Monday, March 22, 2010

Life marches on

The emotional carousel is starting to slow down. I do still have flare-ups from time to time, but they are farther apart now and less severe. Yet there is a part of me that doesn't want things to go back to 'normal'. Just like when my grandfather died, there this intensity about life now -- the relative importance of things is in sharp focus for the moment and I don't want to lose that. I don't want to go back to a daily existence where everything blurs and people keep their distance. I haven't really figured out how to maintain that focus or what I should do about it, but I'm hoping I can make it a new 30 day challenge of some sort.

So this is like a warning, or notice to all my friends -- I may be asking to spend more time with you soon.

On a completely unrelated note, I have started taking Tai Chi classes. When I signed up, I thought we would be taught the moves that I've seen groups of people doing together as a sort of exercise. I have since come to learn that Tai Chi also includes a lot of meditation and relaxation exercises that have been somewhat helpful to me in my grief. I am glad that I have this respite to look forward to each Saturday morning.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Still recovering

Well, each day has been a little bit better in some ways; and also worse at some points. Although I have experienced death before, and truly did feel grief for my grandparents, this is the first time that someone I saw on a regular basis has perished. This time, I feel like I'm on a merry-go-round with the stages of grief: As soon as I think I'm finally at 'acceptance', something pops up and I'm back to denial. He can't really be gone!

Yesterday I met his mother and brother for the first time. It was both frustrating and somewhat of a relief that they were asking all of the same questions we have been. Were there any signs? Did he say anything to you? Did anything unusual happen recently? It is such a shame that no one knew Kendall well enough to have insight into his state of mind recently. But at least we are all on the same page in our bereavement, and as selfish as it may sound, it reassures me that there most likely wasn't anything I could have done to help.

Yesterday I also looked for pictures of Kendall. I didn't think I had any, but Justin reminded me that he was at Thanksgiving with my family many times and I often take photos at family gatherings. Sure enough, there he was -- just fourth months ago, hanging out and playing games with us. So the carousel swooped around to depression with that image.

Now I'm just trying to hold it together, waiting for this emotional merry-go-round to stop spinning. Hopefully, when things finally come to a stand-still I can think about my friend without hurting so bad and manage to find a way to remember him in happiness.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In memory

I have received so many words of comfort from family, friends and even coworkers these past two days, that I can't help but to feel better. The biggest thing is that they have helped me to move beyond regrets. Yes there may have been things that I could have done or said, but this was Kendall's decision that only he could understand. Now I'm just to the point where I miss my friend. Kendall taught me to appreciate haiku, so in his honor, I attempted a few stanzas:

geek book collector
Samurai at heart
complex card player

caffeine veined coder
strictly lawful alignment
unique strategist

wry and dark humor
gamer and story teller
beret wearing friend

Friday, March 12, 2010


Another person that I cared about has passed away. This time it wasn't family. It was a friend that I thought I knew pretty well. A friend that has been struggling to find a job for awhile. A friend that evidently didn't see any more hope or reason for living. A friend that I now wish I could have done more for.

This kind of pain is awkward. I am struggling to get my head around it. How can I begin to accept his death when I don't understand why he would take his own life? How do I begin to move on when I keep thinking that I could have shown more appreciation; I could have called more; I could have done SOMETHING that might have made a difference.

One thing is for sure -- I want to try and be a more direct person. Justin is right: when I see a person in need, or in pain, I usually beat around the bush and timidly proffer help. I act standoff-ish in my self-righteous attempt to protect privacy. Well screw that. I care about my friends and I don't want anyone else thinking that there isn't a better answer. I will go to the ends of the earth to help find a better answer.

Kendall: I am so sorry that I couldn't be there for you. I am so sorry that you felt the game was over. You provided some great games for the rest of us. I only hope that you've moved on to a better game. I hope you can find some peace and happiness finally. I'll miss you.