Monday, April 25, 2016

Saving someone

I came home sick today.  Took some medication, fell into a drugged sleep.
And had an awful dream.  Awful.

Someone I love was on a plane.
Finally coming here, to me.
He face-timed me from the plane, about to take off.
He said, "I need to talk to Kenny.  Let me talk to Kenny."
So I handed the phone to Kenny.
I could still hear him, hear his voice.
"Buddy, you've got to do something for me."
"Okay, what?"
"Tell your mother I love her."
"You can tell her yourself."
"No, bud, I can't.  She can't hear this.  You have to tell her.
Tell her I love her.  Tell her I'll always love  her."

Then the sound of gunfire.
Blood everywhere.
And the phone went dead.

Not knowing who to call,
we turned on the tv.
Watched as channel after channel carried the story.

The despair, the horror
Was so real.

I woke feeling awful.
But not really afraid.
I know that he wouldn't kill himself.
For a million reasons.

But Doug did.
And I never saw it coming.

I read an article today that a suicide leaves six survivors hurting in its wake.
The article said the number is probably much higher.

I wouldn't be probably considered in Doug's six.  I'm not a relative.  In the wake of his suicide, I hurt. I am his survivor, because of how much Dave and I loved him, because he was my family.  And Doug knew it.  When he died, he left a note for me.  He knew, he knew that I would need something to hold onto. He knew that I would want reasons.  He knew that I would need to know that he still loved me. That he didn't blame me, that it wasn't my fault.

And yet, I doubted all of that.
Over and over.
Yes, in the wake of his suicide, I hurt.

I remember feeling like I should have saved him.
And that I failed.

I had similar feelings when Dave died,
even though it was completely different,
I remember feeling like I loved him so much
It should have been enough to save him,
To keep him alive.

But it wasn't enough.

I suppose it never can be.
I'm still, still
Learning to live with that.

My far away love is experiencing difficult changes in his life now.
I want so to comfort him, reassure him, help him.
I sent him a text this morning saying,
"My love will surround and protect you."

The dream is a message.
A message that we can't really ever do that.
No matter how much you love someone,
You can't save them.

My love couldn't save Doug.
Or Dave.
And it can't save this person, either.

I spent a long time
Feeling sad about that.
Feeling inadequate.
Wishing I could love better,
Stronger somehow.

My love for these three
Is deeper than any I've known.
I love them as much as I love my children,
For they are part of me in the same way.
Flesh of my flesh.
Blood of my blood.

I would do anything to save them.
And yet, it's not enough.
Still falling short.
Still failing.

But the truth is deeper than that, more complex.
Each of us has to save ourselves,
Build our own life into what we want
or need
it to be.
Conquer our own fears,
Surmount our own barriers,
Overcome our own obstacles.

I can't be responsible for someone else.
I can only love them.
They choose what to do with that.
Whether to let it in
Or not.

Because I do know this.
Life is easier with love.
When someone loves you
And you feel it,
Let yourself feel it,
Let it in, then
Hard things are somehow easier.

I'm trying
To let that be enough.