Sunday, February 24, 2008

Residual Emotion ...

For the past several months, I've been in recovery, emotional recovery.

There are days – though they now come further apart than they used to – when I am reminded that I am not yet healed.

Actually, I wonder if I ever will be, fully.

If you sustain a wound, one day it becomes a scar. Cells regenerate. Life goes on. But the scar remains. Do those cells regenerate? Why doesn't the scar eventually disappear? Is it because those cells are different than the cells that were there before? What makes them different?

If our lives are the sums of our experiences, do we ever really shed anything that's occurred? I don't think so. I think hurts become less potent over time, but once we've experienced that energy in our lives, it's transformed us.

If we carry those we love in our hearts, don't we also carry those we've lost?

And if we still love them, are they really gone?

I was just watching Martian Child and John Cusack, whose character's name is David – I mean, of course it is, right? – says, "When you love somebody, it's really hard when you can't see them anymore."

My friend Charles died nearly five years ago and sometimes I still get a little weepy when I think of him. Most of the time now, I smile – laugh, even – when I remember him. He was one of a kind. But every so often, out of the blue, a thought about him will come into my mind and I find myself crying. Five years hasn't entirely mellowed all of the pain. There are still twinges.

So I guess it's no wonder that I'm still recovering from something as fresh as a few months ago. My brain tries to trick me into reverting to what feels familiar, but then I stop and remind myself that a lapse – or would that be a relapse? – would be a setback, that I'd just have to recover that lost ground all over again. And as long as I've traversed that time and space once already, why put myself through it again?

But sometimes, it's extraordinarily difficult to be strong. Strong is hard. Right is hard. Weak and wrong are easy. Easy but not viable, not really.

A couple of weeks ago at the gym, as I struggled with a move, I asked Brandon, "Will it ever get easier?"

"Nope," he said. "When it starts to get easier, we'll add more weight."

It's the struggle that makes us stronger.


Blogger Mercurie said...

Well, I'd like to say things get a whole lot easier as one goes along, but that would be a lie. Okay, the scars from one big relationship I had a few years ago don't pain me as much as they once did, but they do occasionally flare up. I would like to think that these scars do fade over time, but I do wonder how long. Ten years? Twenty years? At any rate, I do hope you recover and more swiftly than I have in the past.

2:20 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I've been thinking a lot about this stuff lately, mom died when I was 13 (in February of 1971). I didn't cry at the funeral but every February I'm dealing with a cloud of depression. It's like my mind unconsciously connects the first signs of Spring with that very important event.

The pain of loss is so hard. But maybe the pain the living carry is a tribute we pay to the ones we miss...

2:58 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

(I tried posting a comment on here Sunday and Blogger wouldn't let me. Wouldn't let me post a comment on my own blog. Weird. So let's try again this morning. Later: OH! It was an HTML issue. D'oh!)

j. – When my friend Charles died, his co-worker told me that they used to watch The Simpsons together every evening in Charles' office, but he didn't think he'd be able to watch The Simpsons again.

"Charles would hate that," I said. Surely the ones we love don't want us to feel sad when we think of them, however inevitable that may be.

In any event, I hope your cloud of depressions lifts soon.

merc – Your comment made me wonder if it's easier or harder to recover from the death of someone we love compared to recovering from the ending of a relationship. It's certainly difficult to contemplate never seeing someone again when they've died, but it seems even harder to adjust to never seeing someone again but knowing they're still here. Of course, we often wish for just one more minute with someone who's died but that's simply not possible. But what about when it technically is possible to see someone again but you can't? Or you're not supposed to?

I'll have to mull that one over more.

7:36 AM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

Beth- I'm feeling better. Thanks for your encouragement.

8:04 PM  

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