Archive for the ‘death’ Tag

The freedom and burden of my atheism

Tom has been on my mind so much lately.  I don’t know how to shake it.  There were two deaths in my family recently, which brought up a lot of old term oil.  My Aunt Rose is now gone, way too young, but maybe with some peace.  Tom’s best friend went to see a reader and things were brought up about me.  I was told he was there when i had my break down and while i was in the hospital he was whispering that i wasn’t crazy.  i have also been looking at photos.  not photos of tom, but photos of myself.  i look so different.  it isn’t just the weight change, which dropped me 20 then raised me 40.  my eyes don’t shine when i smile.  there is a darkness that still follows me. so all these things are stirred up in a pot and i am once again wishing that atheism didn’t have such a strong hold on my brain.

when i first became atheist, it saved me from hell.  i was so scared all the time, that i was in the wrong religion and i was going to rot in hell.  it was terrifying.  i would wake up at night with cold chills about it.  after lots of reading, a science education, more reading and some searching into different religious options a spark of freedom came upon me and i lost all belief in any sort of god.  god, and God, and Zeus all became one and i turned to the true awesomeness out there.  i turned to the beauty in chemical bonds and the moon and a fucking  huge tree growing from a small seed. i stared at trees on walks around the city and would stop at my favorites, i would look at the moon, i would watch water boil understanding how complex and amazing it was and gain peace.  i didn’t care what others believed.  i wasn’t out to convert anyone.  i just had peace.

my grandpa died, my grandma died, both way too soon.  both of their deaths “unfair” and both of their deaths leaving me a little lost.  but, atheism stood by me and kept me calm.  i looked at the universe and knew we were all made from star dust and knew it was okay that they were gone.  i would miss them and keep them close to my heart, but death must come to us all and it was okay.

tom died.  tom fucking died and scrambled my being and tore my mind into many fractures and took away the peace atheism had given me for years.  i have been wandering with blank eyes and either pretending he isn’t dead or crying and not understanding and feeling like my “soul” is being ripped apart.  i wrote here for a long time.  i got better, i got worse, i got better, i got really bad, i am now good.  good, except for my eyes.  good, except that i don’t dance with my daughter in the morning to love cats.  good, except i don’t bake as much or laugh as much or see people as much or leave my house as much.  i am good, though.  i am changed.

friends of tom dream about him.  he sends them “meaningful” messages.  everything is silent over here.  people tell me it is because i am not open to him and he will come when i am ready.  i don’t know what that means.  does it mean i kneel and believe in god?  does that mean that their stories are somehow false and not happening? i want to scream and say, if there was any afterlife he would fucking visit ME! so that means there is no afterlife and my atheism is intact.  but then i hear from another friend about her brother and her dreams and i want to crawl back to anything to see or hear my brother in a dream through a medium or as a ghost at the bottom of my bed.

so now, i sit 19 months after tom’s death with that same fear and sadness i had before the freedom of atheism came.

i love the fall.  i am trying to soak it up from inside my house.  maybe a walk in nature will make things better. i haven’t sat with the moon in a long time.  i guess this is just part of the loss.  the confusion.  the desire to raise him from the dead.  the need to know i said everything i could have said before he hung up and shot himself.  it just takes so long…


i have an appointment

it is done.  next wednesday at 5 i will see a grief counselor who specializes in suicide. 

good day then bad evening.  same, same, same, same, same, same, same.

i think he is dead?  i think i know he is dead.  his shirts i have stored are not smelling like him anymore.  they smell a little like him, but not 100%.  he is fading.  he is fading from my soul.  he will never be in my life again.

i miss my baby brother, but i don’t think he is dead.

i am going to cuddle with a five year old and a kitten. maybe i will have thoughts formed tomorrow.

The eyes are the window to my dead soul

uhg, uhg, uhg, uhg.  i have had a couple of difficult days.  i am not sure what is going on.  maybe the reality of tom being gone is starting to settle in.  i slept most of the day yesterday.  i tried to sleep again today, but vanessa wouldn’t let me and isaac had karate.  i cried a lot yesterday and today.  yesterday it was a long winded cry that went on and on and just would stop.  today i just would find tears falling down my face quickly and they were extra wet.  i have been wanted to smash things.  smash windows or burn books.  yesterday as i rocked in bed i visualized walking out to the garage and just pushing both fists through the windows.  they seemed the least expensive to repair.  i also wanted to get all the crappy books in the house and stick them in the sink and start burning them, but knew it would smell too bad.  i thought about doing it in the back yard in the fire pit, but that would mean leaving the house.  i ended up just sleeping.

