6 Feb

Death haunts our shoulders.

We shouldn’t see it coming, not clearly. It should be peripheral, shards  to be brushed off, remembered by the crumbs left on our fingers, the sadness in the corner of our eyes on a cold, windy day, tears that stream unbidden and unrequired down our face as we warm the seat on the city bus each morning. We shouldn’t have the portent, the hidden gas valve in the corner of our future, of our ending.

But taste of it I do odd days, the dusty breeze of an age, the memory of black behind my eyes, of a body unseeing, released finally from bondage. The sweat and the fear and the ruin. The absolute of nothing.

It sits behind me, breathing slightly, lightly on my skin. Waiting.


Something today triggered the thoughts. The times I nearly died, the blackness.

Once, at 14, I swallowed a bottle of muscle relaxants. I don’t remember that I was in much pain. I was just so tired of being alive, of everything seeming like an uphill battle I couldn’t possibly walk in crutches. The pills stuck to the back of my throat as I sat in a cold fall park, swallowing them 3 or 4 at a time. Everyone else had gone back to school, and I sat.

When nothing happened, I figured I couldn’t even figure out how to kill myself correctly, and trudged back to school. It was until a few hours later when I kept just randomly falling down that I realized what I had done. The ringing started, the world took a shine, and I fell to sleep for hours and hours.

Interrupted by nothing but an endless, firm darkness which neither rejected nor embraced. It just was.

When I woke up, I swore I’d better. I swore life was worth living, as I stared at an achingly lovely blue sky.

Death 0. Me 1.

Long, long years in which guilt kept me tethered to the earth, where my obligation to others seemed to outweigh my needs. I spent years ripped inside, burdened by the one thought I don’t want to be alive and yet feeling forced to stay put, stay together and whole. Years of stagnation, years of anger and ache. Years of blind living.

Then children, and internal re-org. Facing the demon down once, taming it, then cracking oh so easily one summer night.

I didn’t cry. I was circular by that point, the noise in my head incessant with static and the thought that death was the answer-death was one way to prove that I was needed and necessary, that I was worthy. I crammed 100 some odd pills in my maw, lukewarm water pushing them down. I didn’t cry when I wrote a letter, sorry sorry I can’t I loved you. I laid my head down, and stared at my children, smiling in an old picture. New guilt. Good guilt. A warm tether to my heart.

Calmly at a desk I told the nurse i took too many pills. I don’t want to die.

And they believed me. As I began to slip from the earth, as I felt my arms and body grown tired and limp, my eyes rolling as the room filled with the smell of cupcakes, the nudged me back down, until my body rid itself of my wish. Of my death.

And since then, it’s been like I was stripped clean.


I’ve seen nothing  to convince me I go elsewhere when I die. I saw nothing, felt nothing when my mother died but an aching void, a darkness. Both times I have tried to rid the world of myself, there were no warm bodies waiting, no messages, no moments of wholeness, no metatron. Just, black. Just the dark, and the question. Nothing more.

I wanted to. I’ve always wanted to. I dream of the security of knowing that somewhere, my mother waits for me, her arms warm and kind. I wish I could rely on thoughts of there being a better place, even a different place. But nothing has shown me anything but the simple barren emptiness of what I’d imagine deep space to feel like. Think big. Then think bigger.

And so today I was thinking of those times, laying back, eyes unseeing yet staring, and how I wanted so badly for the universe, for anything to take my into it’s arms, and whisper


and how it never has.


13 Responses to “Death+”

  1. flutter February 7, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    I wish I knew what to say, other than I am glad you’re here

  2. Kelly February 7, 2010 at 2:46 am #

    I’ll echo what Flutter said – so very glad you’re here. I envy those that embrace life so fully, wringing joy out of the mundane… and those whose faith in what comes “after” is so strong. I want to believe… I think I believe… but then the doubt seeps in.

  3. Kelly February 7, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    I don’t know what happens after, but I hope for you to have a sort of heaven now inside yourself. Not saying I do or know how, but just that I wish it for you.

  4. daisybones February 7, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Ache. That ache for the mother’s arms, it is so screaming inside me now. The little one is a tether, and the chemistry holds me above water, but there is that ache.

    I love you, sister.

  5. Titanium February 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Death stopped by and reached remorseless fingers toward my nephew this week. He was run over by a car, in his own driveway. He lives.

    The raw anguish, the abyss of loss my family faced absolutely shook me to my foundations. He is a baby. He is not a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister- and his broken little body ripped the heart right out of my chest.

    I am still in shock. Still can’t look at myself in the mirror. For all the times that I’ve wanted ‘The Dark’ to claim me, to make it ALL just stop. I know something today that I did not know yesterday- with my soul. I cannot, I will not ever make a choice that would cause my sister to weep as she did this week. I have a certainty of resolve that I’ve never possessed. Not for me, but for my family.

    I drove so carefully through the night, leaving them. Back to the airport that will (eventually) bring me home to my husband and daughter. And I promise you, it is a good day to be alive.

    Thor, I don’t know if my certainty helps you in the least. For what it’s worth, I do understand. And I’m glad that you are here, now. You are needed, you are loved.

  6. Natalie February 7, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    I want more time to get to know you and more evenings spent eating poutine and drinking coffee.

    Stare down whatever you have to, take as much time as you need and ask me…or other for whatever help you think you might need….but stick around for awhile.

    You are liked…alot.

  7. schmutzie February 8, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    I am terribly glad that you’re here.

    I had a death experience once, and there was more after death. Beings, nothingness, everythingness. It’s no solace, though.

  8. March February 8, 2010 at 6:43 am #

    you did not see the light, did not feel the warmth and did not find the warm bodies waiting for you cause it’s not your time to go. you’ve got lots to do here still and you’re not ready to move on.
    like an old friend told me once, we are like iron being molded into a sword. that metal must be pounded over and over and over again, put through fire, and then be pounded endless times more in order to get the bright shine and shape out of it. we’re all being molded, through pounding, through fire. and we’ll find that light. when it’s the right time.
    sending you hugs my dear. I’m glad you’re here. really am.

  9. Cheeky Monkey February 8, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    Is that what the endless human ache is for–Something after this version of not so Much? And if there really is Nothing, then what for the longing?

  10. thordora February 8, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    No worries anyone-I’m not in the least bit depressed aside from economically. :p Something triggered all those thoughts the other night.

    I do wonder for the longing. My own tends to lean more towards wanting to see the universe, not heaven. I don’t believe in heaven, but I believe that I want to sit inside a nebula.

    Whatever gets us through the day, right?

  11. wn February 8, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    whatever gets us through the day (today that is donuts!)

  12. Lgirl February 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

  13. Kim February 9, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    AWESOME video. Thank you. I used to think I knew what came “after”. And now I don’t. Just dust to dust, right?

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