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Thread: What to do with grief?

  1. #76
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    I should not post tonight, because I'm drunk. Why am I drunk? Because tonight it's exactly one year since she died. 4:26 am. We were all there. Her children and I, and her granddaughter. I watched her draw her last breath while gently stroking her forehead and holding her hand. I'm the one who called it, 4:26. I was counting her breaths until they stopped.

    For a year, I've been too terrified to open the box of ashes I got after the cremation. I didn't know what to expect. I've never done this before. But tonight seemed like a good time. In a couple of weeks, we'll finally have the ceremony of scattering the ashes that we should have had a year ago. I did not intend tonight to be a big deal, but as the clock went past midnight, closer and closer to the time, I knew I could not possibly go to sleep. I opened her favourite whisky, Glenmorangie. After some weepy personal moments with old photographs, I opened the box. It was surprisingly pedestrian. A cardboard box. Inside, a paper bag, closed with tape and staples. It seemed... irreverent. Inappropriate. Like they were trying to tell us we should have paid for a more expensive service. Fuckers. I opened it slowly with my Swiss army knife, just to make sure I remember this moment. Inside was the ashes. I got out a small spoon, scooped up a tiny bit of ash, and poured it into a small pendant, specifically designed to hold a small amount of ashes. Just in case I at some point will have to leave Scotland, I will at least have a small part of her with me. I sealed up the bag and box as before.

    I don't want to sound like a whiny miserable bastard, but I will anyway. She was the love of my life. I gave up everything for her. My home, my country, my culture, my language. I moved over a thousand miles to live happily ever after with her. Fuck cancer.

    I don't know what the future holds, but right now it seems to involve a lot of sideways rain, misery and probably another 12 years of lonely whiny crap. I'll try to spare you from the worst of it.

    On the upside, I've seen the brightest side of love, and how it can completely change your life. I've seen all the lovely shiny wonderful sides of it. I just miss it now. I miss her. I will always miss her. But I'm happy that I got to see it.

    I do feel extra sad about the unnecessary kick in the balls. She died on her granddaughter's birthday. Which is today. Which makes it difficult to celebrate. The most wonderful and amazing person on earth died a slow an painful death, on the birthday of her granddaughter. Fuck you, god.

  2. #77
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    You cant move back home again? And you dont sound like a whiny bastard, you just sound miserable and sad.

  3. #78
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    I probably could, if I had half a brain, which I don't. I've had CFS for almost 20 years now, and my wife was the one doing the thinking for me. I could never have moved to Scotland without her. I can't imagine how I can possibly move back to Sweden now, when there are NO functional brains in the near vicinity. My stepkids do their best, but they have their own lives to deal with.

  4. #79
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    Gray, hold on man. Hold on. You have love to give and some of that love you need to direct toward yourself. Live for her and yourself. Dude, I am a guy 3000 + miles away and I care if you are doing OK. If I were were you, I’d go to the Azores. Sun, fun, and nice people. Get away from the grey skies. Celebrate her life in living yours to the fullest. I think she would would like that. Appreciate the little things that make you happy. They are the important things. Don’t give up hope. Please. Don’t give up. You loved so much. It will come back to you. Find it and rejoice. May peace be with you.

  5. #80
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain

    Let's talk about love, love, love

    I know I often sound like a miserable whiny bastard. I know. I'm sorry. But, despite my grumpy nature and all the misery I've been through, I want to post something positive.

    Love.

    It is greater to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all. No? Yes? The jury is still out on that one. I know both sides pretty well. I'll explain.

    I've mentioned many of these things before, but I've not elaborated. I'm a pretty old man by now. I've been through a lot of things. I've had a few failed relationships. I've also known what it's like to be alone, for years and years. And years. Many years. What I did not expect was to ever find true love. I didn't. It found me. It dragged me kicking and screaming into it, trying to fend it off as best I could. I failed. Dammit.

