Death, Grief, and Loss

So I’ve been watching the American sci-fi TV show “Falling Skies” and there was an episode where a character dies and this character gave up his life to save another character. I won’t say who so nothing gets spoiled here. But death and loss to me has a very big significance in my life. Namely, I experienced loss at a really young age. 8 years old. That’s when my mother passed away. Three years after that, my father passed away. And the feeling of loss is an incredibly powerful emotion. There’s nothing else quite like it. I think the only other feeling that comes pretty close was when my first long term relationship ended. It’s a soul crushing emptiness that never actually goes away with time. The effects of it might wax and wane a bit over the years but every time I experience loss even if it is fictional, the same pain still wells up inside of me as if it was seeing my parents die again right before my eyes.

It’s really a rather shitty feeling. So for me, whenever I experience a loss of any kind and I had an emotional connection with that person or that object had a lot of sentimental value to me, I get overly emotional. I hate this feeling but as much as I hate it, this is the same feeling that helps me remember my parents. Ironic, isn’t it? The same feelings that hurts you the most is the same feeling that helps you remember who or what you held most dear to your heart. I hate the feeling of loss. I hate losing friends. I hate when a relationship ends. I hate losing things that I hold sentimental value toward. I hate when things end. Period. And especially so when they are abrupt like when my parents just up and left this world. I hate it. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye properly. For either of them. They just left abruptly. And I am left to sort out the aftermath without any explanation. I don’t know what’s worse. Knowing that your parents were going to die and witness them breathe their last breath or not knowing that your parents were going to die and never actually witnessing their death until after they pass. I only have the experience of the latter. I was left to sort out the aftermath of it all by myself. And I assure you, it’s no walk in the park to sort through those feelings in the aftermath without any kind of guidance.

I’ve experienced a lot at a young age. I’d like to think that this has helped toughen me up but I don’t know. Hard to say. But I can say this much. The everyday things that would ordinarily trip people up or upset them don’t upset me much since I’ve had it a lot worse, relatively speaking. I can’t recall how many times I’ve thought about just ending it all in my youth and all throughout K-12. But I always thought about what my parents would have wanted and that more or less kept the suicidal thoughts at bay. I also had some great friends whom I could pour my heart out whenever I needed to and I am forever grateful to them.

When my first long term relationship ended, it was akin to losing my parents all over again and my suicidal tendencies were once again awoken. Fortunately, I never did take my life even then. The memories of my parents was what helped me keep going. I didn’t make it to college only to end my life because of a broken heart and never see the fruits of my labor realized. I wanted my parents to be proud of me and finishing college was what they would have wanted me to do. And I kept that in the back of my mind not to let anything get in my way of achieving that. In hindsight, I’m glad that I didn’t. I wouldn’t have had met my second ex who taught me so many things about myself and about the type of qualities that I wanted in a woman. Truthfully, I didn’t want to give up the friendship that I had with her after our romantic relationship fizzled out. But from past experience, holding onto her would have only prolonged my pain and suffering. It would have prevented me from moving on. That was what happened with my first relationship. I thought I could remain friends with my ex after the romantic relationship fizzled out. I couldn’t. At some point, I cut her loose and rather abruptly without warning and just completely dropped out of her radar. I had to cut out all of our mutual friends along with it. And they were very painful breaks for me. It sucked major donkey balls. But it did help me move on. And move on a lot faster at that. So when my second relationship fizzled out, I just cut her loose and that was that.

Every friendship and every relationship after those two, I just followed the same tactic when things inevitably turned sour. Not that I wanted things to go sour but if and when they did, I was ready and prepared to drop everyone I knew that was associated with that person in order to move on. And now, looking back at it all, I always wonder if I had done the right thing. Did I put in my due diligence to make it work? Or did I just give up on them, you know what I mean? Kind of like when the going gets tough, do you hang in there and tough it out? Or do you cut your losses and move on? And every time I think about it, I always arrived at the same conclusion. Given what I knew at the time, I chose that course of action that best fit my needs during that time and that there wasn’t anything more I could have done that would have changed the outcome. I couldn’t have salvaged the situation even if I wanted to. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had given more of myself, my time, and my resources. The outcome would have remained the same.

But I still have doubt. And I simply cannot help feeling this way when things end.

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