Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Other Side of the Flood

Been such a long few days. I was actually particularly proud of my last blog post because it does the best job of capturing exactly how I feel about my life since Pete's death. I feel like I'm just treading water. But I guess tread it I will.
Speaking of water, I finally had a dream about him and this one involved water as well. It was similar to the first flood dream I had. I dreamt of a large amount of water behind a door. Enough to take out the whole room inside. But then, when the door opened, it was a pretty small amount that went into the room. Pete was kinda like "I told ya so" toward me, as I expected all of the water to come rushing into the room. Oddly enough, after the dream, I woke up feeling okay. More okay than I'd been in forever. For the first time in forever, I felt normal. I didn't wake up longing for my friend, seeing him briefly in my dream was all I needed. Its crazy because I expected my first dream of him to be loving and thoughtful as we exchanged "I love you's," held hands, and promised to see one another on the other side. Nope. In this dream, it was like he still worked with me and he never died. It was brief, but nice. I enjoyed that quick moment of feeling like I did before.

Moving on, Tory was on my mind heavily the other day. I actually kind of miss our friendship. In my spirit, I felt like he missed me, but I'm still pissy about how things ended, so fuck it. Sure enough, on the evening of Mother's Day, he shot me a "Happy Mother's Day" text and I didn't respond. Damn that. You wanna not be friends, so be it. But dude made this decision to cease a friendship with me (not once, but TWICE) so as far as I'm concerned, that's it.

Saturday I had a strange feeling about Hajj. Something inside of me said that he'll need a woman around him in case he has a medical emergency. Later that evening, I called him to check in briefly. He sent my message to voicemail, leading me to respond with a sarcastic remark. He texted back that he was in the hospital. My hair stood on end. He said he thought he had a stroke. I'd wished so heavily that I was in DC with him to yell at the nurses around him to make sure he was getting the best care available. The next day an MRI was done to confirm that he did, in fact, have a stroke. For the first time in a while, I felt a deep connection to him.

It's Wednesday now. I march for my graduation come Monday. Life is moving fast. Today I felt myself floating. I want to run so bad. I just want to turn and flee and not look back. But once again, I have to keep things together for my son. I mentioned on Facebook how much I'd like to flee. Tory then texted, asking if I'm okay. I responded with a simple "yes." He made his choice. We're not friends anymore.

So the world is revolving. I'm evolving. Spinning. Growing. I'm coming to a new normal in grieving my friend. I feel myself coming down. I still think of him heavily. I still feel him. I still miss him. I still can't wait to see him again. Sometimes I even still cry. But I'm almost ready. Not quite, but damned close. I just realized that in that dream, Pete told me that its okay to move on. The water represented emotions. The worst of the flood was over. The first flood dream indicated major emotional changes on the way. Damned if that didn't happen. This flood meant that the worst is over. There may still be some turmoil, but that's life overall. Pete is telling me to get in gear and live my life. I hate it when he's right

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Reaching For What Isn't There

I just realized that I haven’t written in 5 days. Quite an accomplishment. Not that my wheels haven’t been spinning and life hasn’t been moving, I think I’m just away from my computer and been in my own head so I haven’t done much writing. Classes are officially over and the grind for employment has begun so that’s where I’ve been lately. It strongly looks as though I’ll have the government job I interviewed for, which allows me to sleep and regroup for now as I get ready for the next leg of life. I’m thankful that this opportunity dropped into my lap because it relieves me of the anxiety and pressure of having to find a job. I’ll talk shit about my school all day, but this program literally handed my name to this place for a job, so shit, I’ll take it.
I had a laundry list of things I’d wanted to get done upon graduation, but rather than painting my apartment, jogging, organizing and cleaning, I’ve been sleeping primarily. It’s a gradual process, but my task list is slowly getting worked on. Plus while I was in the mountains, I managed to fall down the stairs (ironic, given this blog topic) and what I thought was a small sprain has actually ended up as a hairline fracture, so there go my plans of running 6 miles in the Peachtree Road Race come July. I’d still love to walk it, but my jogging dreams have been shattered yet again.
I’d be lying if I said that Peter has not been on my mind heavily. He’s still there, he’s just taken on a different form. He still talks to me often. I hear his voice, he moves stuff. I see the signs he leaves me. It’s not so much about me missing him anymore. I’m just getting used to him no longer being in physical form. I happened upon an article the other day that made me think of him even more so than before.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/brianna-wiest/2016/09/18-signs-youre-experiencing-whats-known-as-a-twin-flame-relationship/

