I’m writing this as I sit in the garden near Sahma’s grave. The colours are impossibly bright: the endless blue of a mid-summer sky, the varying shades of green of the fiddlewood trees and the grass bursting into life on the lawn, and even the sand and terracotta of the shade sails over the pool, which shimmer with sunlight reflected from the water. It all reminds me of a Therapy? song: “It’s a beautiful day, but I don’t see it that way. The sky’s too bright for my tired eyes to take…”
I’ve returned from having spent nearly a month in Tasmania, where I was supposed to recharge the batteries and reclaim part of a shredded soul. Family dramas disrupted the recharging (bloody kids!), but the trip was good in many ways, and oddly, I found some comfort in exploring Ange’s family history over there. The cemetery at Nile, near Launceston, is quite literally filled with her family. But that’s another story for another time.
Most of this time I’ve spent trying to understand grief and coping with loss. The naughties were particularly instructive in this regard, with Sahma’s death only the most recent example. I’ve already lost my grandparents (the people who raised me) a few years back, lost a work colleague nine months ago, and I’ve struggled with the news of Mum’s breast cancer (although she’s on the mend). My father-in-law is losing his battle with emphysema. The foundations of my life have been slipping for some time.
But this is all part of the human condition, right? And for that, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Being the self-analytical sort, I can feel myself sliding from grief into depression. I’ve tried listening to angry/sad/happy songs, socialising, exercising/playing sport, lazing around, watching Angel re-reruns, and losing myself in computer games. I even attempted to get back into the writing and editing (heaven forbid!). But my mind keeps turning to the dark corners, and it doesn’t seem to matter if I remember happy times or the sad bits, it just keep stirring up the same emotions. There’s been a huge weight on my chest, and I thought it might subside after Sahmie passed away, but the truth is that it’s growing heavier, and at times lately, I feel like I’m gasping for air. It’s like the weight of the world slipped off my shoulders and is threatening to crush me.
However, I’m an optimistic sort, with the support of a loving family (going through the same things), so I don’t see the blues lasting for long. My practical side is already telling me that I’m being self-indulgent, which is probably true. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything or anyone.
This post is a placeholder of sorts, not an emo-esque cry for attention. It will be a reminder to me when I flick back through this journal of my thoughts and feelings at this time.
My short story collection, Midnight, is ready bar the final story, which is an exploration of grief and the blurred line between devotion and obsession. I’ll spend the next few days completing this story (and hence, the collection) before I get the gumption to return to the novel.
Things will return to normal, but at my pace, slowly. You’ll be patient, ok?