isaac is getting used to his mom being in bed.  he doesn’t fight it.  he comes over and says, “hey, mom,” and gives me a hug and kiss.  he then scoots off the bed with an “i love you,” and is back to hanging with his papa. sophia knows it is wrong, but is trying to be supportive.  she will come over once and give me a kiss and tell me that she loves me.  she looks at me with her deep soulful eyes and knows she can’t do a thing.  everything has to come from me.  i have to start smiling and showering more and stop crying.  I HAVE TO DO IT!  she knows there is a weakness that i may or may not be able to help.  she has decided whether she will be sickened by me or have empathy.  that won’t come until later.  i have time to pull my shit together.  i say i am trying.  i think i am trying.  i know i am not making my lists.  i know that i am not running.  i know i have to do more.  i was hoping the meds would help me with that.  i was hoping i just had to survive until the meds kicked in and then i could do those other things i know make me feel better. 

this is too much at times.  the pain and the knot in my stomach and my fucking smile.  i used to be able to just smile at myself in the mirror.  i know i was crabby, but i was a happy person.  sean told me one of the things he loved about me was my smile; it went to my eyes.  my smile reached my soul and was real and lifted my heart.  my mother-in-law sent photos yesterday.  two from march and two from when we were in town in april.  she never sees her son in a suit, to even though i had no interest having my picture taken on my was to my brothers funeral i did it for her.  i love her and i sat on the couch and tried my best to smile.  the two photos of me show a deathness in my eyes.  i am already dead.  my sould is already dead.  you can see it in the photo.  i wanted to fucking stab myself in the heart when i saw that photo. i didn’t even know who that person was.  how could that be me? she looked like a cold bitch. 

 my old original smile.  if you are interested, go look on facebook.  i smile!

 what the hell is happening in this photo?

this can’t really be happening to me.  i lost my brother.  fine. fucking fine.  go shoot yourself in the fucking head and leave us, but what the fuck, tommy, you killed me too.  i can’t even imagine what is going on in mom and dad’s head.  i call them everyday.  i missed today, because i could not let them hear me cry again.  i need a break.  i need something.  i don’t know what i need.  i would like a large glass of wine, but last time i drank i almost poked my eyes out the next day.

why did he do this?  i don’t like who i am now and i have NO FUCKING control over that.  there are other things i need to deal with in my life at the moment.  i need to figure out sophia’s school situation for next year because of a bussing issue.  that takes ME.  that takes the old ME.  who could make phone calls and drive around and figure it all out and just tell sean what was happening and he would tell me it sounded great.  i would then serve an homecooked meal and we would all sit around the table.  i don’t even eat with my kids anymore.  they eat with sean and i hide inside or in bed. 

i don’t want to be mad at tom.  he was hurting.  he was in pain.  BUT i need something else.  this is not enough.  i have friends dragging me out of the house and dropping off sweet packages when i owe them a dvd i borrowed back when my most stressful thing in life was getting isaac to take his codiene.  i am still getting a weekly doughnut and calls and emails and texts, but i need fucking more.  i need something else.  i don’t know what it is.  but i need to raise the dead. i need to rewind time.  i need to jumpstart my soul. i can’t be one of the walking soulless.  that can’t be my destiny. 

i know it has only been two months, but this is my only life and i need it back.  tom left.  tom said goodbye.  tom tried to give me peace.  tom is gone.  i am here, but i am not here.  fucking eh.

Two Months June 8, 2010

Tom died two months ago.  He died 8 weeks ago last week, but I keep track of the weeks and the months.  Thursdays have been stolen from me and so have the 8ths of each and every month.  This would have been Tom’s second year with his boat.  He loved his boat and would sometimes call me while he was out on the lake just riding around.  I don’t even think he went fishing and a lot of the time he was by himself.  He wanted me to go out on the boat last summer when I was out there.  I didn’t have life jackets for the kids and I was scared.  Tom was wild and liked to push things to make things fun and exciting and I was a fearful person.  Heights, water, boat, planes, the dark and until about 5 years ago things that went bump in the night were all things that struck fear into me.  This limited me.  I didn’t tell Tom that was why I didn’t want to go, because he would have teased me and not taken “no,” for an answer.  I just made sure it didn’t work, which contributed to his growing paranoia that I didn’t make time for him on his terms.

I received two great emails about my atheism and how to fit it into my mix up silly soul at the moment.  They were both very heartfelt and stopped my spinning head for the moments it took me to read them.  I am very lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing group of humans and am privledged that they take time out of their day to reach out and help navigate me on this horrible path I find myself on.