    I'm a very difficult, generally unlikeable person. I have very strong opinions that clash with most other people. Everything you like, I probably hate. I'm grumpy and miserable. Very leftist, egalitarian, anti-capitalism, anti-waste, anti-fashion, anti-stupidity, anti-racist, pro-eco, pro-minimalism, pro-equality. I hate all the music you like, and all the shit you like to watch. I'd rather punch myself in the face than to ever hear about some Kardashian idiot or their idiot fans. Twitter is a black hole of moronosity. I hate advertising in all its forms for a very long list of reasons. You know, I'm one of those annoying bastards that tend to smoke weed, grow dreads and knit their own sandals, except I've never smoked anything nor knitted, and I shave my head. I despise almost everything of almost everything. This is my personality, I can't change it. I'm not a happy fun guy. But I am full of love. Even towards the clueless idiots. I'm polite and kind, and keep my stupid opinions to myself, most of the time.

    Added to which, I'm quite ill. I've had CFS for almost 20 years now. It severely limits what I can do, physically and intellectually. It's still getting slowly worse over time. I used to be pretty strong, now I'm weak as a kitten. I used to be pretty clever, now I'm dumber than Forrest Gump. This is why I had to stop moderating TTLG. I'm almost stupid enough to enjoy Adam Sandler movies, but even that is still beneath me. With my progression, perhaps in a few years I'll think he's awesomely clever.

    For many years, I've used all of the above as a shield to push people away. I'm not part of society anymore, I just live next to it. I can't deal with it. You go on with your happy little lives, and I'll stay over here on my side, ignoring you completely, smiling politely. I'll sit quietly on my side and curse under my breath about all the stupid shit you happy people do. I'll never be one of you.

    But life has a way of fucking with you. It's not fate. It's not divine intervention. It's not karma. It's not a part of god's great plan(*). All of those things are just names you put to describe an event after it happened to try to make sense of it in your own head. It's just random chance.

    Since I'm quite ill, I have lots of time to waste, just waiting to feel slightly better so that I can deal with all the stuff that needs to be dealt with. One way to waste lots of time is video games. That's why I picked World of Warcraft. I specifically chose it since it seemed like a massive waste of time. I couldn't do another 1000 runs of System Shock 2, I had become too stupid to use ShockEd anymore, and I could not be arsed to play anything challenging or stressful, so I chose Warcraft. On purpose. I did my research, and it seemed like such a massive timesink, which is exactly what I wanted, after trying half a dozen less interesing RPGs or MMORPGs.

    On week two, I had just figured out how to do fishing. I was standing at Lake Al'Ameth in Teldrassil, trying to catch fish to feed my nightsaber cat, when some night elf woman swam up to me, like Ursula Andress. She asked what I was doing, and I was, in my most polite language trying to tell her to please kindly piss off and leave me alone. But she kept asking questions. I had only been on the game for a couple of weeks, but I've learned a thing or two, so I tried to tell her what little I knew. She kept pissing me off with follow-up questions, so I decided to show her how to do things, and ran her down to Darnassus, where the fishing trainer was. Apparently this was not sufficient. She needed help with some quest or other, so we teamed up for that. Damn annoyance.

    This kept happening, for weeks. We became friends, despite my strongest protests. We joined the same guild. Then we left it to make our own guild. She was quite keen on travelling, she'd been to loads of countries, and asked if she could come visit me for her next trip to Europe. I said sure, as long as you understand it's as friends only, and nothing else. She agreed. Well, we fucked that up on day one by falling in love. Whisky probably helped.

    Over the next couple of years, she'd visit me 2-3 times a year, a week or two at a time, and I'd visit her in Scotland for about 2-3 months at a time, spending most of 2012 over there, if not all. At one point, probably in the winter of 2011 while she was over in Sweden, she asked me to marry her. I was stumped. At this point I was very much in love with her. I loved her. But it was crazy to think that I could give up everything I know and move to some rainy shithole a thousand miles away, no? Well, perhaps, but I decided to do it anyway. I accepted. Probably the best decision I ever made in my entire life.

