Aftermath [a poem]

This is related to my two recent blog posts on a certain subject. Ideally the prose poem could stand alone without you even knowing the context of my blog posts.

Check out the content notes over here at this one: https://luvtheheaven.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/unpacking-some-of-the-extreme-distress-i-experienced-last-week/ if you are concerned you might want content notes for my poem, and feel free to read my blog posts either before or after you read this poem I wrote.

I started a couple lines of this poem within that very first week but kinda had to start fresh as my feelings evolved. I wrote this late at night Sunday December 10th before going to bed and later that week edited it a little after receiving feedback from an acquaintance in an online informal writing group. I thought it might still be edited more but now I’m thinking this is probably the final draft of it.

I may write more poems on the subject, on different emotions, or a more updated way to express where I’m at. Poetry feels like a good medium right now.


Aftermath

It isn’t really like you
To hurt people
Or was it? Was this always who you were?

It’s taken me time to accept
we’re in the
Aftermath
of this horror.

“We” being me, and your other friends, and your family.

(Not you. Not anymore.)

Because when you made the choice, you trapped me
in the
Before.

Was I fortunate to live on the east coast?
Free from the danger you posed?
Was this really Freedom?

I started crying here.
But days passed before the crying was because you were dead.

What a shame. The people who loved you, not one of us, can ever simply be sad you’re dead. You. You made this about… everything else imaginable, but not really that.

Grief isn’t ever simple, regardless.
But if you had died, and that was all? It would be infinitely better.

Death isn’t better than much.

But
this example plainly illustrates how
your friend Dying by His Own Choice
isn’t actually the worst thing that can happen.

I feel like I’m lying by omission unless I say the part that happened first.

You were crying there.

You told me for a month.
Not sleeping.
At your lowest point in your life right now.
Dreading Christmas.
Dreading every task of every day.
You even implied all the feelings of Shame.
(Avoiding telling anyone why you quit.)
(Only telling me a week later because of guilt, like you really owed your professional partner an explanation and not explaining had been unfair. You and her, ninety-five percent chance of Divorce.)
(Only telling me you had been struggling with alcohol after another a length of time passed.)
(And there was that added context in your tone of voice too.)

Yes.
I heard you loud and clear.
You said it all.

And I offered all my commentary.

“Other people go through this too.”

“My parents had a worse situation than you and her. I truly believe getting divorced within months is better than the decade and a half of no legal agreements, which as a child, I survived.”

Your situation looked better
from my side of the fence.

I kinda knew the grass is always greener on the other side.

Maybe my comments missed the mark. But at least I tried.

At least I said something.

I tried to convey
Divorce Sucks
and I was sorry.

If only I knew…

No.
I didn’t hear even a muffled whisper.
You didn’t say anything at all.
Through my own tears, I realize now how you never mentioned if you were crying.
(You even said you weren’t suicidal.)

You acted relatively calm about her. You were upset at the thought of seeing her.

However.

You had honestly hoped to save this marriage not too long ago.

I guess in the most twisted of ways, you did prevent a divorce from being finalized.

I offered my helpless sympathy.

I openly expressed I wished she wasn’t seeing another man,
wished you weren’t going through this,
wished I could do more.

You said you knew all these things from me.
You said Thank you.
You acted kind. Appreciative of my sentiments.

I assumed you knew I wasn’t the best person to comfort you.
You had to have known.
My longest romantic relationship spanned such a fraction of your marriage.
My years of being alive such a fraction of your life.

You didn’t scare me at all.
(You didn’t reveal any of your anger.)
You… cracked another joke about Texans and them not having heard of winter coats.

You’ve now made it hard for me to look at my winter coat.

You’ve already missed the snow that came to San Antonio this December.

You would’ve had so much to say about it.

But I guess you’ve missed this entire December too, now haven’t you?

You will miss all Decembers from now on.

And so will your wife.

And your kids will never look at anything the same I’m sure. Snow or Decembers or Sadness or Divorce.

There are too many reasons I’ve been
Crying
Both Here and There.

There.
Yes.
I should mention:

I finally made it to Texas.

When you decide to orphan your children it suddenly gives me a reason for a journey.

If I had known it would save the course of five lives…

Would I have come sooner?

Would I ever have believed I needed to be there for you?

Would it have possibly even helped?

Sometimes it really was like you
To hurt people
To hurt my feelings
To make me doubt myself
To make me cry

But you were trying to help the world
You cared about making it a better place
A safer place
Less scary
And more fun too

We had gotten past our disagreements.

It isn’t really
like you hurt me too.

When I say five lives
I mean you, plus
Your poor wife
Who, it should go without saying,
Didn’t Deserve This
And your three daughters.
Who also Didn’t.

And we all keep saying it anyway.
Because what else is there to say?
Apparently you didn’t realize this.

In the end, it was so much more than five lives.

It is such a huge number of us.
This ripples out more painfully than you would have dreamed, even when you were in your right mind.

So today
I’ll remind you of just one more.

You really hurt me too.

 

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