Of this extensive list of things that would be the sign of a twin flame, only 1, 13, 15 are things that don’t sound like us. And if he’d lived long enough, I wonder if those three would have been rounded on out. So those other 15 things were us totally. I think what hit home the most for me was number 17, about the fundamental similarities. Once his funeral was over and I met some of his family, I was amazed to know the things we had in common that we’d never known previously. We are both middle children of two girls, both Geminis, both have difficult relationships with our mothers, both mothers had high ranking government jobs, my birthday is one day away from his sister and his birthday is one day away from my sister, both studied media in undergrad (he and I had discussed that before, I just forgot), both had different fathers from our siblings. One strange coincidence that I never brought up to him (again, not wanting to look like a stalker) is that what inspired me to go to New York for the first time this fall was a trip to an ice cream shop (don’t judge me). The address for that ice cream shop was 2 Rivington St. The name of the shop was Morgenstern’s and they had a black ice cream that I wanted to try. (Yes, I traveled 800 miles for ice cream, what of it? I feel the judgement. Now back to my story.)

Upon one of my Google searches of Pete, I learned that he at one point had a gallery showing at 2 Rivington. I remember looking in that gallery as I walked by while I was leaving the ice cream shop (the gallery is on the left in the picture). Although I had already met Pete, by then, our friendship hadn’t developed and I hadn’t yet Googled him, so when I passed by it, I knew nothing of his time there. New York is a HUGE city, filled with all kinds of galleries and showings. Also, its not like this location is in some sort of funky spot in Times Square, its literally a funky little spot on the Lower East Side. What are the odds that what drew me to that one spot also featured him? I’m kind of random, but ice cream? Don’t get me wrong the ice cream tasted like heaven, wrapped in love, and dipped in glitter, but still. What are the freaking odds that where I went just for ice cream was literally next door to the site of his gallery showing and even shares the same numerical address? He’s my twin flame.  

Once I finished the article, I decided to Google people that have had their twin flames die on them. Like me, they mention the unmistakable, unshakable pain of losing this person you had this bond with. They mention the loss of normalcy and love. The discomfort and the ache of the solace in the person they knew- the undeniable connection that only a twin flame can carry and how life after losing one seems to be almost unbearable and pointless. They also largely mentioned the demographic difference many had. Largely age gaps and demographic differences, much like myself and Pete. Hey, at least I’m in good company.

It explains so much though. It’s been over 2 months since he died and I’m still in this spot that I can’t move away from. The plain fact is that I feel like I lost my left arm when he died. You know that feeling when you’ve lost your balance and you reach out for a banister or something to steady yourself and it’s not there? That’s literally how I’ve felt since he died. I feel like I’m moving my arms, reaching out for something to steady me, and it’s just not there.
This article moved me a lot. It made me feel like maybe I wasn’t quite as crazy as I was starting to think I was. I mean a month after his passing, I felt okay to still mourn him and feel him and think about him. But two months in and going strong, perhaps his death really wasn’t like anything else I’ve experienced. What I find odd is that no one else is on Facebook doing those grieving, RIP posts. I mentioned him, both of his sisters did, and 4 other friends and that was it. Perhaps it’s an age thing, or a white cultural thing, but there was no social media outpouring of love. Shit, when Jarronn died, there was easily a hundred posts from people over time on holidays, his birthdays, even random days, putting up pictures, sharing memories, just stopping to say they thought about him.

Pete’s page has been none of that. Nothing. So while I’m often tempted to mention him, tag him, or drop a line on his page, out of respect and not wanting to look like a weirdo, especially since none of his friends or family know me, I’ve been forced to just deal with this solo. It burns though, because I wish I knew other people’s memories of him. I can tell that many of his Facebook friends are his art friends as well, and some from his meetings and recovery, but otherwise I have no connection. It’s odd and it’s frustrating. It could even be the many years he spent using heroin, where he’d just disappear into his other life. I’d mentioned before how he hadn’t touched Facebook in eons until I mentioned it. His whole page was his daughter and ex-wife. Then he “disappeared.” Then he came back with art and his new life. But then he “disappeared”- this time, for good.

