Tag: Grief

‘Don’t worry about your wife, man.’

This hippie guy I knew back in my Topanga Beach days,* thirty years ago for godsake, emails me out of the blue and writes:

Hey man, I’m sorry about the passing of your wife. I read about it on your blog, that’s how I got your email address. You write about her being in oblivion and never seeing her again and all that shit. Well, we shared many a joint together, man, and I couldn’t let that go unaddressed. I’m here to tell you, don’t worry about your wife, man, your wife’s fine. She’s in a better place than you and me. Keep on tokin’ and you will be together again — that’s all I can say. — Bongo Baldecki.

So I write  back and say: YoBongo, I couldn’t believe hearing from you after all these years. Thanks for what you said about my wife, but let me cut right to the core from the get-go and tell ya that I’m not alive without her. Oh, I’m breathing and eating minimally and drinking copiously and sleeping fitfully and feeding the cat and driving down to the liquor store but I’m not alive without her. Whether she went to some sort of afterlife, an unknown sphere or dimension or became an as-yet undiscovered wave in the electromagnetic spectrum, or whatever — or none of the above — all I want to do is try and find her. If it doesn’t pan out, so be it. But I’m going to give it a shot — perfect word for the mission, don’t you think?

I haven’t heard back from him, but I know what he will say: Don’t be an asshole, man.

*Topanga Beach days


In the grip of loneliness, be Beowulf

Loneliness is a bully. It’s like a thug on a deserted street. It coldcocks you and then kicks you when you’re down. If you don’t fight back, it can kill you, either by forcing your own hand to take an overdose or slash your wrists or pull the trigger, or causing you to fall ill and lose the will to recover.

Loneliness is one of the lowest forms of life, right down there with drug dealers and wife beaters. And it will keep tearing you apart no matter how loudly you wail.

You’ve got to stand up to loneliness. You must not cower, because that feeds loneliness’s basest instincts. Loneliness laughs loudest when you cry and cringe.

A grief-stricken person, for example, after yet another lonely sleepless night and desperate day, has got to say, I’ve had it with this creep! Beat the bastard at its own game. When it laughs at your despair, laugh back and louder.

Be Beowulf. Grab that old sword you keep in the back of the closet and come out slashing. I guarantee the cowardly bully will run from the house. If he doesn’t, cut the bastard’s head off.

If you don’t happen to have an old sword in the back of the closet, then tell loneliness to go fuck itself.