Looking Back on Grief + Recent Activities

Monday, June 06, 2016

I now find myself in this awkward place of feeling like it's time to write a blog post (since I last posted a month ago) and not having much to say. Unlike my previous few posts, what has kept me from writing this time wasn't busy-ness, but not doing much of anything worth writing about. With that in mind, I will now try to remember what all I've been doing, say it briefly, and make it sound as interesting as possible.

On the 7th of May I went to a luncheon with some ladies from church and ate a bunch of fruit salad and a few pieces of lettuce, then to Hobby Lobby for the first time in my life. That place made me actually want to decorate--but I resisted the urge.

Grown-up field trip!
Afterward we hit up a few garage sales and I got a nice pasta maker for $7, which I finally used this last Thursday to make this. Unfortunately I made it with whole grain buckwheat flour (the kind with the black specks) and the noodles had a distinctive sandy texture which was not particularly tasty. I now have to figure out what to do with over a half gallon of whole grain buckwheat flour...

My Japanese studies have continued, albeit slowly. I've pretty much gotten my Kana down by sight, but I don't think I'd be able to pass a dictation test. I really should know them by now, but I've been distracted by...*Drumroll Please*...

My new obsession with LearnScripture.net and the learning section of ThatTheWorldMayKnow.com. Thus far I've started working on the first 5 chapters of John and I have hopes of being able to recite the whole thing from memory in the next couple of years.

Also, I got a new phone. For the last year or two I'd been using a $10 flip phone from Safeway and I've finally entered the realm of smartishphone users. I thought it would be a huge adjustment, but since I'd already used tablets and such before, it was mostly intuitive. I do, however, miss the way the alarm clock worked on my old phone, so I'm still using the old phone as my alarm clock (though the time is gradually getting out of sync with reality now that it's not in service). My number hasn't changed, so if I've given you my cell number in the last few years, it's still good.

I didn't get sick all flu season and I thought that maybe I was in the clear, but a couple of weeks ago I got a nasty cold---for a week and a half.  I'm finally back to 100% and that's pretty much wonderful.

I just finished listening to the audio book of City of Lost Souls and am moving on to City of Heavenly Fire. I have been thoroughly enjoying the series but that's all I can say without spoilers.

I've also been cooking, cleaning, menu planning, going to work and church, and planning my upcoming anniversary camping trip--normalish things.

On the less than normal front, it's been a year now since a couple of acquaintances committed suicide (separately) and another kid I didn't know died from drunk driving. One of the things that struck me most about the whole thing was just seeing how insensitive grieving people can be. Multiple times people asked me about the kid I didn't know--the one they were grieving--and straight-up told or showed me that they didn't care about the two I did know who had died. I'm assuming that they asked me because I'm approximately the same age as said individual, but every time it was like being slapped. I don't ever want to do that to someone.

I've been rereading my journal entries from last year and have a few morbid quotes to share.

***

"People don’t revive as easily as Facebook accounts."


"There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than having to talk someone out of committing suicide, especially from the other end of a phone line, when you know they’re holding their method of choice. I thank God that she didn’t do it, that she’s alive, even if she is so far away from me right now."


"I’ve learned a few things in the last couple days. For starters, if your friends mysteriously disappear from the Internet, find them ASAP and make sure they’re okay, because while some people just fall out of using social media, some leave it to fade out of existence, and others stop messaging you back because they’ve died."


"Death is not a popularity contest."


"It always bothers me at [church] funerals...especially for people who...weren’t really in a relationship with God, that we always talk about when we’re going to see that person again. I mean, I get that God is the ultimate decider there and it’s his judgment call, but sometimes you’re pretty sure that you won’t see that person again, and all this talk to the contrary just serves to further remind you of that fact. You know what I mean? Like if speeches like that were made at [agnostic relative]'s funeral—it just wouldn’t make sense. Or if [atheist relative] died and his funeral was full of “This is not goodbye, but see you later” type statements… but then, maybe [he] wasn’t who I thought he was, or maybe he’d changed. Maybe who he was at home, with his parents, and at church was who he really was. Maybe I don’t know anything. I hope I don’t. I pray I don’t.
"That’s what hurts the most about this all I think: to be sitting there thinking “I know where I’m going, but will you be there when I arrive?” I could be okay I think if I knew the answer were “yes,” but if it’s up in the air, especially leaning toward “no” it’s like—how do you deal with that?"


"And I see myself in him now more than ever. Loved music. Well loved, but only seven people showed up to his celebration of life BBQ. Almost exclusively elderly people and relatives showed up to his funeral. If I died, how many people would come to mine? Even if the turnout was somehow more impressive, or even more personal, would it really matter? When no one wants to come hang out with you, but they’ll cry at your funeral when you die, does it really count?"

***

You never know when will be the last time you see someone--we all know that intellectually, but I don't think it sinks in until something like this happens. If at any point I give you an inappropriately long hug and don't seem to recognize and/or care that I'm doing it, now you know why. Cheers.

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