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Zem Joaquin Headshot

Good Mourning

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My adrenals are shot, my digestive system is shut down, my heart is broken, my world is spinning and I can't make any of it stop. Two weeks ago I got a blow that hit so hard I buckled. My best friend -- my male best friend, which because we are opposite sexes somehow diminishes our very real friendship. I know that if my closest girlfriend passed, the reaction would be different. I also know that had he not taken his own life, the conversations would be different, but both of these scenarios are simple data points that only amplify my loneliness in my mourning.

It isn't that my grief wasn't collectively shared. 400 people attended the, by all accounts perfect, service and I had the immense honor of sharing the podium with my husband to give a eulogy, which was cathartic but by no means the cleansing experience I had hoped for. I naively thought that I would shed some tears, drink some social lubricant and hug it out. But the softness of the pillow reminded me of his embraces, the lightness of the sheets were reminders of the fleeting grasp we have on anything and the wetness of the shower enticed my eyes to release the pent up waterworks. I know that asking why or 'what if' is pointless so I battle myself.

I am sorry that you were in such deep pain, I'm sorry that you lost hope and that your community couldn't restore it for you. I will never forget your incredible kindness, quirky humor, immense brilliance, inextinguishable inspiration and the beautiful time we shared. I want to be strong for your family and mine but the hurt I feel is such a heavy weight. Part of me wishes that I could replace you, slot somebody else into the role you played in our lives... but I know that we cannot. There will never be anybody quite like you and the way you made me/us feel. That reality is crushing. Ancient wisdom says that I ought not grieve you, but I'm simply not that wise. For all of us feeling the void of your loss or the loss of someone else, my aching heart reaches out to yours.

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