    In 2013 we got married. I wore her father's kilt. We were both quite old at this point, I was over 40 and this was her second marriage, so it was a pretty cheap event. Maybe 40-50 people, mostly Scottish, but my parents and brother and his family came over from Sweden. It was the happiest day of my life. Or so I thought. Little did I know. We went back to Sweden to empty my flat, and get rid of all of my stuff. It was like a purge of all of my life up to this point. What little I kept could fit into a few boxes, some of which I could take with me to Scotland, but I essentially left all of my previous life behind. All 42 years of it. A bit sad when you're that age and your whole life can fit into a few boxes, but, with my mind being non-materialistic, also somewhat of a relief.

    Turned out, my wife was a lot more clever than I had realised. Every day, she kept surprising me by doing new clever things, saying clever things, absorbing all the music and movies I liked, falling in love with some of it, then pimping her stuff to me which, some of it, I also loved. Every day, I fell more and more in love with her. Every day was happier than the preceding one. I forgot about that nagging feeling about having made a huge massive mistake of giving up everything in my life to be here, because being here was so wonderful, and she was so wonderful, clever, smart and beautiful in every way. Many times did I have to reevaluate what the happiest day of my life was. So many things happened. Average, boring, pedestrian, non-dramatic yet wonderful things. Every day I loved her more, every day I was happier. It was like staring directly into a big warm sun, just radiating happiness and joy towards you. It was like our minds were directly connected, no barriers, just pure love flowing between us in every moment of being near each other. I'm sure this is why poetry was invented, because I can't describe with words just how happy I was. I had found the one. The impossible one. The one that couldn't possibly exist or be more perfect for me. And what's more, she wanted ME! On purpose! Despite all the stupid shit I told her. I made her happy. That made me happy. And that made her happy.

    I am very much aware how much this sounds like a lame screenplay writer's wet dream. The unlovable idiot is magically found by some amazing woman that turns him into a better person. I understand all that. I hate those cliches. Except when it happened to me, I was already old fat and ugly, having lived alone for 12 years. She had two grown children and was not played by Jennifer Aniston, and I was not played by Seth Rogen. Thank fuck for that. If I ever get that stupid, please punch me in the face.

    Then cancer.

    But this isn't about that. I've told that story before, this is about joy, and happiness. I want to emphasise in the strongest words I can possibly find that she was an awesome person, and love just flowed out of her. She was amazing. She made me the happiest man on the planet. She showed me true, pure love. All of my sarcasm and bitterness melted away. I almost very nearly became a nice person. Almost. She was too good for me. She might not have been perfect, but she was perfect for me. Not even if I made things up could I ever have thought of someone THAT clever and wonderful. We were a perfect match. She was the only person who really GOT me, and my stupid thinking. And I got her. It was an amazing stroke of luck that we even met, but here I am now. In some rainy faraway foreign country with her ashes in a box.

    So, there is a lot of pain and anguish of living alone, rejected by society. I know this part very well. There is a lot of joy from love, but the pain when it ends is much, MUCH stronger than the pain from being alone. I have seen both sides. I have seen the detachment you can find in living alone, separating yourself from the world. This can be quite nice, but empty and hollow. It may not be easy to find love, especially it you deliberately try to hide from it, but from what I learned... Maybe Shakespear did have a point. It is greater to have loved and lost. It may be very painful, but it makes you a better person, and you'll have some wonderful memories.





    (*) If I'm wrong, and there is a god, and this IS a part of his great big clever plan, he's a fucking bastard that feeds on the suffering of innocent people, and in which case he shouldn't be believed in or obeyed in any way, the fucker. Bloody snuff movie weirdo freak.
    Boing. Peng. Boom-Tschak. Peng.

    System Shock 2 Walkthrough

  6. #81
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    I still like you and want you to be alive and well. There is a God and he is a nasty dude who is testing you. You are passing, but miserable in the process. Let it go somewhat and try your best to enjoy the little things. That is the only way I get by. If I did not, I would have taken a dirt nap long ago. Your love for her is strong. Let her love for you sustain you. It is all about a matter of perspective. Hope. It’s all we have. It is real. If a dude 1/2 the way across the Earth cares enough to write this to you, then there is hope. Peace be with you brother, if I may call you that. Go out and do something for someone else and try to keep out of your head. I find dwelling within is a nightmare. Occupy your time with love for others and you will find peace.

