"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Friday, April 01, 2016

On Grief

Now Playing: Over the Love by Florence + the Machine (now there's green light in my eyes, and my lover on my mind)

On my last day in Perth, I spent some time with an old friend of mine.

My childhood in Perth was full of meteors that soared, blinded, and then left me for dust. Friendships that shattered like glass. Blue hour romances and fiery loves that exploded and drew blood and left scars. But, through it all, I have my dearest friend. Our love is quiet and constant, in no small part because he is vastly more intelligent than I could ever hope to be, and has remained resolutely unimpressed by whomever I happened to be enamored with.

He warned me that I would grieve, that I would go through a grieving process. I didn't really understand. I understood I would miss Perth, miss my family, miss my friends, miss the comfort and familiarity of Perth's staid and suffocating existence. But I didn't understand grief until now.

It comes in waves. It stretches before me like an unending ocean. Everything I do is tinged with an odd mix of terror and madness that is always threatening to tear me apart. It has become so monstrously huge; far larger than its catalyst. I indulge in memories and then lose my mind when I realize that that is where they will stay; in my heart, in my mind, in my past. That what I left behind I will never go back to.

Hate is actually an excellent cure for grief; I suppose this is why I never really grieved anything or anyone before, only felt the rush of love and lust turn to violent rage. But hate is exhausting. Love is always easier. And so I love quietly, because I am tired. I am tired, and lonely, and scared, and I cling to a love I don't think ever existed. I catch myself crying when I am too tired to remember why I am sad. It catches me off guard; at the end of a beautiful autumn day, in the morning when I am trying to find my watch. I feel like I have worked so hard to be happy, and there are moments of pure joy; every now and again, life will remind me that I have done the right thing, that I am on my way. But sometimes I cannot will myself to be happy.

We did not have long enough to love each other kindly, the way that my friend and I have had years to slowly build something that has endured, and will endure, come what may. I know in my heart I do not know him at all; in my mind he is my whole childhood, he is wild reckless nights, he is the twinkling lights of the skyline over the river, he is the balmy summer air and the warm bitumen under my feet. I know it is wrong to build someone up like that, to forget that they are just a person; which is why I have to let go. We were never anything more than indulged fantasies, but I realized that too late, that we don't have it in us to be kind to each other. I feel abandoned. I feel like I was thrown under a bus. I don't even have a shadow of what I had. I do not know if there was any care for me at all.

I don't know if I can become the person I am supposed to be. I know I cannot go back to what I once was. I don't know if I can let go. I can't remember what it was like to live without this guilt; I have cut myself off, like a drunkard cradling a bleeding fist.I have never been so afraid.

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