I also received an email explaining why someone reads my blog.  There are so many reasons I started writing this blog.  I don’t think many people have been touched by suicide and until Tom killed himself I had no idea what a horrible event suicide was.  I am a logical person on the outside.  I work with logic a lot.  Logic calms me like a prayer.  Logically if a person was ready to check out, it just seemed so natural and within their right as a living human.  I started this blog to organize my thoughts, vomit on people who willingly came to read the blog and to let everyone know that suicide is not okay.  there is a taboo for a reason.  suicide is not like any other death and it ripples out in ways no one can predict.

I am preparing myself to face Tom’s death.  I am not sure what I am going to do to accomplish this, but I feel like I need to stare his death down.  I might need to go to the beach alone or build a fire or lock myself in the bathroom and read his obit and look at photos and talk to him or go back to cleveland. 

i say things like, “my brother died in april,” or “my brother committed suicide,” or when i am feeling extra angry and want to spread the horror a little so i don’t have to hold on to it all i say, “my brother shot himself  in the head”.  Saying it outloud helps make it real in a way and also makes it seem fake.  again, i really wish i would have said goodbye to his body.  i wish i would have seen him dead.  it would have been horrible, but it would have removed this little fantasy from my mind.

i am thinking about buying plane tickets to ohio.  i have thought both of going by myself and going with this kids.  sean doesn’t want to go.  i want to go to the tressels.  i want someone to help me climb inside to the place tom died.  i want to sit there with a candle by myself for sometime and just be there.  i want to go to the lake and put my hand in the water and say goodbye to tom again.  i want to sit with my parents and not talk about tom.  i want to bring them some sort of comfort that they i normally can’t seem to provide.  i want to hang with sean and mary and go for a motorcycle ride.  i want to sleep and maybe even eat. 

i still feel like i am not here.  I walked around raw and open for about 6-7 weeks and now i feel a strong barrier is up and i am not sure how to remove it.  i want to feel and see and hear my kids.  i want to be alive as much as i want to live.  i am sure some of this is this drugs.  i know i needed these drugs.  tom didn’t take drugs and he shot himself.  i don’t think i would be alive right now without being drugged.  i wanted to die so badly a few weeks ago.  i couldn’t imagine living in this pain and i wasn’t doing anything for my kids.  sean could find a replacement easily and life would move on.  if i didn’t have the drugs calming me and playing with those neurotransmitters i don’t know if i could have held on any longer. 

it has only been two months.  i am in for a long journey.  i am feeling i have enough people around me to make it to the other side. vanessa went out of town for like 3 days.  i wanted to call her and beg her to stay, but i made it. 

sophia got into some crazy law camp held at depaul’s law school.  i am very proud of her.  isaac continues with karate and seems to like it.  i am taking care of some buisness with the kids.  i am doing some of those things I couldn’t have done 6 weeks ago.  i am getting better.

This is what I looked like 2 weeks after Tom's death.

Fire with the kids. I am waiting to go back inside.


I know I am doing better.  I know I look better and feel better.  I just sometimes wonder, if I will ever see my old self in the mirror again.

How to keep moving forward.

i pulled phia from school today and took the kids to the museum of science and industry.  it was really good for me to be focused on something else.  it was hard to be anything but frantic while i tried to keep track of 3 kids.  science always gets me excited, so i was reminded of our smallness and the beautiful universe out there. 

i called my dad and apologized for calling them yesterday so upset when i knew they had a difficult day.  my dad’s uncle died and his funeral was yesterday.  it had to have been so hard on them to be at a funeral and surrounded by people who were with them 7 weeks earlier to bury their son.  i want to make things better for them, but know that there is NOTHING i can do.  i love my parents so much and can’t believe they have to deal with this. 

i feel like i am overwhelming nick.  i call him everyday.  i call my mom, my dad, sean and nick every single day.  nick didn’t call me back yesterday and our conversation to day was a little off.  of couse this feeds into my fear that i am going to drive everyone away with my constant needy self.  with nick i also pester.  i can’t help it.  i want to fix him too, but can’t.  i have to stop offering suggestions over and over and over again.  nick and i didn’t have much contact for a number of years.  we were becoming close again even before tom died, i just don’t want to ruin it.

i think my brother sean has finally convinced me that there was nothing we could have done the day tom killed himself.  there are many reasons behind his theory and the last of it all fell into place for me today.  now i can just focus on the guilt over the year before he killed himself.  it is a little less nightmarish, but still painful. 