The article confirmed what I’d already suspected. He is my twin flame. It doesn’t mean my life will stop. It just means that I’ll have to get used to what is, what was, and what will be. Once again, I’m reaching but there is nothing and no one there to grab me. I’d better get used to this.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Laughing While Crying

I've always had a bit of an artistic side, it just doesn't get out much. I honestly didn't know I was an artist. Sure, I've enjoyed painting abstract murals on my walls for the last 10 years, but I never thought much of it as anything else than an outlet. It wasn't until I met a man who was a well-known painter, brought him to my home, then he took a look at my works and said "I didn't know you were an artist" until it occurred to me that I did, in fact, belong to the illustrious crowd. Oddly, I'd always thought that artists were trained, and frankly, far better than me.

One of our earlier meetings, Pete had his phone up and showed me the works of David Shrigley. I fondly remember him showing me the works and seeing the colorfully drawn "Big Fancy Room Filled With Crap" picture. Afterward, Pete's Facebook postings were often different pictures from various artists, as well as some of his own work. I enjoyed the pics, and I was careful not to like each one he posted (didn't want to look like a stalker and all), but I saw each and every one.
As I've approached this transitional period for myself, I've found myself looking more at art. At first just Pete's. Then there was art at the internship, done by residents of the organization and others. Soon more art followed. As I've embraced more art, I've also started to embrace different people overall. I was in my local Kroger recently when I complimented a woman's colorful socks. She responded that she'd gotten them online. I told her that I wanted to be like her when I grow up, and in turn, she invited me to her home for an art showing she was having. I assured her that I would show up.

Saturday arrived, and as promised, went. I was kind of nervous, but not by much. The woman was older, as well as white, but I figured, why not? A good thing about my transition is that it has allowed me to get to know new people and experience new encounters. I arrived and was immediately greeted by the woman, Mavis. She and I laughed as we explained to others in the room, her other artist friends, how we bonded over sushi in the deli area. I went on to work the room and was in love with how expressive and open her friends were. They happened to attend spiritual services close to the Buddhist temple I meditate at and they asked my experiences there and said they'd hoped to attend as well.

Coincidentally, one man started telling me about his heart attack that happened just 6 weeks prior. He explained that his aorta exploded (what now?!) and that his doctors explained that he should have undeniably died in 10 minutes after the rupture. Yet he made it another hour and a half until he could call his girlfriend and she  was able to get him to the hospital. I could even hear his pacemaker. The man was 46-years-old. A year younger than Pete. In some odd way, it made me feel better. Like no matter what, maybe it really was Pete's time to go? Only 2 weeks prior, Pete was living in a single room with 4 or more more men. I've though often how if he'd been still living with those men or if he and I managed to hang that weekend how he'd still be here (I learned CPR from the internship) or how I'd have at least called the ambulance. But clearly, those things didn't happen. Pete's body was positioned in a way to make us think he tried to go out of the room where he had the heart attack. But alas...

As I left the group, I felt rejuvenated. While alone with Mavis, I explained to her that I'd been going through some things and needed this time with her and her friends so much. She assured me that we'd get coffee soon. Another friend of hers made me promise to commit myself more to my art. Anyone that knows me knows that I take my word seriously. So I guess we all know what that means.

My cousin Jarronn wasn't just a good guy. He was great. Its hard to follow Jarronn. He and I were the same age, but he was the golden child. We graduated the same year from high school, but he graduated with honors and scholarships. I barely got my diploma. He graduated from college in 4 years and followed it with a wonderful job at Johnson & Johnson. It took me 9 years, I got pregnant my last year, and struggled to find a job that paid me decently. Jarronn's brother Theo was a lot like me- emotional and troubled. Yet in Jarronn's death, Theo went back to school and has blossomed. He once told me that he feels that when Jarronn died, part of his spirit moved on into the Theo. Coincidentally I happened to read something this weekend over the internet that said the exact same thing regarding people dying and their traits transferring. I'm feeling that.
That same night, I lay rejuvenated, yet continued to miss my dear friend. It was also the night of my failed online date. I decided that perhaps I needed some time with a person that more understood my feelings. I reached out to Adriana, widow of Frank Barham. Frank died suddenly nearly 2 years ago when the wheelchair he was in was struck while he was rolling to Savannah to bring awareness to people with disabilities and raise money for wheelchairs for people that needed them. (http://www.ajc.com/news/musician-arts-advocate-from-atlanta-killed-georgia-wreck/xkPo0QF3l5GzXqHhOURADM/)                                                                                                                                                 

I only knew Frank in passing, but he was always such a super spirit. Honestly, you'd forget he was ever in a wheelchair. He was so strong and positive, you'd seriously forget. I also followed his journey on Facebook and was floored to learn of his passing. I remembered seeing Adriana mentioned somewhere and I decided to send her a friend request on Facebook and I'd occasionally check in on her through her grieving process. Now here I am. I'd never even met Adriana personally. We'd just chat on Facebook. But now I needed her.

