Saturday, January 17, 2009

This is upsetting

So usually I use this space for writing funny lists and being intentionally obnoxious but I found out this morning that my best friend growing up died in a skydiving accident. My first thought was "I will be ok," which perhaps sounds selfish, except I lost someone close to me ten years ago and it completely upended my life (in certain ways it still has) and so I think the first thought was a reflexive self-preservation sort of reassurance. Like "Don't worry, it's not happening all over again." Except if I remember correctly, which I do, my first thought when anyone close to me dies is "you're ok, you're ok, you're ok" which I'm beginning more and more to think is strictly reflex and I realize I'm now going in thought circles. Like my brain is assessing the damage: you're still breathing. Also, it's probably akin to denial. Like "this isn't happening this isn't happening this isn't happening."

Because the truth is that I don't really feel ok. Not at all.

And I'm confused too and unsure what to do with grief/mourning/loss of someone who wasn't a part of your daily life. I mean, one one level, the main level, it's just fucking sad. She was young and young people shouldn't die, certainly not in freak accidents like this. And then on another level, the me level, I don't know what to do with this other than cry, which I'm doing now.


Greenpig said...

Sorry about your lost. My thoughts are with you.

Joe said...

That's terrible Alison. I'm so sorry.

I have a list of people I went to high school with who have died. Some were close friends. Just seems so senseless sometimes.

Toddrod said...

Sorry for your loss Alison, and I think the feelings you are having, the confusion, is completely understandable.

I love to ride motorcycles, and as a motorcyclist, I always get that question from non-riders about the danger. It made me contemplate a long time ago about why I do it. I came to realize that if I were to someday die while riding, how fortunate I would be. I would be dying while participating in something that I truly loved; something that provides much happiness in my life.

I also have a cousin who is only 29, and recently diagnosed with cancerous tumors throughout her body. Although she is fighting for her life, she is also taking time to appreciate the life that she does have now. She's thought about living and dying probably more than the average person.

I don't know if anything I say here can be of any comfort. I just know that death is only one part of our future, but not the only thing to look forward to as we live. I hope that your friend lived a full, and happy life, even though it was unusually short.


Brett Jones said...

Sad, sad news Alison. I'm sorry you've lost a friend.

I know it's not the same as actually knowing you, but I (and I think many who comment here) care about your well being. I pray the mourning of your friend isn't to hard on you.

Derek_M said...

I'm very sorry to hear this and I wish you and all involved the best in getting through it.

Accidental death was something I was forced to start dealing with as a small child and in the 20 years since, I realize that I will never understand why these things happen. The reason I will never understand it is precisely because it doesn't make sense. What would be truly horrifying is if it did make sense.

Kevin said...

For the longest time, when something bad/sad was thrown right into my life I would run in the opposite direction (figuratively of course), but that would usually just cause that bad feeling to stay longer. So I think the best thing to do is let it all out, and not hold any of it in, whether it’s confusion, sadness, or both. Even if that person wasn’t part of your daily life, just knowing someone for a brief second can change a persons life so significantly. Everyone wants their friends to remember them at their best of times and to always cherish that.
Hope you feel better Alison.

DarkKnight3565 said...

I am very sorry to hear about your loss.

Although I didn't know her, I am sure she was a beautiful person and the world has suffered a terrible loss.

God Bless!

Kurtis said...

There is no real answer for how to deal with this, though being the writer that you are I am sure that putting something down in words could help. I am not suggesting blog it but just write it down..

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the lost of your friend. Hang in there Alison.
You're in our thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. :(

Thoughts and prayers are with you and your friends' family and friends.

Scott said...

wow, I'm sorry Alison :(

I usually click on here for a quick laugh and to see what's new in Alisonville. This blog entry is an all too poignant reminder that life isn't always funny.

My heart goes out to you Alison--and to all those who will mourn the untimely loss of your friend.

Don't be hesitant to feel hurt, loss, confusion, anger or regret--those feelings can be cathartic.

..and don't expect the hurt to go away overnight, or ever entirely--it's your strong feelings for this person that made you someone worth knowing and a friend worth having.


EDinATL said...

I echo everyone else's sentiments, and want to point out I that I strongly agree with Kevin's comments, particularly:

"just knowing someone for a brief second can change a persons life so significantly"

I don't think there is any way of getting around the pain. My personal view/advice is that one should continue to acknowledge the pain, almost open-endedly, if that makes sense. Think and cry about it as much as you want and don't feel as if there's a limit or any valid reason to hold back on grieving. I think you're doing the right thing reaching out through your blog. Even though everything I've seen here is fun and games, it seems perfectly appropriate to ask for and be provided confirmation that there are people out there (here) that care about you and your friends and loved ones that you've lost. It's the very least that usually goes without saying, but in your situation there can be no shortage of reassurance, despite our not knowing them other than through you.

Always remember, many people far and wide will always love her, and the same is true for you. I don't think most of us are capable of seeing that from within, so it's perfectly fine to seek it from without via any social support network you have available. I applaud you for sharing your despair and not keeping it all inside. I also think we can't truly estimate the good that we all bring to each other, and it can be helpful at times to focus on the good things. It's somewhat inspiring to see you reach out about what you're going through. I can actually derive some positivity in my own life from that simple act of yours.

I wish you and your friend's family well. I'm sure each of us would give hugs to each of you if we were around, so never forget others care and are there for you when these things happen.

You're doing fine, you might not be ok, but that's ok. You're not supposed to be ok all the time. Especially not when a friend/loved one dies. I think you're doing really well except I'm afraid you may be denying yourself (when) the opportunity (comes) to grieve to the extent you need to. You're not going to be a hero and defeat the pain, you know deeper down things won't be the same, so just be honest with yourself is all I am saying.

Much love, so sorry about your loss and your struggles to cope. I hope you continue talking it out here or wherever else.

Ted from Accounting said...

Crap! I read about the accident! I'm so sorry Alison! I wrote once before that I had lost my young daughter 8 years ago! I learned during those tough years that only time and positive reflection lessen the pain.

Before I retired, I used to counsel people that suffered great losses on occasion...I don't think I was ever good at it...I just want to send you an e-hug and condolences to her friends and family!

coaster1robert said...

Sorry about your loss. :(