Stages of grief

My friend, V, drew the picture above last year and just shared it today, in the wake of one of our TR member's suicide this past weekend. I didn't know J but so many of the people I love did, and watching this all play out is heartbreaking. And infuriating.

Let me caveat: this is not about me in any way, shape, or form other than the fact that I am writing from my perspective. This did not happen TO me. It's happening TO them. But I do feel the effects of it and, in order to be strong and help my friends through this, I need to process all of this and deal with it. This is the best place to do that.

Even though this didn't happen to me, there are stages to this just like there are for the people dealing with the fallout of J's suicide. There was shock and then sadness, and now there is anger. But how are you supposed to be angry at a dead guy - a dead guy that fought his demons for so long and then, apparently, just got tired? How are you supposed to be angry at a dead guy you didn't even know?

Because I am. I'm so damned angry. I watch my friends struggle with their grief, their helplessness, their fear, their shock, their anger and rage, and all I want to do is punch this guy. And then hug him and tell him tomorrow will be better. And sit with him to make sure he holds on to see that. But I can't. And they can't. And that just makes me angry all over again.

There are things I want to yell and scream and shout here, but I can't because the idea that someone that loved him would see that and misconstrue my anger - moreso at the situation than at him, but it's easier to be angry at a person than an abstract concept - also breaks my heart and I can't do that. By all accounts he was a great guy - full of sarcastic, cynical, larger-than-life LIFE. And then it was gone and it terrifies me to think that the vacuum he created in the wake of his suicide might suck others that I love into it. And, because my default in the face of fear is anger, I am just so enraged.

I want all of my people in my sight line right now. I want them all in my living room so I can lay eyes on them and see that they are ok. I want to be able to look them in the eye and tell them in all honesty that they are loved and treasured and that my phone is on 24/7 and I'll drop whatever I can drop to be there. Thankfully, I have a family that gets it. I want to hug them all. It's not possible but that's how I'm feeling right now.

When we were in college, MacGyver was working on the Jeep after it had died on him at work, and the hood came crashing down on his head. It was a pretty impressive laceration that required a good handful of staples to close up and some observation afterward due to the minor concussion he sustained. My instinct to all of that - once the initial situation had passed - was to keep him close to me. I didn't want him out of my sight for several days. It's like that now - circle the wagons and draw in tight. There is a TR social tomorrow in Kansas City and I'm looking forward (in a way) to it moreso than I did NatCon. I need to see my people (that part *is* about me), make sure they are ok, hug them.

Long and hard. (get your minds out of the gutter)

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