We met in my favorite coffee shop. Warm hugs immediately. She smiled and was so bubbly. She spoke warmly of Frank and started to cry. I teared up as well. I told her about Pete. I began crying at the hourglass I'd purchased for him, and how it was in my trunk, when he died. At some point she made a joke that resulted in both of us laughing manically through our tears. It was nice to be with someone that really got it. It was crazy to me that she spent 19 years married to Frank, and I only had 5 months to get to know Pete. So she grieved the life she knew. On the other hand, I grieve the life and friendship I'll never get to see go further. And unbeknownst to me, Adriana is an artist as well. She showed me the beautiful ring on her finger that she'd managed to make herself via blacksmithing. Adriana also invited me to some of the art classes she attends to meet a friend of hers that can further help me through this process.

So yet again, I'm taking steps to follow this process. I don't know where it will lead. But I'm enjoying this. New people, new interests, new locations, new laughter. The fact is that I will graduate in 2 weeks with my master's degree, but truthfully the ceremony is the furthest thing from my mind. Sure, it will be nice to see my colleagues and embrace them. And to see my dad and step mommy beam with pride as I cross that stage. But I'm more looking forward to making art, meeting more new people and following a passion of art and beauty. I guess tears aren't always a bad thing.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

I Have No Choice But to Be Alone

I guess I'm over my thing with Tory. Wished he was around to vent about something earlier, but shit, just like "you know who" life goes on, he ain't here, so I dealt with it. Nearly a week ago, I decided for some stupid reason or another, to try online dating. Yeah, about that...
I like to think that I put together a nice profile, cute pics, a bit of info about me, etc. Eventually I grew a tad irritated because so many of the inboxes I got were from men, who hit me up with a simple "hey beautiful" or "nice smile." I didn't even bother to open those. I mean, like why? To be fair, those men may have been well-meaning, well-educated men that wanted nothing seedy. But I couldn't shake that men that focused just on my looks wanted just one thing. I can't do that and I can't be that.

I finally started chatting with one guy. He seemed nice, but a tad persistent. I eventually agreed to meet with him last night. We went out (of course I picked a Starbucks in a different neighborhood in case he was a weirdo that would start to plant himself in my hangout spots). We laughed, had a lot in common. I confessed about my current mental state, told him about Pete, my changes in life, and told him truthfully that I can't do the girlfriend thing. We laughed more. Eventually Starbucks closed and we went outside, in the dark, in the middle of downtown, until it started raining, where we got into my car, to continue the conversation. I kind of liked him. I knew he liked me. I felt relaxed near him. We agreed to see one another for lunch. I even (half) joked about finally showing him my hang out spots since he wasn't the weirdo I was afraid he'd be.

On the way home, he texted me, telling me that he planned to take down his dating profile because he considered us "talking." PUMP. THE. BRAKES. Shit!! I froze again. See, this is the shit I'm talking about. We aren't "talking." Shit, we had coffee. That's it. Keep looking. I don't know what I want. I don't know who I do or will want. I texted him back and thanked him for his interest, but at the end of the day, I'm not committing to him. Life remains what it is. I feel like I'm learning to walk again. The responsibility of a boyfriend, "dating," "talking," "fucking," whatever you call it, I just can't.

He responded that he's okay just talking and getting to know me. I didn't respond. I didn't know how to. I happened to meet up with Reisha, told her what happened between us up to that point and showed her our messages. She shrugged her shoulders and told her that if he chose to stop and wait on me, that's on him. While I was driving home, he texted me again, and told me that he thought about it, and that he just can't be only friends with me. What the hell?! It literally happened again.

So in 48 hours, I've had two guys that I'd like to be friends with claim that they can't because they'd want more. Talk about bittersweet. In all fairness, I felt like the guy from last night was pressing kind of hard for a girlfriend anyway, and if I tried to break up with him later, shit would get weird and legal. Like Lifetime Movie of the Week bad.
He wanted a girlfriend. Bad. Don't get me wrong, he seemed like a super nice guy. But I knew his intentions. And because of what I knew would be his clinginess later, I knew to let him go. I've got enough damned problems and the possibility of having my disappearance and murder captured for cable television does not need to be upon them.

