i’m sad to say that there has been a death in our extended family. extended family is family and the sadness is real.
it’s weird being alive. i mean, really it is weird being alive. it’s so weird that the living go on living. what can we do but to go on living? the most we can do in order to honor the dead is to go on living.
about twenty years ago around this time, my friend committed suicide. and what i remember, aside from fear and sadness that i felt was being aware that i wasn’t dead. i thought, she would no longer come to my house, we would never do homework together, and she would never turn sixteen. for years i was haunted by her death. year after year when i went back to the town in which i grew up, i would visit her grave. and when i stood at her grave, looking down at the headstone, i wasn’t just over come with sadness but also with perhaps guilt that i was alive. with each milestone in my life i would think, she never turned eighteen, then later i would think, she never turned twenty one, thirty, so on. i can’t say that i miss her now. but i do remember her and still love her.
what if she hadn’t decided to kill herself…what would she be doing now? would we still be friends? would she be a mom like my sister? would she have been a career woman?
no one will ever know.
i was already depressed at the time my friend committed suicide. her death somehow prevented me from acting on my thoughts of escaping from this world. it seems inappropriate to be thankful to her death that helped me live. truth is, on most days, i’m not thankful to be alive. i just live, because i am alive. i should be grateful to be alive. i am thankful but yet i wonder, when will i be able to rest?
it’s funny how visiting family reminds me that these people, my family, especially my nieces and nephews, expect me to live. especially my nieces and nephews who don’t understand death wouldn’t think twice that i would visit them the next chance i could manage to see them. and i want to see them grow up, go to college, get married, have kids, etc., etc.
i really think that the living can honor the dead best by going on living, the best they know how. rest in peace… we can’t join you in death, but you will always be in our hearts and in our memories.