Where Now?

March 17, 2022

This post has depressing stuff in it. If you don't like depressing stuff, go somewhere else.

Almost exactly three years ago today, my mother passed away. There's no way you can avoid sitting and reflecting for a moment after writing a sentence like that. The one who birthed me; who raised me; who went through some of the greatest pain in her life, on purpose, just so I could exist and so she could love me. The one who renewed me when I was at my wits' end; the one who held on to me incessantly when I was teetering over the edge. The one who took me in when I chose to walk away from the life I had before. The one who accepted and loved me, no matter what irreparable things I did. Repetition can be a disease for me sometimes, but it will never be as bad as the hurt I felt, the hurt I feel, and the hurt I will continue to feel. I will always blame myself. Even as I begin to understand that nothing could have been done and she shouldn't have been discharged and, like one of the officers on the scene said, "even if [I was] there, [I] wouldn't have been able to save her" on a logical level, I will never understand it on an emotional one. I'm not sure my mind can accept it. The tears won't come.

And so, I try to write. I get that wrinkled old urge. An old professor of mine used to say my hair was on fire. I'd start a speech, a rant, or something else passionate, and I'd go at it. It turns out people were enthralled by that side of me, although I would never admit it to myself. Of course, people hated it, too—it's all based on whether or not they agree with me. Human bias. Bias meant to shroud us from the truest truth as it stands; bias meant to slither its way into our hearts and make us doubt the reality others experience. Bias that I now spend my days trying to eliminate. I can't, ever; but I try. It is a great evil to me. But since my mother's passing, that fire is hardly a spark. I feel it, deep inside—oh, it does try to burn once again—but an invisible douter clamps down over it, and just as soon as the sparks come, they dissipate. My hair is damp. My heart feels like a deathly black stone that absorbs all light. Go away, sparks. Go away, old flame. Why?

It's not like it started three years ago. It started a long, long time ago. I was such a naive, sheltered, emotional young child, who grew into an idealist of a young man who had no idea how to handle anything resembling an adult situation. It's no one's fault, and I hardly take this time to complain. Of course, it was at my darkest that I found hope, as the story goes. But my mother was the foundation underneath my feet. I just had no idea until it came crashing down beneath me, no longer able to support my weight. Then, the darkness; the hardening of my heart. I stare, some days endlessly, and I never see myself in there. There are so many stupid things that I wish I could tell her.

I now sit in an awkward place: I wish to live. I must make this world a better place. Otherwise, my mother's death was for nothing. I shouldn't have needed this reason, but here we are. And now I understand.

So where do I go from here? There is no right or wrong answer. All I can do is try my best every day that I can. Some days, my best is not so great. I realize this now: Every day is a bad day for someone. We work with our limited intelligence; our limited perspective; our limited selflessness; to try and get through to those around us. We are deeply flawed. We live in a haze of perception. We must be more kind towards one another, lest our world devolves further than it already has. Truly, it may be too late to stop it. All we can do is hold our hands over the broken pipes and try to stem the tide. The room will flood sooner or later; the best we can do is hold on for as long as we can.