I'm again, alone in a coffeehouse (in my neighborhood this time). Alone. Last night, I just took down my dating profile. I'm not having sex, don't really want a boyfriend, and really don't want to be around a bunch of new people. With all of that, I guess it makes sense to just fall back. I've long been okay with my own company. I'm thankful that I'm secure enough with myself that being alone isn't making be go crazy. Quite the opposite. I like being out, observing people, and being in my own head. Good thing I enjoy my solo time. At the looks of things, seems like I'm about to have a lot of it.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Yes, Yes I Did Friend Zone You

So I've had a moment to reflect on this shit with Tory and I went from apathetic to pretty fucking angry. So lemme get this straight. We meet, hang out, have a good time. You go pretty slow, despite me throwing hints. I develop interest in another man, who was smart/bold enough to make his intentions known. That man subsequently dies.
Now you realize that I'd developed feelings for that guy, leading to an immense grieving period, so you can't be friends with me anymore. WHAT? THE? FUCK?! What kind of shit is that? I just realized that this is one of several men who've pretty much felt that being friends with me is not a possibility because my vagina is no longer on the table. Nor is it in the car, in bathroom, or in the bedroom either! No kinky sex for you! I'm so pissed now.

I guess as a girl, I'm supposed to be willing to smash anyone that expresses interest because he's a "good guy." Folks need to understand. The fact is that there is a lot of competition to be next to me. Not being arrogant or anything, but I'm funny, smart, outgoing (when I'm not in a funk), and pretty well-known. But this fucked idea that I'm expected to either be in a relationship (or at least fuck) or not exist in his world is pretty jacked. I've pretty much gone from, "man, I'll miss his friendship" to "FUCK HIM, I DON'T OWE HIM SHIT!!" Even if I weren't a popular person, I'm still not obligated to sleep with him just because he has an interest.


Have I been into men that didn't want to be with me? Yep! What did I do? Became best friends with them. Because I cared about them enough to want to be in their presence, whether we were dating or just homies. Civil people don't require all of the attractive people around them to be available to smash. What does it say to me when a guy stops coming around because he realizes that I'm not going to screw him?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

We Need To Talk- Round 2

This has been a LONG flipping week. Not even Friday yet, and I'm over this shit already. I'll start by saying that I spent last weekend in the mountains and it was beyond needed. The sun, the warmth, the laughter- it was a blessing. My plan was actually to parlay solo, but my friend stuck around (yay!), my son ended up coming and her son, who is my son's age, ended up staying home rather than going with his father, so all went well. Naturally, the morning after I arrived, I fell down the steps, turning my ankle, so I haven't been able to jog all week, despite finally having the time to do so. The swelling is finally going down.

On Monday I had a meeting with my professor to change a grade, so I can finally march this month. Tuesday, I had a follow-up interview with my internship. Stupidly enough, I expected to have this in the bag. Our first interview, I was asked if I'd be willing to commit to the position for a year, despite the pay. I explained that because I have so much love for the organization, a pay cut would be fine. Well, this go round, I was asked again why I wanted the position, especially being that this is not something that typically a person with a master's degree would seek. Um- WHAT?! Man, I've struggled like hell to make ends meet the whole time I was in school. I told myself a while back that whoever takes me, I'm in. No haggling. Job hunting is exhausting. Just hire me.



The question of my long-term goals came up. Without expressing too much, I simply told them that some shifts in my personal life have led me to reevaluate things and that I don't want a fancy ass job right now. Essentially, I'd just like the pleasure of paying rent without selling blood, plus I'd like to be able to eat more than once a day. The interviewer told me that upon graduation, she knew immediately what she'd wanted moving forward. I even told her that 3 months ago that I had my life planned down to the letter. But yeah, stuff happened. I also threw the interview by not being prepared when I misinterpreted what I was expected to do this time around so I did not come prepared. I didn't hear back. *shrugs*

Coincidentally, last week I got a call about a government position I'd applied for earlier, and they wanted me to interview the day after my follow up interview with the internship. I told myself that if it came down to it, I'd take the internship position, but the government job actually pays more, and it looks like I might just have it (fingers crossed), so at least there's that.
Now we get to today. *sigh* Met again with my therapist. Its funny how I go in without much to say, but by the end, I'm in tears all over again (in a much needed way though). I heed and hawed back and forth about my life, and what I want. Or don't want. About my many thoughts about death, but I don't want to die. How I'd recently looked at the symptoms of depression, and how many of them fit squarely into where I am now. I wondered aloud if I'm grieving, or is this depression, or some sort of midlife crisis? My therapist stated that it is quite possible that a midlife crisis could be caused my a trauma (such as a death). I told her how much I wish I could just fast forward by 6 months so that I could look back and properly identify whatever the hell it is that I'm going through.

