Saturday, November 17, 2012

Trying To Make Sense

This is a serious post so if you came for fun and frolic turn back now.

Today is International Survivors of Suicide Day.  On the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website it's subtitled "[the] 14th Annual Day of Healing for Bereavement After Suicide."  That's a lofty goal and one I support but a very large part of me says, "Yeah, healing.  Fuck that.  And fuck trying to make sense of it," because I've been trying to make sense for over twenty years and I've given up the notion that I'll ever have clarity about it.

You know how periodically you tell yourself a story about your life to try and integrate who you were into who you are?  I still can't tell myself stories about my dad.  I can talk about him, I can write about my grief but when I close my eyes I can't see him with me.  It's too precious, it's too painful and I'm still stuck in a spot where I feel like if I don't acknowledge the person he was in my memory then maybe I can transform him into the dad that I needed. 

When my grandmother died my brother and I both wished that he was still there to handle all the stuff that comes with a funeral.  Wishing that, though, also meant wishing away a whole host of other crap, decisions he made that would have rightly landed him in prison if he hadn't made the decision to end his life.  He was so angry.  He was a drunk.  He acted out and did stupid shit that bent the lives of other people.  But he was still my dad.  There's a really deep part of me that longs to have had an unconditional relationship with him and it's that part that fucks with me when I'm trying to make sense of his life and his death.

If you're a Survivor, know that you don't grieve alone.  If you need help you can contact the AFSP above or The Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors.  You may never make sense of your loss, either, but you can find people who've been where you are and who are willing to walk with you.       


  1. If I have told you about this before, please forgive me. My friend, Scottie, wrote and recorded this song in response to his own experience w/ suicide. This is included on his first CD w/ part of the proceeds going to AFSP. If I could, I would take away your hurt. I don't know what to say.

  2. Dear Jazz, thank you for sharing this painful part of your past that still has repercussions in the present. I wish you all the best in coming to some kind of peaceful state of acceptance (if not understanding).

  3. ((((((Jazz)))))).

    It's so hard to struggle against the American narrative that pain is supposed to be redemptive. Sometimes, it's just pain. Sometimes, you don't get over it. Sometimes -- especially around traumaversaries -- both of those states of mind are okay.

    1. Thanks, Servetus. Traumaversary is a great word.


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