer, it seems that you have expressed what I sense he and his wife are feeling. Which helps remind me to be gentle.

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