Though you are gone
I am still your son
And while your pain is over
Mine has just begun

My grief is at almost right-angles to my personality at this point. It’s like a roommate who works the opposite shift – so seldom seen I’ve begun to forgot what it looks like, and I would forget it’s there except for the signs it leaves scattered here and there. It only surfaces now as an unexpected harmonic to certain rare pieces of music. I will hear a song, and like it; and I will hear it again, and still like it; and then hear it again and suddenly find myself choked up or sobbing alone in my car. It’s strange when it happens, precisely because it seems so disconnected from me anymore, like finding that elusive roommate at the kitchen table after almost forgetting he existed. It really is like meeting someone else… albeit someone I used to know very well.

And I wonder… is this just leftover undelt-with pain? Or would I still, even if I had never known heartbreak, be crying for this whole beautiful mess of a world? It seems so diffuse, so generalized. As if a mental organ leeches out all the pain and injustice I witness simply by living, and collects it as concentrated poison in some protective well which must occasionally be emptied. And what is the scale of this thing? Does it surface so rarely because that is all that is needed to cleanse me of it? Or are these just the surface eruptions of a monstrous sea of sorrow within? My intuition tells me it is the latter, and that frightens me. I long to live with my heart on lmy sleeve, but I fear the complications that would bring…

UPDATE: A clarification: The verses at the beginning are an excerpt from the song “Disappoint” by Assemblage 23. The song has nothing to do with my life or my issues, except for the fact that it, particularly the emphasized lines, was the most recent one to bring on one of my suprise teary-eyed moments. The only connection I can see between it and my life is the fact that my best friend was once in the position the song describes (a son grieving after his father’s suicide); a situation he finally dealt with by following in his father’s footsteps a couple months later.

View All


  1. It really is like meeting someone else… albeit someone I used to know very well.

    Someone I used to know very well, too.

    Yes, that is the boy I remember.

  2. This reminds me of something I wrote a couple years ago… This feeling of a constant emotion, lurking just benieth is very familar with me.

      All this because of pain. Because of hurt. Because of the reluctance to act in the face of all the conflicting promises I must keep. Because of the need to act continually growing. Because failure to act, failure to make choices, is a choice that in and of itself that leads only to entrophy. Because of anger and rage over the hard choices and the decisions. Because of the aching loneliness that nothing ever alliviates, no matter how closely I am held. Because of all the hollowness that faith in anything never fills. Because this flesh feels so foreign more and more often.

    Then there is this upswelling of grief for all that’s happened since I came to DC. Since I went to college. Since I left Roanoke to begin with, 9 years ago. Grief over hard words and strong actions and standing like steel when I felt I had to. Grief over things that can not be fixed or changed or renewed. Grief over the broken peices of relationships and friendships and promises made and freely broken on all sides. Greif over flashes and fragements of an imperfect memory of unhuman happiness and bliss. And far more solid but still imperfect fragments and flashes of unhuman horror and pain that blends in with all the rest of what I see around me.

    I’ve come to a perputal state of quiet mourning for the sands that have slipped through my open fingers and all the squarndered time when I was so young and foolish and stupid. For all the sharp words never called for. For all the cold shoulders and flippant dismials. For all the warmth that I turned away in a quest for what I thought I wanted, but wasn’t. For all the using and the users and the being used. For freely offering up nativity and allowing to be used, even when I knew it was happening. I would give alot to go back and soften so many of the hard things that jut up from the landscape of my past. But so much is beyond my reckoning.

    It’s a blizzard of broken peices and shattered hope and bent-winged emotion, blowing all around me.

  3. I watched a show about C.Jung the other day. In passing they mentioned the huge amount of psyche vocabulary that he created. One of these words was “persona” according to the show (an not apparently accordingg to mirriam webster) the word is derived from the greek word for “mask”. It’s not only a covering, changing device but in a way a protective one. (I’m not using the term persona or mask as a negative descriptor, just more the personality we become)

    I think as time goes on our protection thickens, our eyes see less severely…maybe that is not the right word, less emotionally? Certain keys act like a tiny laser beam and pierce you right into the core, past the mask…opening the flood gates. It’s a concentrated poison AND a huge sea. The concoction and the waters ever changing and sometimes not poison at all they are your waters and your made of it. release, simple release.

    Being who I am I have to deal with that poison often, I’m half light half dark. In the most extreme of ways. My favorite tears are those caused by such beauty it hurts.

  4. hugs & stuff

    i know that feeling.
    ..the confusion..
    how did i get here?

    like bottled emotions exploding
    at random times

    ..being a son is difficult..

Comments are closed.