Why is it that with other people around me I can feel utterly alone, but when it was just me taking walks in nature I felt surrounded in love and beauty? When I was more isolated in natures embrace I felt less alone than at my own home… am I really that broken? I can find a little bit of relief in looking at those pictures I gathered back when I could still walk 30 to 60 minutes without batting an eye. Now as my body twists in pain and weighs heavy with fatigue I am lucky to walk ten feet from the car to the bridge entering one of my favorite parks. But those birds singing and the rushing water are like a warm embrace of an old friend. My chair with family scattered to opposite corners of the house feels like a padded cell locking me out of life. As the isolation grows so does the depression. Finally I wander to seek another human’s contact and feel the empty greetings of them being interrupted in the game they are playing or video they are watching. Maybe I am meant to take flight, far away, soaring into the skies? But my wings are clipped and I feel tethered to this existence of loneliness in life. I only find brief moments of freedom – an occasional shared laugh or a short conversation about more than what is for dinner – that give me hope. A hope that maybe I can slowly file that chain off my ankle and find a step or two each day towards believing that I belong and am no longer the discarded one…. alone in the corner.
…I want to write. I want to escape the pain. I want to take today put it on paper and then crumple it up into the trash. But that will not happen. What’s done is done. Death cannot be reversed. What my daughter saw when she went to her Dad’s will be forever in her mind. He laid in bed cold and lifeless. I wish I had been there. I wish I had been there. I wish I had been there. I could have shielded her from that vision that will haunt her forever. I know I still see the image of the funeral home people moving my Mom into the body bag. I wanted to scream. “Watch out for her head. Don’t hurt her.” What would the point be… she was dead. That feeling will always be in the pit of my stomach. And now my daughter too has a vision of death seared behind her eyes.
…I want to write out all the emotions. The pain and sorrow. The confusion and doubt. The anger and frustration. He was only 52. He has a daughter he will never walk down the aisle. Why now? Why did he not seek out help? Why did he live behind closed doors in isolation so no one was left to help him?
…I want to blame myself even though I know it is not my fault. If we were still married would today have been different? If we had separated earlier would it have changed things? If I had been stronger would he have gotten help sooner? Was it my fault that he was all alone and felt so isolated he stopped eating and caring about nothing but another mind numbing drink?
… I loved him… I do love him. We could not make the marriage work. I could not make it work. I could not watch his slow descent into hell drink by drink. I always wanted him to be happy. I always wished the best for him, for many years at my own expense. I still hope he made peace with God or whoever he believed in these days and is in a better place. I hope he found his Dad and Mom, both of whom he missed terribly. I hope he found peace.
… I want to write. I really don’t know what to say. I hurt and am numb all at the same time. I love you Jeb… rest in peace. I will never forget you. I will always treasure the greatest gift you ever gave me – our daughter. I will miss you. I did not hate you. I just had to protect my heart from more pain. Sleep in sweet happiness now. Good night.