yesterday as i cried on the phone with whoever would listen to me, i kept saying, “i can’t do this anymore.  i can’t feel this pain anymore.  it is too much!”  i really feel like it is becoming to much to bear.  this level of pain moving through my body is fucking with my mind.  i am doing so much better, and i get that.  i believe that.  i know that.  i just don’t know how many more of those days i can take where i can’t stop crying and i stick isaac in front of the tv and let him watch pbs shows or sponge bob dvds for hours and then as soon as sean shows up i nap.  it gets so dark.  everything is dark when it happens.  it is as if someone dims the world.  i don’t see the joy in anything.  i just want to stop this life and take my risks with becoming star dust again.  luckily this is no longer going on for days on end.  today was better.  today was better.

i still am sort of pretending that tom is on the boat.  tom is dead.  tom died.  tom is dead.  tom shot himself in the head.  tom planned this horrific form of death.  tom won’t call me or text me again.  tom won’t come and visit me in chicago anymore.  tom won’t make me laugh with his crazy stories anymore.  tom won’t tell me through choked up tears that he loves me ever, ever again.  tom won’t tell me how awesome my kids are.  tom won’t be there for sophia as she navigates the rest of her life.  isaac will eventually not really even know tom at all.  tom left us. 

i will end this post on a good note.  sean told me when i was sick with mrsa he was way more stressed than he is now.  our marriage survived that and i have more faith that we can handle this.  though that entire mess went on for about 3 months and this might drag on a lot longer. 

Shadow box i made for Sean's 40th

Long weekend


Yesterday evening was a little difficult.  I reread the ritual my cousin Brian did for my brother and it was very difficult to sit with.  I am such a non-believer and the thought that someone was able to talk and see and really communicate and bring peace to Tom was so confusing to me.  I called my mom to tell her about it, the call was made to try to bring her peace, but instead I just broke down crying.  After I got off the phone and calmed down, my dad called and I broke down again.  Then my brother Sean called, “Hey little-big sister.”  I can’t remember if tears flowed during that conversation, but he is an even harder core atheist than me, so it didn’t shift anything in him. 

I want to see Tom.  I want to talk to Tom.  I want Tom to tell me everything is okay and bring my soul some relief.  I am walking around so much heavier now.  The amount of effort to smile or do the dishes or move from one activity to the next is sometimes overwhelming.  The only thing that is easy is to walk to bed, crawl under the covers and sleep.  I can sleep. 

Today, I thought about going to the beach.  Marcy is in town and there will be a crew there, but Sophia has a birthday party so we have some errands.  I don’t know how many people I could really be around anyhow.  Vanessa is taking Isaac to the Carnival.  I want to meet up with everyone there, because it will be a fun lot.  Su and John and Chrissy and Chad and Vanessa and Paul is a group that can bring out lots of laughter.  I will have to see.  Someone will have to go pick up my son at some point.

I spent the morning working on my crochet sweater project. It is the most I have sat with it since I started it.  I listed to a Radio Lab about death. There was a guy who jumped off a bridge and survived.  He said the moment his hand left the rail he regretted it.  I did some research trying to figure out how much Tom suffered after he shot himself and it seems like most say he did not.  I told my dad while I was on the phone crying, that I can’t stop thinking about Tom’s last moments and fearing that he suffered and he told me he didn’t think he did.  Well really he told me he didn’t suffer.  He said it was fast.  If it was fast then maybe he didn’t have that moment of regret, which also makes me happy because that would have been a bit of mental torture and his last moments would have been thoughts of regret. 

Today my emotions seem a little further under the surface.  I feel like time is moving slowly and I don’t quite know what to do with myself.  There are dishes and I still need to wash the damn floor.  I haven’t baked bread since my parents were here.  I used to bake bread 3 or more times a week.  I have made bread once since 4/8/2010.  I am eating again and have started gaining weight.  I know things are moving in the right direction.  That is all I know.


My brother Nick asked me how I was doing. He then added, “For real”.

I cry every day. I walk around without a smile. I was doing the dishes the other day and commanded myself to smile, because I don’t mess around with “poor me sadness”. I smiled and I couldn’t hold it. Instead tears welled up and I finished the dishes crying.

I fear I have changed so much I am no longer me. If I am not me, than who is Sean married to? Who is mothering Sophia and Isaac? What obligation does Sean have to me, if I don’t pull out of this.

I started to lucid dream last night. I was getting on a beautifully carved wooden horse to go and find Tom. I was sick of him not visiting me on his own, so I was going to find him. Sean shifted in bed and I woke up. I almost started to cry because I knew how rare a lucid moment is in dream world.

I am horrible. I am not me. I have been replaced by a woman with a dead brother.