Grieving: the guilty part that comes after denial

The picture I want up here is that of my hotel room–dark, lights off…with a crack of afternoon light streaming off the Mediterranean sea between the narrow curtain opening as it flaps in the wind. I just want to sit in the dark all day.

We are sitting shiva, to Jewish custom. The funeral has been done, we have honored her, and now we sit with our grief.

My grief cannot compare to that of the immediate family and yet I cannot bear it at all.

I cannot bear to be in the same room, to have my grief even keep company with their noble grief, and so I retreat to my room, curtains drawn, my body wracked with a strange fever, shivering and crying for reasons so overwhelming that I cannot articulate them. Guilt, anger, sorrow. What else. I’m sure there’s more. My heart can’t take it.

My duty here is to support the family and yet I am falling apart. It feels selfish for me to do this, but I cannot hold it together anymore.

I call friends, desperate for a familiar and friendly voice. I find comfort for two seconds.

She was a good friend of mine–but our friendship was on hold when she died. We were in a fight, one I thought would resolve in a matter of days…but somehow escalated so that it was hard to cross the divide a week later. Months passed and arrows still shot. A year passed, and the threat of arrows still existed. Years passed, and our silence became habit. I never hated her, but I did think we had twenty years to resolve this split.

Someday, I thought, it would naturally fix itself.

I was wrong.

She is dead! And there is no way to resolve this. No way to take back my last words to her years ago, so unkind and angry and cold.

Everyone is so sad and devastated–would she have died if ONE thing in her life had changed? If the chain of events had taken another vector? She probably would have lived. And I cannot help but feel responsible for these days.

So now I regret the fight.

It was so stupid. And I am so sad and devastated and alone.



Filed under Life, SuddenDeath

9 responses to “Grieving: the guilty part that comes after denial

  1. [I did think we had twenty years to resolve this split.

    Someday, I thought, it would naturally fix itself.]

    These are haunting words, Jade. I am sorry you are suffering so much. But your words have really resonated with me so much and they are making me conscious in every minute with the people I know and love: what if this was the last time I were to see them? What if they died today? What if I did?

    I really feel for you in your deep grieving sadness. But I also want to thank you for giving me another opportunity to “wake up” to stupid fights, to do what I can now, while I can.

    I’ve been thinking about this incessantly all week. Sending you much support and comfort.

  2. thoughts, comfort, prayer, and best wishes to you and your family.

  3. mel

    I’m so so sorry this has happened. I’m sorry you are and feel alone right now, and wish there was something someone could do or say to make it better.

    I’m keeping you and family in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Drana

    I’m so sorry…

    for you, for A., for the family, for the situation…

    I’m sorry…


  5. Eric

    I really do feel for your loss.
    Make peace with yourself in whatever way you can, in whatever time it takes.
    We’re all here for you when you need us.
    With as much compassion as I can ever hold in my heart,

  6. Well, if something good can come out of this let it be for all of us to learn not to let little things pull us apart. I can think of one person I’ll e-mail right now, someone I haven’t talked to since before my wedding because of a stupid fight. Sorry you have to suffer so we can all learn a lesson.

  7. P.S. I wrote it but couldn’t send it. I’m still pissed off at her. Guess we all have to learn for ourselves

  8. Jade, I am so incredibly sorry, I can’t say much else. I’m so sorry.

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