Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Three Years of Grief and Gratitude

It’s been one year since I’ve written or even looked at this blog.

The Grief. The loss has become significantly less traumatizing over time.  I accept Mike’s suicide as a fact of my life. Not to say there weren’t rough days. For example, April 20, 2012: the day our Aunt Lyda died of brain cancer.  September 28, 2012:  the day Mike would have celebrated his 40th birthday.  November 2, 2012:  The Dia de los Muertos celebration in San Francisco where I totally lost my shit in front of thousands of people after making an impromptu altar to my dead family.  December 5, 2012: The three-year anniversary of my brother’s death by suicide.

The Gratitude. If there are any silver linings to this experience of going to the place of unimaginable pain and grief and arriving at a place of acceptance and relative normalcy (emphasis on “relative”), it would be the kinship I have developed with fellow survivors of suicide, and the opportunity to be of service to others suffering with depression or grief. A couple of months ago a close friend’s brother committed suicide. I could identify with the rawness and intensity of her feelings. I was grateful to not be in that place anymore, and grateful that I could have anything to offer in way of comfort. . After Mike first died, the people I wanted to talk to the most were people who were survivors of suicide or who had also lost a sibling.

Because grief is a lifelong journey, I imagine I will still drop in on this blog from time to time. Before writing this entry, I logged into my Gmail account for the first time since December 2011. There were several messages each month from survivors of suicide from around the country and the world who somehow stumbled across this page and took the time to write to me about their loss. Aside from feeling like an ass-hole for not checking my old account, I was overwhelmed with the love and connection from these fellow survivors who helped me get through another rough day of surviving my brother’s suicide.