Friday, August 3, 2012

Have you Hugged Your Kids Today?

Every time I seem to get in to my groove with this thing, this creature, this abomination at times called life, I seem to have that familiar smack to the face come up and hit me again. Well you know what? Fuck you life. You and the horse you rode in on.

Friday, the 27th of July, 2012 while at work my phone rang. It was my mom. No biggie. She calls regularly and I wasn't doing anything at the moment.
"Hello"
In only what can be described as the heart broken soul voicing its ugly head through the voice of the person it inhibits I hear; "Eric. We lost Doug this morning. He's gone".

In 2004 my otherwise healthy brother had a seizure. Never before has anything like this happened to him. Testing revealed a tumor in his brain. It turned out to be cancer. It is now 8 years later. The battle is over.

You know it's coming one of these days. Even when the finality of 4-8 weeks is given you sort of expect, maybe it's hope, for more rather than less. He made it a week later after that time frame was given. I'm glad he didn't suffer "too long". I'm mad as hell this happened to him.

We're all handed beat downs in life. Maybe you lose a fight. Maybe your 95 year old grandpa dies. Death is a natural part of life. It's a cycle. But what we all never fully prepare for is having to watch our parents bury us, their kids. And not just one, as is the case in my family. Nope. I've lost two brothers now. My mom has lost two sons. Neither made it to 40. Why? My mom's mom lost her two sons. What curse did we step in to? Who did we wrong for this to happen? While I'm sure that isn't the case it sure makes me wonder.

I'm the last one standing. I'm the oldest. Why? Why am I left? These are all questions left unanswered. I'm sure I'll never know. It can be exhausting trying to answer these questions. I don't have the care left in me anymore. I'm the one in the family that joined the local volunteer fire company and served my community for 21 years. I've seen things and done things that are crazier than Jack Nicholson looks in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. My career path has me on the road every day. I moved across the country away from home. Yet I'm the last one left. Yeah. Fuck you life. You make no sense to me.

I don't know how to deal well with these kinds of losses. Being Mr. Firefighter all those years has obviously skewed me somehow. I think it's the auto brick wall to block bad things syndrome. It's just normal after years of first hand personal death and destruction witnessing. I feel bad that I don't feel as bad I should. I mean, I feel bad it just doesn't get to me like every one else. I'm sorry Doug. And fuck you life.

Wednesday, the 1st of Aug. I found myself exhausted. I could not get going or find energy even if I had paid for it. This is something I've never experienced in my life before. This level of exhaustion was totally new.

 The viewing was Tuesday afternoon and evening. People whom I grew up with, known since the 7th grade and prior to came. I saw people whom I haven't seen in decades. I was exhausted Wednesday. Thursday morning was even worse. Time zone change, stress, all this... blargh!

I'm so burned out on death. Nanny was a year and a half ago. My brother last week. My other brother in 1999. Please, no one else. Not for a long while.

Fuck you life.

5 comments:

TEN EVEning News said...

Hang in there my friend. My condolences on your loss, and prayers for you and your family :(

--Spence
TEN EVEning News

H said...

I lost my Dad to cancer quite a few years back. It wasn't pretty. Between the first identification and chemo to the time the bone cancer brought on by the radiation treatment killed, he got another 16 years.

But I will never, ever forget the day at the consult where they told us he would lose his right palate, right cheek and right eye.

It gave him another 18 months. But the thing is this, my Dad was a kind, christian gentleman. A better man than I will ever likely be. He had faith where I do not.

And yet God took him. And in a very drawn out and painful way. Something to this day, decades later I am still surprisingly angry about.

Why him and not me was another thought that ricocheted around my brain for a long time. Survivor guilt I guess.

Anyways, once he died, I turned into a zombie. Oh, I functioned kind of, ate, slept, went to work. But it was a good 6 months before I was anything like back to normal.

If I have something to share from all of that, it is this: be kind to yourself. Give yourself time. This isn't something that is likely to be quick, but the grief will come. It may very well sneak up on you in unexpected ways as it did me.

And try not to let differences in the way people grieve (and believe me there are) cause issues in the family. Be smarter than I was.

Please give yourself time. Take care.

Nashh Kadavr said...

sorry to hear about your bro.

i have seen a lot of family fall around me and feel your pain. keep chin up, enjoy what you have, it may stop at any moment i guess?

Anonymous said...

My Mom died 18 months ago after a long illness. My wife is dying now, how soon we don't know. What I do know is that the hardest part of losing someone is the things left unsaid. Make sure you make whatever peace is possible with those close to you, and don't spend the rest of your life wishing you had told them just one more thing before the end. Tell them today, for today is the only day we have.

Harrigan Vonstudly said...

You guys are great. To Anonymous, man, I don't even know what to say dude. I lost someone to cancer in 2002. We weren't married but were together for 12 years. I know what you're going through and I wish the best for you.

We can't always find the best in the situations that are the worst. But hopefully we can all pull something out of the situation and learn from it.

I'm sorry. Take care of yourself.

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