life and death

The wedding is over and it went beautifully. I’ll eventually post pictures, but I didn’t take any so it might be a while. Let’s just hope it’s not bad luck to weep while assembling a wedding cake.

My husband called this morning with some terrible news: one of his coworkers and good friends passed away last night. No one knows any details and being that he was young, it is a huge shock to everyone who knows him.

I don’t know how to tell Bubs. He watched my grandmother pass away last October (not literally), but she was quite old and had a stroke when I was only 3 months pregnant, so he only knew her as bedridden. It’s easy to explain death in relation to a long life. Bubs loved Polo so much. Every time he played soccer or basketball he was either on the same team as Polo, or he was Polo. It was the Mexican national team for soccer and the LA Lakers for basketball for the curious.

He was from California but has lived in Seattle for about 10 years now. He only had one brother up here, and they haven’t been close since the brother got married.

I’m really going to miss calling the store and having him answer the phone. I always loved hearing his voice raise an octave when he recognized me.

It was all I could do to keep it together until everyone left. I’ve known Polo for eight years now and all I want to do is circle the wagons with everyone else up here that knew him. There will be some sort of service up here for him. I’m trying to compose a letter to his mother that a friend will help me translate, but it’s hard. Really. Fucking. Hard.

I’m blogging about this because my first instinct is to go hit the bottle hard. I’m a firm believer that physical pain is easier to tolerate than emotional. Physical pain always ends. Say you happen to drop a pair of loppers on your calf while you are hypothetically attacking the IVY BEAST that is trying to take over your front yard so that the guests of a hypothetical wedding can get to your back yard without needing to have a search and rescue team on standby. You might look at your calf and think, “well that sucker is gonna leave a mark.” Also, you might or might not say a lot of grown up words out loud, possibly a little too loud. You might also thank your lucky stars that the loppers were closed and didn’t cut your leg off. You then get to spend the next four days watching the bruise emerge and grow before it begins its chameleon-like process of healing. The day of the hypothetical wedding, your bruise might be sort of a mauve-ish color, with tiny plum circles at what must be your hair follicles. Quite the attractive hypothetical bruise you’ve got there! You will then look forward to it getting to that phase where it resembles an extremely ripe banana, which your husband would hypothetically point out that if you ate bananas, you wouldn’t get bruises like this in the first place. Then you would explain (again) that potatoes are a better source of potassium and they taste better and are more versatile. But the best thing about potatoes? They are not bananas. Hypothetically speaking, anyway.

Emotional pain has that way of hurting at a physical level at first and then slowly fading away, only to metaphorically punch you in the throat when you least expect it.

So you find yourself sitting at the computer, typing away, not really sure if you are making any sense to anyone wishing there was something you could do to make it all just go away. Wishing that your Bubs wasn’t having an overnight so you could crawl in his bed with him and snuggle him like a baby. Wishing that you didn’t have to attend a funeral for one of your husband’s friends at least once a year, even more so when the person was also a friend of yours. Wishing you didn’t have to compose that type of letter to anyone’s mother, ever. Wishing, wishing, wishing.

So what can you do? You go to bed early so that you can get up and run in the morning. No HRM, no music. Just your feet hitting the street and the sounds of the Believers gathering while the rest of the world slumbers. The soothing sounds of the rest of the world marching forth unheeded, despite what you are experiencing. Because death is inevitably linked with life and if you are lucky enough to go in your sleep, you might not be so lucky as to have all the years you might have wanted.

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2 thoughts on “life and death

  1. Dude, Sharla, I am *so* sorry to hear about your guys’ loss. It sucks, losing someone young. Well, it sucks losing someone anytime, but as you said, when it’s someone older who’s lived a full life, there’s some comfort in that.

    I’m so proud of you for NOT hitting the bottle and for hitting the street instead. If you ever need someone to talk to, about Polo or about anything BUT Polo, just call. In the meantime, I’m wishing for you and your hubs to remember lots of good, happy memories of Polo every time you get sad thinking about his loss.

    hang in there.

    • Thanks, Val. June 2009-October 2009 was the darkest period of my life and I was just starting to feel like I could breathe again. Hearing the news yesterday took me back there for a little while, but I can’t live in that place again so I’m being careful about my choices.

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