12299334_10205326627750842_861036241077893522_n.jpgToday I’m thinking about my sweet Meredith Leigh.

Why she didn’t want to be here. How she didn’t know how to stay.
What was happening in her head that made this life so unbearable?

I never tagged Mere in this photo, because her neck is freckled with stitches, and as much as I couldn’t ignore them, I wanted to pretend they weren’t real.
I wanted her to want to be here, and selfishly didn’t want any reminders of a reality that didn’t have her in it.

I want to curse death, for taking her, but how can I when she had her hand out to it for years?

I curse myself, instead, for pretending like I didn’t see her reaching. For being one of countless people who take advantage of the comfort we get to maintain when someone else’s sickness is invisible.

I have remind myself, daily, that mental illness IS real. That it’s an illness, like any other. That, like cancer, even if it allows its victims moments of normalcy, it’s always there. A bully-ghost. Always around a corner, waiting to fuck shit up.

I have to remind myself that if someone I love was suffering from pain in their body, I would wish it away with all the prayers I own. But if that pain were stubborn or cruel, and stayed, I would pray for their suffering to end, even if it meant not having them around.

I have to remind myself that just because I could not see her pain doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

So I recognize that this grief, mostly, is for myself. For never being able to share poems with her again, or have her read me stories beneath weeping willows in the park that raised us, for not being able to hug her neck again, or kiss her sweet face once a year, at least, when we’re both home.

~

I don’t understand not wanting to live.

I give thanks that this reality evades me.

I do not take my desire to be here for granted.

I celebrate that every day, something has tried to kill me, and has failed.

I realize that knowing how to stay here is a privilege.

That my mind, unhaunted, is a gift.

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