Saturday, February 26, 2011

Feb 26

Happy Birthday Daddy xxoo
Rest in peace.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pitch Black

“It would be pitch black, in the middle of the woods, and I could never see anything in front of the headlights. But I always felt so safe, because my dad was driving. He was like some sort of superhero. He could just see way out into the darkness. And now he’s just gone and it’s pitch black. I can’t see where I’m going. I can’t see anything.”

from How I Met Your Mother

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day was always special for me, because I had a man in my life who loved me dearly and always showed it. Every Feb. 14th I would wake up to find a poem on the pillow next to me, or chocolates placed on my desk, and always a red rose at my place at the breakfast table. One wonderful year there was a heart-shaped diamond necklace waiting for me. We had received a brochure in the mail and a few days earlier my mom and I had been going through it and talking about how ugly all of the jewelry was - except for that sole necklace which I had mentioned was really pretty. They're the only diamonds I have ever owned.

This e-mail is from our first Valentine's apart (when I had gone away to residence), and our last Valentine's before he took his life.

February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day Tee!

I could never fully express how much I love you and how wonderful it is to see you growing into the beautiful young woman that you have become.

When I first saw and held you that wonderful day now almost 19 years ago, a big chunk of my heart became yours for always.

Mommy said it from that first moment that you were very special and would be a force to reckon with. Seeing you with your friends, on your travels, the pictures from the recent dance it is obvious that you are the light in the room and your very presence is a gift to those around you.

On this day of love's expression and for all days, no father could love you more.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Traumatic Past/Empty Future

I'm set to graduate in June. I'm terrified.

I've expressed my fears to everyone I come across, hoping for some sort of advice that will really hit home. What I get is "nobody knows what they want to do at your age, you're very young, you have plenty of time, don't worry, everything will fall into place."

It's really wonderful how many people have offered words of support to me, but they fall short. Maybe that's enough for most of my peers, but it's not for me. Not when I rely on hope just to wake up in the morning. Not when I need something to look forward to just to be able to breathe.

When my family died, my future was erased - it was a strange experience. From the moment you are able, you build these fantasies, visions, and possibilities for the future, so that as much as you have images of the past you have images of the future. Every image I had included my mom and dad and brother to some degree, so when they died, every image I had ever created was no longer a possibility. Since then, I've had little strength to rebuild my vision of the future. I have managed to envision my life up to graduation, and from there all I see is emptiness.

I can't come up with possibilities to fill that emptiness. While it doesn't mean I have no future, it does feel as though I'm walking toward the edge of a cliff. There could be wonderful things beyond that edge, but I can't envision anything other than the drop.

It's not important for my future career for me to have an idea of what I want to do, but it is important for my well-being. Blind hope and optimism is a powerful tool, but it doesn't last forever without some concrete motivation.

I'm not terrified to graduate because I don't have a career path planned in detail. I'm terrified because once that diploma is in my hand, I may have run out of things to goad me on.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

q. i

Dear everyone:

What are your tips for overcoming a persistent depressive state?


When my family died I was glad for the timing, because the days that followed became consistently warmer and sunnier. I considered it a blessing that my season of absolute loss was followed by the season of rebirth. I've since, on occasion, wondered if I would have survived the same circumstances had they been followed by the death and cold of winter. My spirit had rejuvenated with spring - I wonder if it would have withered with the fall.

The seasonal cycles worked to my benefit two years ago. They work against me now. My winters are such:

Early December: a trauma I experienced with a dear friend. Late December: I go home for the winter holiday and see my parents and brother for what would be the last time. Early January: My father drives me back to my residence, and gives me a long and loving farewell - what I later realize was him saying goodbye. Mid January: I speak with my mother on the phone for the last time. Homicide detectives come to my residence to deliver the news. They return two days later to question me. We hold the funeral. February: My father and I shared a birthday. For the first time, I commemorate a birthday alone.

This hellish sequence of events spanned the coldest, harshest months of the year. When I was in complete darkness, and the light of spring peeked over the horizon, it was a beacon of hope to me. But now, the approach of the 'anniversaries' is congruent with the approach of short, winter days and biting, cold air. People are driven indoors to keep warm, and society enters a hibernation that is in sharp contrast with the liveliness of summer.

For me: the season pushes me into my own cage of grief. My friends and acquaintances prefer not to stray from the hearth, and the weather disheartens me from seeking them out myself. People rush homeward to warm themselves by the heat of their families' love, reminding me of how the hot blaze of my large family became the warm embers of my small one.

When Christmas passes, and the winter gets harsher, the anniversary of their death strikes - shortly followed by exams. The idea that spring is nearer each day is lost to me. Instead, the inherent sorrow of the season magnifies my own sorrow.

My seasonal cycle is pathetic fallacy.