Yesterday, I attended a memorial for my brother-in-law's baby, who died after living about 15 minutes, after having to be delivered at 5 months because my sister-in-law had pre-eclampsia.
I hate funerals.
I hate funerals for many reasons, not the least of which is because I don't feel like it's the right response to death. I prefer to celebrate life, and it's difficult to do so when you're thinking about how the person is dead now, how horrible, let us all cry together. It has been a month since the baby (Alexandra Laurel) died, and it took me like two weeks to be able to think of it without crying. I never thought I would care that damn much, but I know most of it was: anger that she had died, because that's fucking ridiculous; annoyance with people using God's will or God taking her into his care as justification because fuck that; and most of all, feeling guilty because I couldn't do anything to help or comfort my family members who were suffering.
This guy I worked with once told me that he thought grief was selfish. The only reason we grieve is because we are sad the people aren't there with us. If we believe in an afterlife, isn't the afterlife better than life? If we don't believe in an afterlife, isn't it just the natural way of things? People live and die, and it's tough to let go, but I find myself struggling more with holding on to lost loved ones than trying to move on.
The funeral was difficult. It was outside on a hilltop in the cold wind. The sun came out as they were scattering the ashes. There was a single tree and a cross with a few benches in front. TGWs mom wanted a photo in front of the cross after so we did one, but I hated it and it made me frustrated. I didn't want a photo. I don't want to have that lingering feeling, I don't want to memorialize that.
There were a lot of other feelings mixed in, too, like, seeing people we don't see often that we have history with and coping with that, struggling because of the lack of closeness we have with other people. I felt like we were this still satellite, orbiting this tight-knit group, always just far enough away to not mess with things. That's how it always is. We're always just out of reach.
I kind of like being out of reach because I don't want to care about people, I don't want to love people or want to be near them. It is easier to be separate. I sometimes feel better when I'm not trying to spend time with people, when it's just TGW and me, doing our own thing. Okay, I often feel better.
Last night, we met up with brother-in-law and sister-in-law for dinner. We talked about stuff, but not some of the important stuff. I mentioned how I'm struggling to be close with my niece and nephew (not the toddler & baby; the teenagers (15, 18) - my sister-in-law on TGW's side's kids). Everyone responds with, oh, but they are teenagers! But, I hate that. I remember that feeling, being a teenager and feeling separated, so I want to push through that, to try to have a relationship with them. I am just terrible at it.
Halfway through dinner, though, something happened.
I have been waiting about a week and a half for the depression to kick in. I knew it had been coming, slowly inching. I just wasn't sure when it would be fully realized. But in the middle of dinner, like someone threw a switch, there it was. That sadness. The steak I was eating was no longer so delicious, the wine tasted like vinegar when it had a few moments before been sweet.
I'm tired of depression. It makes work harder, it makes school harder, it makes everything more difficult and more exhausting. The worst part is that I don't even want happiness to replace it.
I want calm. I want to feel nothing. Just, washed of anger and washed of happy and washed of sadness. I don't want to feel.