  7. #82
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Thank you. Your words mean a lot to me.

    I want to expand on the love theme. I know, I'm known for being a sarcastic grumpy asshole, but there is love in my heart. It was always there, but she brought it out. All of those things I did not have words for, she found. When I say she changed me, I don't mean that casually. I mean, in a life changing way. Like a beam of pure love shot straight into my face. It was like staring into pure sunlight. I was blinded. I was awestruck. I have now seen the true face of pure love. I feel very fortunate. If I can only hold on to this memory, I'll be annoyingly happy for the rest of my life.

    Next time I whine about pointless crap in some other thread, please remind me of this. Just say "sunshine", and I'll shut up and dream away.

  8. #83
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Actually Gray, you don't sound that different from me with the exception I DO smoke pot on occasion and also am reasonably gregarious on most occasions. I don't find you unlikable. Despising most everything seems like a reasonable response to today's world. Hell, I had ten more years of the good old days so I can confirm it's more than reasonable. BTW I recommend at least trying some weed before you shuffle off this mortal coil. You can't tell me Shakespeare wouldn't have burned one henceforth and forsooth once upon a fortnight or two. It might even help you sleep.

    Maybe it is all random chance but it sure doesn't feel like it. It feels like wonderful happenstance. Kismet when you meet the one. If there is any magic in life at all it is that. So if your story sounds like a magic trick then it's just walking like a duck. She sounds like she carried a pocket full of magic just in case of doubters. You know you wouldn't have missed knowing her for anything and you aren't fooling any of us. That kind of magic is worth even this kind of pain. It just doesn't feel like it right now. Your story of her is a wonderful tribute and lets us know exactly how worth it love is.

    Okay the CFS thing sucks ass at helping you climb out of this hole. Still gotta fight it. I gotta go with bjack on the helping others thing too. It keeps me from feeling like such a worthless prick. It even puts enough back in the bank to go full on worthless prick every now and then. Overall it may be best to avoid it but the words fuck it were made for just such occasions. Don't be too hard on yourself. Give yourself slack. There was someone who thought you deserved it and I have to agree. To hold a hand to the very end, aside from being your privilege, is also the best gift of devotion anyone could ever give.

    I hope the best for you, dude. That adds up to exactly jack shit and change but I hope it anyway.

  9. #84
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Also, are you sure its CFS? After 20 years I guess you must have had it diagnosed, but I suffer from a whole friendly club of auto-immune conditions, and a lot of my symptoms could well fit into the CFS category. There are drugs which can actually help, though they can be costly without some kind of medicare.

  10. #85
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    CFS is not a proper diagnosis, it's just an umbrella term to gather up a vast range of symptoms, of which I have all of them (took me a while to develop muscle pain, but I have that now as well), so eventually my doctors figured it would be the most likely thing, so they settled on it. Better to have a name for something than to continuously claim I was perfectly fine and just making it up. If I was making it up I wouldn't have kept arguing for 10 years. No known cure, because it's not the one thing. I find it quite likely to have been triggered by an auto-immune reaction I had when I was 12, but I have no proof of that, just a very vague hypothesis. It didn't kick in until I was in my late 20s, but it feels now like it did when I was 12, except stronger. But that's no proof either. The only thing I can say for sure is how very limited a life I can have now.

    So yes, doctors gave up on me because they didn't know what else to do. By then, I was so used to fighting to prove I was actually ill, and I just accepted CFS as the most likely thing. Nothing has changed in the last 12 years, except I'm still getting slowly worse, like I have been for 20 years. I wouldn't know where to go or how to get tested now, since I'm in a foreign country.

  11. #86
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I had a friend diagnosed with CFS for a couple decades. One doctor eventually found a serious problem with a random organ (I don't remember which) and she's much better (albeit still rather south of "well") now. ...Wish I could turn that anecdote into usable advice, lol.

  12. #87
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    I'd much appreciate it if you could bother to ask her what the problem was. It might not be the same for me, but at least that'd be something to exclude.

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