I also told her about how my musical taste has shifted lately and I've been listening more to 1970's beach anthems like "Hotel California" or party songs like "All I Wanna Do" by Cheryl Crow. I admitted that being a black woman is fucking exhausting. We're expected to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. I also revealed to her how what I loved about Pete was that he always took care of stuff. No matter what it was, he handled it.You could always relax near him, because big or small, he did it. I've talked to his former colleague, the woman he worked with when he died, and she confessed that when things happen like the printer jamming, or bringing in water bottles, Pete did it. He was on it, without being asked. What I eventually realized was that he was a mirror of me. That's how people feel about me. Malika will handle it. Malika will figure it out. If Malika is here, its handled, relax. She's got it. Pete was me.
My therapist looked at me and said "There you go. You carry so much weight after holding the burden of others, it was nice to have someone around that let you finally relax because they'd handle things, even if it was the smallest of tasks." God it feels good to work through this and make it finally make sense.

Now we get to an hour ago. Tory calls me and says "we need to talk." I simply responded "good or bad?" "Bad" he said. I braced myself. "Well, its just that last week, you told me that you kissed Pete. I've been thinking about it ever since then. I remembered thinking that you pulled away a little before he died. Then I remembered you saying that you were surprised that I was so okay listening to you talk about him. That's why you've been unable to be affectionate or sexual, he was the person you expected to have sex with next, so you're kind of stuck." Damned if he didn't hit the nail on the head with that one. Tory then told me that ever since then, he gets angry when I mention Pete. I pulled a Malika (which is emotionally devoid, while being emotional).

I explained that I get it, and that I wish him the best. Just like I was the last time we had this speech, I'm unable to be too emotional about him. He ain't dead. Dead person gets the grief, I guess. But once we got off the phone, I thought about it. How the hell can he be salty at me for liking another guy, when he was the one going a snail's pace?! Via text (cuz I'm not one to argue), I reminded him that when I wanted the affection, he wasn't there. Hell, I even remember complaining to Pete about Tory taking his damned time with the physical stuff. (Out of respect, I didn't say that to Tory though). We exchanged a few more texts about it, but I let it go. No use crying over spilled milk. It STILL remains (just as was the case before) Tory has some stuff to work on. Shit, I just wrote 3 paragraphs about today's conversation with my therapist, so lord knows I need work. I admit it stings a bit more this time around, but the fact is that I'm still not going to chase him down. Perhaps he'll show back up, perhaps he won't. Doesn't matter though. Either way, I still gotta work on me.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Support

As time moves further out from Pete’s death, I’m moving from my own deep grieving period to a more morose existence. And perhaps my own loss has put me in the space, but I’m seeing more and more people going through it. A friend has been kind enough to lend me her cabin in the woods last weekend, but warned she may or may not be around because her mother was scheduled to have surgery for breast cancer. My co-worker Stephanie broke into tears a while ago as she told me about her cousin’s recent death from breast cancer. Today I ran into an acquaintance that told me of his adopted aunt’s death and problems in his family since then. A while back, a classmate posted that her daughter’s father was murdered as well.

My loss hurt like hell, but it feels good to be of support to other people as they deal with their own loss. Perhaps it’s just that I’m getting older and that when you’re in your late 30’s death becomes more frequent. Obviously colleagues, friends, and relatives are older now. In my teens and twenties, death certainly happened, it was just rare. But now it seems like it’s so regular. Now I feel like we’re all just stuck here, trying to make sense of our pain. And we all work through it, the best way we know how. But the second you pull back, just a little bit, it opens up again.

This blog has been my solace. I’m amazed at the regular visitors I get here. I can’t help but to think that I must be boring the hell out of them as I go on and on about Pete. But I need this. It’s been kind of crazy to read back on my varying emotions since Pete died. Most moments I’m only a brief thought from tears again. But I hold it together. Just like the loss of Tracey the then the loss of Jarronn, I’ll learn to live with this pain. But if there is any solace to be found, it is that I can use this to help others through this same thing. We’ve got to support one another in this. We’re all we’ve got.