Tag Archives: grief

“Never Let Me Go.” In Memoriam K

Yesterday I spoke for the first time ever about something that happened some years ago. About something that happened to a very dear friend. Something awful, beyond awful; carried out by people I can only describe as evil personified. For lots of reason I’m not going to go into detail here. I was involved in the immediate aftermath of this awful event and spent several days shut up with my friend. That was awful too. It has been suggested that I have vicarious trauma because of this.

Talking about it was hard. To do so for the first time after these years, I suppose it was always going to be. To talk about brings up the emotions from that time but also images of it all in my head. Some of the are too upsetting to contemplate for too long. There were only three people who knew exactly what happened to my friend in all the detail. My friend of course; she’s no longer with us. Life became too hard for hr and she left us. Her sister knew too and she left us through illness a couple of years ago. And me. Whilst her sister was alive, in some ways it felt like a burden shared even through we never discussed the actual event in detail. It now feels like a burden that is all mine and it has become time to deal with it.

Right now I feel emotionally and physically exhausted. It was a hard thing to do, to talk about it.

Very much in my mind at the moment is “Never let me go” a song by Florence and the Machine. Video and lyrics below.

Looking up from underneath
Fractured moonlight on the sea
Reflections still look the same to me
As before I went under

And it’s peaceful in the deep
Cathedral where you cannot breathe
No need to pray, no need to speak
Now I am under all

And it’s breaking over me
A thousand miles down to the sea bed
Found the place to rest my head
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go

And the arms of the ocean are carrying me
And all this devotion was rushing out of me
In the crushes of heaven for a sinner like me
But the arms of the ocean delivered me

Though the pressure’s hard to take
It’s the only way I can escape
It seems a heavy choice to make
And now I am under all

And it’s breaking over me
A thousand miles down to the sea bed
Found the place to rest my head
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go

And the arms of the ocean are carrying me
And all this devotion was rushing out of me
In the crushes of heaven for a sinner like me
But the arms of the ocean delivered me

And it’s over
And I’m going under
But I’m not giving up
I’m just giving in

I’m slipping underneath
So cold and so sweet

And the arms of the ocean so sweet and so cold
And all this devotion I never knew at all
In the crushes of heaven for a sinner released
And the arms of the ocean delivered me
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Deliver me
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Deliver me
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Deliver me
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go

And it’s over
(Never let me go, Never let me go)
And I’m going under
(Never let me go, Never let me go)
But I’m not giving up
(Never let me go, Never let me go)
I’m just giving in
(Never let me go, Never let me go)

I’m slipping underneath
(Never let me go, Never let me go)
So cold and so sweet
(Never let me go, Never let me go)

The Final Straw

Now I don’t believe and I never did
That two wrongs make a right.
If the world were filled with the likes of you
Then I’m putting up a fight. I’m putting up a fight.
Putting up a fight. make it right. make it right.

final straw 3

Hospital Anniversary.

Yesterday was an odd day for me. It was the anniversary of a trip to hospital and with my tendency to remember anniversaries it was never going to pass without notice. I say a trip. That makes it sound voluntary. It definitely wasn’t.

It was a bitterly cold day. I remember I had dressed for the cold and thinking with black humour that I wouldn’t want to catch a cold or anything! But I also remember starting to feel an indefinable warmth coming over me. I was falling asleep and that in itself was a warm feeling. A welcome embracing of loss of awareness and pain.

Then, through this sleepy state I was aware of a flurry of activity around me. Hands on me, then people calling me name. Unfamiliar voices. “How do they know my name” a vague thought in the sleepiness. Being moved, lifted, slid. Again people calling my name, loud, right by my ear. Knuckles pressing hard on my sternum. “They want me to wake. It’s ok, I’m happy to sleep, it’s ok that I don’t wake up”. Awareness of sudden sharp pains in my wrists and up my arms. More shouting, more sternum pressing. Becoming less and less aware. That’s good. Soon they won’t wake me at all. Something going into my mouth and throat. “Oh, I don’t like that”. Then more sleep. A vague awareness of sirens and movement. “Oh I’m in the vehicle that has the sirens. That’s odd I must be at work”. Then just dark sleep.

Waking. Creeping re-awareness. No that’s not right. I can’t be waking up. Aware of voices, quiet but busy around me at first. Then increasing awareness. Opening my eyes. Bright lights above me. There’s some sort of machine near by making a really fucking annoying series of pinging and ringing noises. Tubes and needles and wires stuck all over me. A pile of clothes, cut open on a chair nearby. “Oh, they are my clothes. That would have been interesting!” A figure comes into focus nearby. In blue hospital scrubs.

