31 January 2011

On Death and Grieving…

To Linda:
Do Not Cry
Beth Claybourne a.k.a. me.

Do not cry, do not weep –
My body couldn’t keep
My good soul anymore –
So God brought me ashore.

Though my body’s asleep
Do not cry, do not weep –
I’m in a place of love
Taking wing with the doves.

I’m watching over you
With my body anew –
Do not cry, do not weep
I’m in a place of love.
On death and grieving…
It’s painful, angering, woeful, and leaves you pondering. You want this person back, you scream, cry, wish you’d die or worse, try to die. They’ll say “she’s in a better place,” a phrase of disgrace, you’ll want words to comfort, not clichés. Tears’ll soak your shirt showing your hurt - the words you’ll blurt won’t alleviate the hurt. You’ll scream “It can’t be!” then “Take me!” then “Why me?” then “Let her soul be free!” followed by “Woe be me, kill me, set me free!” You’ll be ill, want to kill, blood to spill – to avenge the lost one, the loved one, the missed one. You’ll question your devotion, question every emotion, want to flee to the ocean, to end the commotion. You gotta stay tough, gruff and when you’ve had enough, you’ll reach acceptance. ~ Beth Claybourne
An open letter to Linda:
To grieve is perhaps the most arduous task a human must perform. If it’s sudden and violent it makes the grieving more intense. To suddenly have someone you know, love and admire ripped from their life into death is painful. You’re trapped with the immediate shock of the situation. An overwhelming shock in which you can feel no emotion, you can’t comprehend the news you just heard although your brain knows the words that were spoken.

You can’t believe this person is gone. It doesn’t matter the age, just that you knew and cared for them. You deny. You temporarily deny yourself the pain, the acknowledgement that he is dead, never to come back, you deny yourself everything mental and physical that you do not absolutely need to survive. Soon the denial is removed by the sheer force of the situation.

Then you get pissed. Pissed at God. At the asshole that needlessly stole another human life. At everyone you love. Everyone you hate. You hate everything. You hate having to wake up every day. Not getting enough sleep because you’re pissed and depression is creeping in to hamstring you. Every negative emotion one can have will attack you all at once.

You’ll wonder why she had to die so early, and try to deal with whatever deity you choose to barter with. You’ll often think things such as “You can have me if you bring her back.” You’ll beg daily if not minute by minute to have this blessed person back in mortal human form, offering anything you can find to offer.

You’ll get pissed again because the gods laugh at your feeble attempts at resurrection. Pissed because she’s still dead. Pissed at the assholes who tell you to feel compassion for the dickface that killed your loved one. Pissed because people are telling you how to grieve, like grieving has a strict flowchart that must be followed or Armageddon will happen. You’ll build snowmen and kick their heads off. You’ll rage at the most minute infraction against you. You’ll want revenge.

You’ll fall into a depression. You won’t want to wake up, can’t see the point of going on with your own life. You finally realize that this person is not coming back as you knew her. Depression because of the cause of death. Because of the wringer you’re being put through to see justice done. Because of the massive hole left in your soul.

Eventually you’ll begin to accept the loss. You’ll have fond recollections, at first painful, later healing. You’ll learn that although the death was sudden, she has not been released completely from your life. Photographs are painful at first, but then make you laugh. Stupid little insignificant objects will cause you to laugh uncontrollably because of the association with her (Blue Bear?). Memories will eventually turn tears to smiles, sobs to laughter, soft weeping to warm feelings.

You’ll go through all of these stages several times. You’ll bounce around several times for a long period of time. You’ll eventually realize the good that can come of the situation. You may join groups such as M.A.D.D. or fight the legislature to force stricter consequences on drunk drivers in general, more so if someone dies. You’ll realize your pain can help someone else in theirs, even if you don’t know them face to face. You’ll learn who your true friends are and form a closer bond to them. You’ll appreciate what you have more. You’ll become a better, stronger, wiser person through the pain. You’ll become a champion.

You have the right to feel everything you feel, when you feel it. I will always have your back, regardless of what happens. You have earned that loyalty after listening to me cry with all of the shit I’ve been through in the last year. Stay strong best friend, stay strong.


  1. Accurate description of the grief process as I've gone through all stages of grieving but it's crazy how the stages ebb and flow. How I wish life was back to normal as things were with Erin but guessing those days are far away. Most people don't have a clue to the pain of losing a loved one and the horrible agony left behind. Nice insightful post!!