Death, Emotions, and Miscellany
14 September 2015
I’ve got a dear friend, John Adamus, and one of his favorite sayings is “put your guts on the page.” I like to push back on this saying because it makes me uncomfortable (and because I like to give John a hard time).
Why does it make me uncomfortable? Because emotions are a tough topic for me. I don’t mean that I don’t know how I’m feeling. I do, partly due to years of help from my wife on how to process emotions. I also don’t mean that I can’t talk about my emotions. I can. It’s not always easy because so often, human emotions come in bundles, and our language (for all of its strengths) isn’t always the best at communicating them.
Emotions are a tough topic because I don’t feel them strongly. We’ve got a running gag in my house that I’m a robot, and I don’t disabuse people of that impression. I have strong opinions, but those opinions aren’t backed by intense emotions, just intense thoughts.
Dear reader, you might be wondering why I’m even bothering to talk about emotions. If you didn’t know, my mother died a little over a week ago. My mother and I had a complicated relationship that stemmed from quite a lot of things (some of which I may blog about later, if my thoughts coalesce into coherence). I’m not feeling a lot of strong emotions about it, and how I feel about that fact is something that changes from day to day. I have emotions, but the overriding emotion is one of relief.
Relief that my emotional landscape is now simplified. Relief that she’s not suffering anymore. Relief that my relationship with her now can’t get worse. Relief that her death has actually brought her closer to me than I would have thought possible.
Bad days mean that I feel guilty for all of the above. Good days mean that I accept this fact and am able to not beat myself up for it. In between are days where I don’t think about it at all.
Even now, I find myself questioning the wisdom of writing this blogpost. Questioning the wisdom of posting it instead of leaving it in draft status.\r\n\r\nBut it’s probably long past time I put some guts on the page.