Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Learning to cope

I've recently been slapped across the face by mortality.
One of my very good friends passed away six days ago and the event has sent me on a journey that I wasn't ready for. I've been contemplating writing about it here since I found out this past Thursday, but I think I was trying really hard to ignore what was going on. Denial is a powerful stage of grief, and I kept thinking that if I didn't write about it, didn't cry about it, Mike's death would go away. But it hasn't, and I think I am finally beginning to understand that.
I do not believe that all deaths are tragedies, but Mike's is. In a way, I feel as if his life has been reduced to a piece of gossip. I have been receiving texts, calls and Facebook messages from people who didn't even know him. These people don't care about the impact he made in life, they are focused on the details of his death. They ask me if I know what happened or why he did it, and the truth is I don't know all of the details--but at this point I don't care. Mike was pretty adamant about his hatred of gossip and he always told me I did too much of it. I never understood what the big deal was until now. When you're hurting, gossip is toxic. Mike knew that, but he knew just about everything.

Grief has me all fucked up in my heart and in my brain, and I know that I'm not getting the worst of it. Mike had a lot of good lifelong friends and a very solid, loving family. I cannot and do not want to imagine what those people are going through. What I do know, though, is that Mike was my co-worker and true friend for only three years, and his death is having a profound impact on me.