Saturday, June 2, 2012

The waves of death, they hit me

It hasn't been a good week.

Within the last week or so, there have been a number of untimely deaths here in Seattle. Primarily from what's been on the news, people shot and killed for no good reason (not that I believe there are very many 'good' reasons to kill another human being). As I mentioned in my previous post, these types of incidents have hit me harder lately because I really know something of what their loved ones are going through. But the kicker happened Thursday night.

Grandma Rose (and a dozing Grandpa David)
The call came at about half past midnight: my grandma Rose had unexpectedly passed away.

Now my grandma Rose was 90 years old and had health issues, so 'unexpected' is a loose term. But on top of how I was feeling already, it was a tough blow to take. Then as the cherry on top of that shit sundae, the draft of my new revised will and power of attorney was waiting for me in the mail when I got home the next day. So I then got the pleasure of reading about all the stuff that'll happen when I die, and what arrangements will be in place if that happens while Rowan is still a child. Ugh.

The result was a sudden and very powerful resurgence of an interest in things connected to Aimee's death. I have no idea why that was the reaction to the past week's events, but it was. I re-read pages and pages of a scuba diving forum conversation that had gone on for months about Aimee's accident. I looked at the Facebook page and website of the Key Largo Scuba Shack (which has been closed since December 18). I even tried to find the name of the shop the owners had in The Bahamas, but I was unsuccessful (if anyone else knows it or finds it, please don't tell me - I actually DON'T want to know).

But as I reflect, this current period of sadness (dare I use the "D" word, depression?) actually has been going on since our anniversary April 29. I've just been going through a greater awareness of the huge hole in my life, and how permanent that hole really is. I keep finding myself paradoxically more drawn to reminders of Aimee and more pained when I stumble on them unexpectedly. I can't focus as well, my motivation to do much of anything is nonexistent, and I am having a damn hard time getting out of bed each day.

Yeah, I guess that does sound a bit like depression.

I don't really know what the point of this post is, I guess I'm just venting tonight.


  1. Pat:

    While claiming no background in psychology, your emotions appear to be quite natural and dare I say healthy. With the passing of your grandma, my condolences to you and your family, all those painful emotions of grief are bound to resurface triggering thoughts, memories and feelings of sorrow.

    Depression in itself may be your coping mechanism for a period of time. While you may not be able to focus on many things you have a remarkable ability to express yourself in writing.

    You have questioned yourself as to the reasoning for this post. It is your instrument for dealing with the multitude of emotions that swirl inside. It is your unique gift that many of us do not possess but are fortunate to have you share. Rely on it, use it, develop it and continue to share it. It is a joy to receive.

    I believe , as you continue to write, those holes of pain you speak of will be filled by fond recollections and memories of Aimee.

    Thank you,

    1. Thanks for the response. Your kind words and encouragement are appreciated. I guess I have to realize that not every post I write needs a 'purpose' that's obvious, that the simple act of writing probably IS the purpose.

  2. Continued prayers for you Pat. So sorry about your grandma. My grandma is really old and has health issues too, but I still know that I'll be pretty devastated when I get the call that she's passed. (Which, unfortunately, is expected quite soon)...

    Venting is good. If the words and thoughts are out on paper (err, the internet), than maybe they'll stop doing cartwheels in your mind and give you a bit of rest.

    1. Thanks. I know I'm not sorry for my grandma, who really wasn't that happy the last few years and is truly in a better place (I hate using that phrase, as it sounds so cliche', but it's true). It's just the culmination of things.

      I am sorry that you will have to face this soon as well with your own grandmother.

  3. Venting's all the point you need. Keep letting it out. I hate (and I guess I like) that words of comfort take more effort - no one can say "this, too, will pass" or "you'll get through this.". I mean, you are getting, but there's no through, there's nothing to pass? Certainly there's no eagerness for her memory to fade, no objective of "getting on with life" - you get by and you keep breathing (am I quoting Sleepless in Seattle?) and you do find moments of joy (as evidenced by other posts) but you find yourself more able to relate and connect deeply with tragedy and loss. It's more real for you now in a way I can't relate. I am surprised you are still reading the scuba board. You said when you first posted that you weren't going to visit more than that one time, what does your counselor have to say on the benefits or drawbacks to visiting that site? Many seem to mean well, but there are also some pretty cruel and callous people on there. And all the theories and what if's and only if's seem like they could cause more questions than answers, and if I know you, you strongly want answers, some of which part of you knows deep down you won't be receiving any time soon, if ever.

    And if it helps with the venting to tell me to "Shut the hell up because what do you know, James?" go right ahead and do that. We are praying for you and Rowan. Sometimes I feel like I should post, but if it's not helpful, I definitely need to know. Last thing I want to do is be harmful.

    1. James, I alays love your responses. I will never tell you to shut up.

      I did only post on the scuba board once or twice, but I was reading it voraciously until the conversation tapered off in February or so. But yesterday I felt this strange need to reconnect with some of those things, and so I went back and read several pages of posts.

      You are right about me wanting answers, but I accepted from the get-go that those would be a long time coming, and I may never get them all. I've been thinking about contacting the Coast Guard office down there and asking them if the report is final and/or public yet.

      In the end, this is a tough thing for me to navigate, and obviously I don't have any prior experience in doing so. I'm just so gratfeul for all the readers of this blog, and those like you who comment, to help me feel like there's a whole community of people walking this walk with me.

  4. Dear Pat-
    For some reason, I kept hearing this song while reading your blog today.... "While my Guitar Gently Weeps" played by Jake Shimabukuro on Apr 22, 2006.

    1. I like that song, and this was a very cool rendition of it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi Pat, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your Grandma Rose. I'm sure this is even harder on you because of what you have already been through. Unfortunately, as we get older we will continue to see more of our relatives pass on. I have lost all my grandparents, some aunts and uncles, and even both of my parents now too. Not a fun thing at all, but it does get better with time. I hope things will start to get better for you this week. Praying for you.

  6. Pat, your blog is such a generous gift to your readers and I know it is a healing tool for you too. When I see a new post, I never pause to read it. I want to know how things are going...bright moments and dark. The self awareness that it prompts for you and your readers help us all live each moment more fully aware of the reality of our existence here on Earth. Much love and continued prayers.