June 16th, Every Year

Today, on the anniversary of his death, I cannot even begin to describe how I am feeling. This death is nothing like the others I have experienced. He took his own life – what so many others like to refer to as committing suicide, but I’m not sure there could be a phrase more demeaning of the human I knew and grew with for so very long. There’s some bizarre notion that suicide is a selfish or weak action, but as my therapist and I discussed earlier this week, it is in fact quite the opposite. Killing what makes you, you actually takes courage and a whole lot of it.

David was one of my closest friends and he was absolutely beautiful. In fact, he was so good that some people just couldn’t believe that someone so kind, so genuine would take their own life. But these are the people who also did not know him save for face value. My friend David had been coming to me with his struggles with depression and suicidal ideation since early on in high school. We often stayed up all night on the phone or walking around the well-lit streets of our suburban community’s streets talking through the depth of each episode, creating a game plan for the needs of each individual upheaval. And we went on like this for years, until college gave us distance and he had a steady girlfriend to fill the role that I had so often filled in the past.

So when, two years ago, I received a call that he was dead, I had been running up and down the stairs between the basement laundry room and my second floor apartment. All I remember is everything turning slow motion. Dropping my laundry basket; the clothing slowly spewing all over and the basket bouncing down the creaky hundred year old stairs as if it were some kind of weird detergent commercial. But mostly I remember the lump in my throat, the heaviness in the pit of my stomach, and the hot tears streaming down my face in a what was quickly becoming a raging river leaving behind a dry black riverbed. A tribute to my utter devastation.

The tears stopped for days. And I think it’d all be a blur save for my friends who told me that I somehow managed to drive to their house the next morning only to collapse on their floor in the kind of wailing sound that only true grief can make. I cried the whole day without stopping; until my eyes swelled shut; until I could make no more tears; until I was absolutely exhausted. It was horrible and it’s still horrible. I’ve just gotten stronger or, maybe, used to it. I’m not really sure. All I know is that today hurts, not as much as the first day, but my God without You this would be absolutely unbearable.

So for now, it’s just unbearable.

 

“Fuck your grief and
fuck your tragedy.

I am going to drop this sorrow
like a piece of
trash,
and it will not make for a good metaphor,
and it will not be pretty.

But neither were the tears,
neither was the hollow
in my chest.”

-Lana Rafaela

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