“Pain only hurts as much as you let it.”-Austin James Lelievre
I walked into my Creative Writing class with no knowledge of what the 43 minutes would entail. Though I had a sinking feeling, it was unbeknownst to me that the grief my teacher is experiencing is one I am all too familiar with. The terrible shock, the neverending tears, and the idea of “how did this happen?” “How did I get here?” The haunting image of the person you love so cold in a casket you never desired to pick out, and the heartbreaking truth that you will never come back from your pain the same person you were before. The agony will destroy every ounce of innocence you hold in your now pulverized heart.
Losing my father almost two years ago changed every aspect of my life. I received no warning, no preparation, no sign from G-d that the man I loved with every piece of my being would soon take his own life. I want to scream and shake the hell out of the universe for letting my father slip away. I wish that the universe could experience the pain that has eaten away at my heart for the last 722 days.
In the midst of a crippling loss, you do not just lose one thing. Everything gets ripped away from you, so much so that even through the outpouring of love, you still feel so lonely that you cannot breathe. So how do I feel about my father’s passing? Well, I feel a million different emotions. Guilty, shocked, broken, angry, hurt, abandoned. And some days, I feel so god damn stupid. I knew in my soul that my father was not himself, yet I brushed it off. I never even attempted to share the red flag that went off in my mind.
I was his daughter, I knew him better than most. And yet, through his silent cries for help, I did nothing. I just sat there and let his demons take over his body. I let his desire for peace kill him.
Believe me, I know how destructive these thoughts can be to one’s well-being. However, when you lose someone, you try your hardest to make sense of the new sensibility you have been thrust into. You search for answers that you know do not exist. But on your worst days, you will still get on your hands and knees and dig.
Talking with my teacher at the end of class nearly brought me to tears. Staring into her eyes, I could feel the suffocating pain her and her family are going through. A sudden loss stays with you forever, evolving as time goes on. When the years pass by and you grow older, so does the trauma. It will always be a part of who you are.