This can’t be right. I’m awake, I’m in hospital. I attempt to move but I really can’t. Without realising I start to cry. A nurses hand gently on my arm. “It’s ok. Don’t worry” she says. She moves to make eye contact and talks. I don’t really hear what she says but her tone is soothing and caring.

And so that was it really. Transferred to a ward for a few days. One nurse or another constantly sitting by me and coming with me whenever I moved. A bit tedious but I understand why.

I also have to say that all the staff I had contact with those days were brilliant. Kind, compassionate, empathetic and very considerate of other personal issues.

Letter Never Sent (2)*

Dearest Kit Kat
It seems the longer you’ve been gone the more I miss you. It’s strange isn’t it? We’re heading up to your anniversary and that’s always a time you’re in my thoughts. Even more these past couple of years than ever before I think. All the time Sarah was around, however distant, I felt there was a link with you. Now she’s gone too and it seems to make missing you that bit harder. I didn’t get to say goodbye to her either.

I think I know why you didn’t say it but it’s hard at times you know. I haven’t been to that place, the place it happened for many years. Perhaps I should. I have many other memories of it as well of course. Some of them we spoke about. Including sitting on a cliff in a huge storm and thinking about letting myself go. That was before I even met you but so close to where you eventually went. I don’t know exactly how close; no one knows your exact spot. But it was so very close to where you were found. Can I go? I don’t know but I think I should try.

I’ve always thought you went because you were too broken to be repaired. I’m not the only one who thought that. I started to think very much there was a message in that for me. Recently I’ve been made to question if that was really true. You’ll remember Lucy, your sister’s great love. (The love that made her despair that real, true love could ever really end in love). Well she called me and we spoke. Well it was more a question of her doing most of the talking. One of the things she said is that we can never know that a mind is broken beyond repair. I’m not sure I agree. It feels that I’ll never be fixed. But she made me think. It’s almost harder though than what I’ve always believed. The thought that you could have been fixed. You’ll know anyway the pain I have wondering if you might have been fixed if different things had happened straight afternoon, well you know what.

I’m struggling with the issue of goodbyes at the moment. I think, if I’m going to sort things out in a more positive way I’m going to have to say a goodbye to you. Which feels a bit strange as I was expecting to say hello to you very soon. That’s still not out of the question. I have it in mind that I need to go to Paris if I do say goodbye. To find a way to resolve it all. I still feel that’s the heart of the happy you. I do wonder if part of your essence is still under that walnut tree. I associate time and place with people so much. I always have.

I have told people recently that I have a sense that you are talking to me. I still have that sense but I’m trying to work out now if I’m getting the message right. Trying to work out if the message is actually trying to set me on a harder course than I had thought or wished.

You might like this quote someone said to me recently It’s strange and wonderful how you meet someone who changes you so completely that you can’t imagine how you ever lived without them. That’s why people have a hard time letting go of the person they love. That person is a part of you. How do you say goodbye to your heart?

Say hello or wave goodbye. That’s a conundrum I’ve had before.

With my love

G

* never sent because there is no address to send it to.

Look At You Drowning (365)

This one was particularly hard to do on many levels.

Look at this, it’s me, walking away.
Look at you drowning, on display.
Every time I’ve dropped by, I’ve tried to say
The water is rising.
You don’t want to stay.
wa2

Blood on my hands. (365)

Another picture from the 365 project.

I remember my emotions and thoughts when I took this one very clearly.

The expression blood on my hands has a very specific meaning for most people. In part that is what this picture expresses. It has other elements too. There is the obvious reference to my own self injuries. There is also a link to one of the incidents behind my PTSD. At that incident I got blood from a few people on my hands. Also my own blood. It wasn’t until I was cleaning up that I noticed a number of cuts on my hands. That led to further ongoing situations.

Above all it refers to the accepted meaning of the phrase. To my thoughts and emotions about a beautiful woman and a beautiful friend. There was a time when I literally had her blood on my hands. A time of great trauma for her. She died some time later. Whether by deliberate design or through reckless lack of regard for the consequences of what she was doing. I increasingly think that ambiguity was deliberate on her part. To spare those who loved her the certainty that she had taken her own life. I always have this feeling that if I had acted differently during that traumatic time things may have turned out differently for her. People tell me I did enough. Sometimes I believe them but there is always that nagging thought at the back of my mind that I didn’t. Other times I just tell myself they would say that anyway out of kindness. There is always that inescapable feeling of blood on my hands.

(nb, there is no real blood in this photograph)

bomh

Van, St Mary Axe. (From 14 Black Photographs)

No regrets, no forgiveness, no compasssion
these brave heroes only know to hit and run
slowly my sadness turns to rage and we wonder
how can these scars ever heal, when all is said and done

SMA