CW: suicide, death, cancer, loss of parents
I'm realizing that telling this story is going to be equal parts cathartic and excruciating.
I lost my dad to suicide when I was sixteen. This story is for another day, but for now let's just say the last words I exchanged with my dad were "I don't want anything to do with you." Three hours later he put a bullet through his head.
After his death, I poured my emotions over everything. My art, poetry, my boyfriend, my friends, my mother. I screamed my story, attempting to understand my experience through expression. Mental illness and I were well acquainted at this point, and creating was always a form of therapy. A journey through my mind.
The isolation was not expected. I didn't have a community, a friend, who had also experienced this type of loss. I will never claim that my grief is "worse," but losing a parent, so young, so abrupt, changes you. I had no one to relate to. Being an atheist complicates things even more. Resources on grieving while atheist are not as readily available as the religious ones.
My mother died in September from breast cancer that metastasized to her liver. I cared for her for five months prior, watching her health deteriorate, powerless.
Since her passing, and during my time as her caregiver, I have found it exceedingly difficult to talk. To anyone. To myself through writing, to friends, to my fiance who was there for my dad's passing, to social media.
I have never felt more alone and cut off. I am angry, all the time. Angry at friends who don't understand, angry at families enjoying the holidays, angry at my peers who are reckless and unappreciative. I know. All this anger is so misplaced. My friends are wonderful. Other people deserve their happiness. My anger is ultimately my own responsibility.
So I'm going back to my roots, to my therapy. I am telling my story. When I lost my dad, I never sought a community to help me understand and process my grief. I hope this account gives me that, and in turn maybe my story can help someone feel less alone.